Ambergris Caye: A Belize Treasure

The Great Blue Hole in Belize

Ambergris Caye (pronounced Am-BUR-gris or Am-BUR-grease Key) is a special and unique part of Belize, Central America and the world. It’s the largest of some 200 cayes that dot the coastline of Belize. Located in the clear shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea just off the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Ambergris Caye is 25 miles long, and a little over a mile wide in some places.

This extraordinary caye is approximately one mile from the second largest barrier reef in the world (the Belize Barrier Reef), whose sandy shoreline runs the entire length of the island. Since as far back as the time of the Maya Ambergris Caye was used as a trading ground, due to its amazing geological shape and prominence. Fishing, coconuts, and chicle were historic commodities used in trade, but the last 30 years has seen a rise in the tourism sector; particularly for diving and snorkeling.

In fact, the island’s largest settlement, San Pedro town, was once a site inhabited by the ancient Maya, and it is now the main hub of Ambergris Caye. With a rich cultural heritage, San Pedro is a focal point of activity; from restaurants, unique shops and nightlife, to a first stop on adventurous excursions into exotic Belize.
Surrounded by the stunning reef system, the diverse cayes in the area have made Ambergris Caye the dive and water sports capital of Belize. Famed locations like the Blue Hole, Turneffe Islands, Shark Ray Alley, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve are all only a short boat ride away.

Ambergris Caye is also home to an amazingly diverse selection of plant and animal life. While the reef system is home to hundreds of varieties of fish and other colorful sea life, on land a large percentage of the country’s area is under protection; as are the hundreds of species of birds, exotic tropical plants, monkeys, manatee, and crocodiles that inhabit the area.

Getting to the resorts and natural wonders of Ambergris Caye is easy, as the island is serviced by two separate airlines from Belize City, as well as a water taxi service. Getting here is seamless and nearly effortless, just like the ebb and flow of daily life here—how your dream vacation should be.