How To Spend A Perfect Day on Ambergris Caye

by Gisselle Hernandez

The gentle turn of the water taxi stirs you awake as your eyes focus on the palm-studded island materializing on the horizon. The water, a fierce combination of white and blue, is the only thing between you and the place that’s been on your bucket list for years. Arriving ashore, you are greeted by the giant, colorful letters on the beach spelling out the island’s only town: San Pedro. Suddenly, it all makes sense why it has been the most-visited destination in all of Belize: the immaculate weather, the soft sand, the warm people waving their welcome. This is Ambergris Caye.

San Pedro Belize Express

Arrive to the island by water taxi. Photo by San Pedro Belize Express

They say you only ever really need one day to truly fall in love with Belize, and what better way to test that theory than spending a day at La Isla Bonita? Water taxis leave and arrive on the island from the mainland about every hour, so you have plenty of options for what time to check-in at your resort. Once you’re settled in at your place, spend the rest of the time by your resort’s pool or having some grub before planning the perfect day in Ambergris Caye tomorrow. You only have one day, after all!

Starting the day off right

Matachica Resort.

After spending a restful sleep at an award-winning resort on the island, wake up to the lulling sound of lapping waves coming from the beach. Hop on a golf cart – most resorts offer rentals – and drive to the fairly new The Fry Jack House near downtown San Pedro. After downing a strawberry-topped giant fry jack for breakfast, walk to the nearby park and take as many selfies as you can with the colorful San Pedro sign. Browse the souvenirs local artisans are displaying along the beach and maybe purchase a hand-woven purse or two to bring to a friend back home. After chatting with the San Pedranos and exploring nearby art galleries, it’s time to explore the culinary heart of the island.

A quest for delicious food

belize food tours tacos orange walk

Tacos, anyone? Photo by Belize Food Tours

Belize Food Tours, the only one of its kind on the island, is a must when wanting to experience both the island and its cuisine. The lunch hour, which starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m., is the perfect way to get to know the ins and outs of San Pedro while filling up on delicious food.

The walking tour includes six stops and eight tastings, but trust us when we say your belly will be bursting by the time it’s over. From authentic Salvadorean pupusas and scrumptious rice and beans to fresh ceviche and refreshing paletas, you’re bound to fall in love with San Pedro’s culinary side.

A beach that’s not so secret

secret beach belize blue bayou ambergris caye san pedro

Sunset on Secret Beach. Image courtesy Blue Bayou Belize

It’s now time to become familiar with the island’s north end. Make sure you have your best swimsuit, reef-safe sunscreen, and refillable water bottle on hand before venturing to the far north end of the island where Secret Beach is located. About an hour’s drive away, Secret Beach has become quite the misnomer over recent years. Originally a spot only known to locals, the site is now the go-to place for visitors who want a place to chill, have a drink, and indulge in what they came for: the beach!

Many prominent restaurants & bars dot the shoreline, and since they are all near each other you can hop from one to the other in between sunbathing. Wait for your cocktail at one of the in-the-water palapa tables erected right on the shallow area in front of the restaurants. Rent a floatable kayak for some late afternoon entertainment, or simply take a nap on a beach chaise underneath a palm tree.


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

With crystal waters and paradisiacal shores, Secret Beach is a great way to end a perfect day on Ambergris Caye.

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