How to make the most of Ambergris Caye without breaking the bank

by Gisselle Hernandez

Everyone loves the Caribbean’s favorite island, Ambergris Caye. But spending some time there for vacation may come with its own bout of hesitancies from budget-savvy travelers. Many argue you can’t come to Belize without setting foot on the sandy shores of San Pedro Town. You can still enjoy all the wondrous experiences Ambergris Caye has to offer without breaking the bank, however. Here are some tips to keep in mind when booking a vacation to La Isla Bonita

Book during shoulder season.

ramons village belize San Pedro ambergris

The view from Ramon’s Village Resort.

Many budget tips may stem from traveling during the off-season, but in Belize, shoulder season is still a great time to visit. Prices are still lower than during the high season, yet the tour operators and hotels are already ramping up to welcome the bulk of travelers come December. This means many tours and experiences that were unavailable during the low season – around June to October – are now opening back up. 

Jump in on group tours versus private.

Not only do group tours save you money, but you also get to meet like-minded individuals and share memories together. Who knows, you might end up becoming lifetime friends! Sign up for a group snorkeling tour to Shark Ray Alley, or a food tour of San Pedro Town with Belize Food Tours. Many experiences are often enriched when shared with others. 

Eat like a local.

belize food tours tacos orange walk

Tacos, anyone? Photo by Belize Food Tours

Save the fancy restaurant for a great last-night dinner instead. Don’t be shy to eat at the local restaurants around town – that includes street food, as well. Many skilled culinary artists own their own food stand near the center of San Pedro Town. Loyal customers line up for a reason. A fancy bread of bagels, pancakes, and exotic fruit might be great for once or twice during the trip. But we promise you won’t be thinking of that when biting into a fluffy, much more affordable, fry jack

Take the boat instead of flying there.

San Pedro Belize Express

Photo by San Pedro Belize Express

The good thing about Ambergris Caye is that there is more than one way to get to the island. Flying from the mainland is definitely an option, but taking the water taxi is a fraction of the price. The boat ride is approximately 1.5 hours from the water taxi stand in Belize City, plus you get the added experience of a boat ride! That’s like an extra tour right there. 

Use a bicycle instead of a golf cart.


Glide through San Pedro Town, thanks to complimentary bikes at many resorts. Image courtesy ROEming Belize Travel Agency 

San Pedro is famously known for the golf carts whizzing through the streets instead of traditional vehicles. Many hotels and resorts offer golf cart rentals to guests, but unless you’re heading all the way north to Secret Beach, a bicycle will do. You still get to experience the vivacious town with an unobstructed view. Plus, biking through the sand at the caye definitely screams island vibes. 

Go for the day, but overnight in the city.


An aerial of Belize City. Image courtesy Duarte Dellarole

Many may forget that you don’t need to stay in Ambergris Caye to enjoy Ambergris Caye. Many Belizeans opt for a day trip, where they take an early boat around 8 a.m. from Belize City and return on the 3 p.m. boat. There is still a lot you can do in one day at San Pedro, without having to pay an exorbitant resort stay. Keep this in mind when thinking of knocking Ambergris Caye off your bucket list.

Find where to stay in the City here.

Feature Image: ROEming Belize Travel Agency

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