San Pedro Or Caye Caulker: Which Belize Island Is Right For You?

by Larry Waight

You’ve decided on Belize for your vacation, and you want an island destination. Should you pick Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye? Here are some pointers on making the choice that’s right for you.

What’s Great About Ambergris Caye?

golf carts truck stop ambergris san pedro

Photo via Meritt Thomas/Unsplash

Ambergris Caye is an island in the northeastern part of Belize. With its own municipal airport, it’s easily reachable by local airlines from Belize City, Hopkins, Corozal, Placencia, and other towns. Ambergris Caye is a large island with beaches, world-class resorts, and many tourist amenities. The capital of Ambergris Caye is San Pedro, which has become a major magnet for tourists and expatriates. San Pedro is known as Belize’s “party town.” It’s a lively town with a good mix of beach bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Its popularity as a tourist destination means you’ll find many dining and lodging options including high-end, luxury resorts on Ambergris Caye. Most of the travelers you’ll see are couples on a romantic getaway, families and older travelers. A high number of retirees and expatriates from the US and Canada live in Ambergris Caye.

What’s Not Great About It?

Ambergris Caye tends to be pricier than other locations in Belize. It’s also not a good choice if you want to get away from crowds. San Pedro is not Miami Beach, but compared to other towns in Belize, it is busier. It has a high number of tourist-oriented businesses.

What’s Great About Caye Caulker?

Aerial Picture of Caye Caulker

This tiny island is known for its “Go Slow” motto. That’s a necessity on an island where there are no cars, no office buildings and no reason to stress yourself out. Caye Caulker has long been a center of shipbuilding, coconut farming and lobster fishing for Belize. Those industries now mix with a growing tourism industry on this rustic, charming island. Caye Caulker has gorgeous beaches, quirky stores, outstanding seafood and a good selection of places to eat, drink and party.

Caye Caulker is more affordable than Ambergris Caye. As a favorite among backpackers, divers, and eco-travelers, Caye Caulker has a mix of beach hotels and friendly, low-cost options including hostels. You’re likely to see young travelers, cost-conscious families and solo travelers here.

What’s Not Great About It?

There are frequent, daily water taxi runs that travel between Caye Caulker Village and the mainland. If you need luxury and world-class beach resorts or a busy town, the island caters more to boutique-style accomodations.

Pick Your Island

You can’t go wrong with either of these options, or any of Belize’s beautiful islands. We know you’ll enjoy your stay on either one. 

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