SAN PEDRO CHANGES WITH THE TIMES
Shopping, Dining, Activities and More
The island of Ambergris Caye is carved like a fine sculpture out of the rest of Belize, and is lined with resorts, such as Victoria House, perched on its shore and sharing the magnificent waters of the Caribbean with its guests. But only a mile or so inland is the former fishing village of San Pedro, a special place on Ambergris Caye that serves as a common ground for locals and visitors alike.
In fact, the origin of San Pedro, the island’s only town, can be traced back to the days of the ancient Maya. San Pedro is the current home to islanders who have made the town a melting pot of cultures and languages; a mix of ten different cultures includes East Indian, Garifuna, Mestizo, Maya, Mennonites, and Creole. This rich and colorful cultural mosaic is reflected in everything, from the languages people are heard to speak on a daily basis, to the menus of restaurants, the goods in grocery stores, to the types of gift shops and businesses.
The people of the island are called “Sanpedranos” and speak English, Spanish, Creole, and Maya all at the same time, making it their own distinct island dialect. Sanpedranos are quite proud of their heritage and are happily willing to share it with visitors.
San Pedro town is about a mile long and encompasses only a few street blocks. But don’t let that fool you—it’s packed with a wide range of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks. Old world charm meets some modern conveniences; especially if you forgot some of those needed items you like to use back home. The airstrip is also located close to town, so there’s always a buzz of activity gently rolling through the streets.
This is a quaint Central American village where the streets are sandy and unpaved, so it’s not advised to dress in formal clothes or shoes; the use of flip-flops and shorts is strongly encouraged, instead. There are no traffic lights, no freeways, nor highways nearby, so the main means of transportation are golf carts. However, bicycles, scooters, and some cars and vans are also available and easily rented out for periods of time.
Whether you want to go to the Ambergris Museum and Cultural Centre to learn more about local history, or you want book an adventure tour, or maybe you wish buy some local ingredients to make a feast back at your Victoria House Cabana, there is always lots to see and do while on your exotic dream vacation.