Ambergris Caye Belize
Belize is unique as it is both the Caribbean & Central America. Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and the #1 destination in the country. The Belize island of Ambergris Caye is more of a peninsula with the northernmost channel being a divider between Belize and Mexico. Ambergris Caye is in the Caribbean Sea, having the Belize Barrier Reef (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System) on the East Coast and calm beaches on the West Coast.
The island of Ambergris Caye is geographically contiguous to Mexico, but my stroke of providence and the Maya intervention in dredging and expanding the north canal end of the Caye brought it under Belize rule and territory. Ambergris Caye is also home to San Pedro Town which is the largest town of Ambergris Caye and the second-largest municipality in Belize.
Ambergris Caye gained mainstream popularity in early 1970 when it opens its doors to tourists, and in 1984 San Pedro was officially granted ‘town’ status. Many believe the town of San Pedro and Ambergris Caye was the inspiration behind the famous Madona song “la Isla Bonita”, which gave the island of Ambergris Caye its famous nickname “La Isla Bonita”. Ambergris Caye gained further popularity and notoriety when it played host to season one of the Fox show Temptation Island in 2000 and aired in 2001.
The main attraction to Ambergris is its gorgeous Belize Barrier Reef which extends the eastern shoreline and West Coast beaches which pull thousands of tourists annually. The Barrier Reef is considered the world’s second-largest reef coming after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the largest living reef in the world. The island is accessible through a small airstrip serviced by Maya Island Air and Tropic Air or reached by air directly from Belize City and many high-speed ferries.
Ambergris Caye is still a boutique tourist destination that is only starting to see mainstream notoriety, many attractions bring lots of visitors to the island of Ambergris Caye which you can see in some of the fun facts below;
- English Speaking: Belize is the only country in Central America that has English as the official language and the English language is widely spoken.
- Change its colonial name: Belize was formerly called British Honduras but changed to Belize in 1973.
- Largest island: Belize is home to many islands but Ambergris Caye is the largest as it is roughly 25 miles long.
- Protected National Park: The northern part of the island is a national park “Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve“.
- Origin of the Name: The island got its name from the word “Ambergris” after large lumps of ambergris, the solid, flammable, and waxy substance from sperm whales’ digestive systems were found on the shore. Ambergris at the time was a popular commodity used for perfume.
- Retirement Destination: Informed retirees find inspiration and a new start in Belize. Belize offers a warm climate, affordable living, and retirement incentives like the QRP.
- Laidback Caribbean & Urban Lifestyle: Its foods and urban supermarkets are comparable to the US, Ambergris Caye parades American-style groceries conveniently present across the island which promotes native culture and makes tourists, especially from North America feel at home in Belize. Locally, there are fresh fruit and vegetables, you also have meat and poultry from the mainland. Belize is also the only net agricultural exporter in CARICOM.
- Beautiful Celebrations: Belize is full of festivities; its nationwide culture and Ambergris Caye present four unique highly revered occasions – the Costa Maya Festival, San Pedro Day, Township Day, and Carnival. The annual Lobsterfest also draws in thousands of tourists every summer.
- Entertainment & Nightlife: San Pedro is by far the hub for Belizean nightlife. From nightclubs to bars and great restaurants, every tourist must find something so cool to identify with and get busy on a daily basis. Between the downtown nightclubs, the beach clubs at Secret Beach, and the countless restaurants, there are always festivities to enjoy on Ambergris Caye.
- Transportation: Only a few full-sized cars are on Ambergris Caye; the primary mode of transportation is golf carts or small vehicles. This adds to the island’s charm and appeal.
- Unique community identities: Every part of Ambergris Caye has its unique characteristic just as you will find in the US; it is highly diverse. The locals have varying backgrounds which have created a naturally multicultural community. On Ambergris Caye you see Mayan Heritage, English/British Influence, Spanish influence from the region, the Garifuna people, and the Mennonites (who are responsible for most of the agriculture). All of these groups create and maintain the unique culture of Belize.
Ambergris Caye also has amazing geography with unique conditions. Overall, the island is a flat, coral Sand Island, a 25-mile-long location protected by a living reef extending over 185 miles down the coast of Belize; Ambergris is home to the unique peninsula of porous limestone. The bedrock below the surface makes the ground hard and less susceptible to land erosion. Its beautiful climate is often the primary draw to the island as sunseekers visit through the winter months, but the world-class diving and fishing bring people to the island year-round.
The consistent climate is what draws so many tourists to Ambergris Caye. The temperature is perfect and more accommodating than in most tropical climates. The plethora of Flora and Fauna in Ambergris Caye, much like in Mexico adds to the color of the Island. The water is turquoise blue, with picturesque views from almost every angle. Ambergris Caye is the perfect destination for investment or to call home.