How To Travel On A Budget To Ambergris Caye 

by Tanya McNab
ambergris caye

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is known as one of the more expensive destinations in Belize. But it’s an island, so as you can imagine, there’s a cost to that island life that makes things just a tad more pricey than the mainland.  Here are a few tips to help guide you to save money when you’re visiting Ambergris Caye, travel to any part of Belize for that matter, and stay on budget. 

Stay At A Hostel 

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye offshore Belize. Image by Duarte Dellarole

Just a few years ago staying at a hostel was not the best option and there were so many unknowns when arriving at your location.  Now, with the internet and reviews galore, it is easy and safe to find a hostel in the area of your choosing.  Throughout Ambergris, there are hostels in every tourist area, so no matter where you travel, you’ll be sure to find one in Belize. Many of them in San Pedro is on the beach — imagine that, what better location could you ask for — beachfront without breaking the bank.  Save your money for tours! 

Eat Street Food 

meat pies- food- budgettravel on a budget

Belize is notoriously known for amazing, local street food. Our diverse culture offers a wide range of options for fast, inexpensive food.  For breakfast, you can find tacos on the street corners of almost any part of Belize (yes we eat tacos for breakfast), they’re 3 for $0.50 USD and you can pack a dozen easily! These aren’t your TexMex tacos, but they are Belize’s Yucatan-inspired version. 

Belizean rice & beans with stewed beef. Images via Cristina Reynaf

Another favorite for breakfast is our popular meat pie, also $0.50 USD each. For lunch, you absolutely must try our Creole rice and beans, with either stew chicken, beef, or pork, this meal will fill you up for the rest of the day and is a healthy portion for just $5.00 USD per person. For dinner, there are a host of fast-food Chinese take-outs or Pizza joints throughout, that can feed a large group for a small cost, but a favorite is to visit the Park in downtown San Pedro to get some of the best burritos and late-night food you’ve ever had!  Be sure to save one night to splurge on a night out in a full-service restaurant, Belize has so much to offer in cuisine!  

Use a Local SIM card 

Both telecommunications companies SMART and DIGI offer local pre-paid SIM card services so you won’t have to incur any high roaming charges on your phone. WiFi is also free in almost every part of Belize so you can stay connected.  

Travel by Road or Boat

Taking flights does save time, but if you’re trying to save a dime, then it’s best to take a bus or boat to your destination. All in all, traveling by boat is about 25% of the cost of a flight. Both passenger boat (sea) and the passenger bus (road) leave almost every half an hour from stations, so you also have flexibility in your times to move around. Travelers by road can read the current Belize Bus Schedule here for times. Travelers by boat can find a schedule here.

Take Group Tours

ambergris caye

When booking your excursion, ask your tour guide if there’s a time or space when others are going so you can jump on that tour and avoid the costs of private tours or going during times that aren’t convenient to share trips with others. It’s one of the more budget-friendly ways to travel when doing activities on Ambergris! 

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