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Ambergris Caye

We have been living on Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize for just over 1 year now and it has been wonderful. Met so many cool people and seen so many interesting things. Best of all we followed a dream made our great escape from Canadian winter.

Ambergris Caye is the largest of some 200 cayes along the coast of Belize. It is about 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide in some places and 4 miles at the widest point. Ambergris Caye is located on the Caribbean Sea just off the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Being on the barrier reef makes the island a popular spot for divers. It is 190 miles long and the second largest living coral reef in the world. If you continued to the left in the picture you above would cross the cut area and headed to the north end of the island and towards Bacalar Chico channel between Ambergris and Xcalak Mexico.

Ambergris Caye was a trading post in Mayan times and the narrow channel that separates Mexico and Belize was dug by the Maya to provide a trade route from the bay of Chetumal to the Caribbean. Following the Maya were whalers, pirates and the ancestors of present day residents many were fishermen and worked in the coconut plantations.

There are many different areas on the island and one main town. The one we live in is
San Pedro town. It is about one and a half-miles long and in some places about a mile wide. Walking through town at many cross streets you can look to one side and see the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea and to the other the lagoon where we sometimes go to get fresh fish. The picture above shows the south end of town which is where we live. We are walking distance from the airstrip which is handy when company comes. The planes mostly fly south so we do not get a lot of air traffic passing over us.


The shot above is front street also known as Barrier Reef drive. This street is mainly tourist shops, real estate agents, banks, a couple restaurants and a few of hotels and some houses up above the shops. One of the nice things about town is that there is a building cap of 3 stories. All along the left side are beach access points. As you walk north up the road you will reach central park right on the water and the immigration office a bit further up to the left, which right above is our favorite coffee place Island perk. Keep going north and you get some local shops the self serve laundry mat and Transylvania Tech our video store.

Last picture is middle street also known as Pescador drive. This is the street we live on and this picture was taken just north of our building. The building to the right is vacant right now so people set up shop outside and sell fruit. On the left the white building with the archways is our local convenience store Rocks. When we do not go along the beach, we walk this way to go to the school we volunteer at which is about 20 min up the road (usually we take the beach there and the road home). If you were to the other direction you would hit Tarpon street and either make a left which would put you at front street, the beach and the library or right which would take you to the lagoon and the direction of Tropic Air which we pass by on the way to Pedro’s sports bar our local hang out.


16 comments

  1. Congrats on the Blog!! I’ll be sure to be a regular visit!

  2. We are Canadian and planning on relocating to SP. Where in Canada were you from?

  3. Thanks Denny – good to see you back on the net.

    Born on Montreal Audrey but lived long time in Toronto – tacoboy is Toronto too and about 2 h away in the country. Where you at Audrey? Lots of Canucks here.

  4. I am originally from Montreal but been long time in Toronto. tacoboy was born in Ontario and been in Toronto long time. Where are you at Audrey?

  5. Hi Tacogirl! I have also been enjoying your blog, starting from your first entry. My hubby and I are dreaming of relocating from Manitoba to Belize. We’ve spent some time there, but as tourists, on the mainland, and not yet been to the islands. We are in our late 30s, early 40s…and have 2.5 more years until baby #3 graduates from high school. I just finished my degree in nursing, and hope to make enough $$ in the next couple of years to have a cushion so that when we sell our home, which will take care of all our debt, that we’ll have enough to live on for while so that I can volunteer (or whatever) as a nurse in Belize. We’ve been planning this for 4+ years now, and can hardly wait to make it reality! Thanks, again, for your blog. You’ve provided lots to think about and lots of guidance.

  6. Hi Corissa, great plan. I am sure that Manitoba winters are helping keep focused on your turning your dreams into reality. I am glad you have found my blog useful.

  7. Hey there,

    A friend who works with Ramon’s Village told me about your blog. Cool stuff. I am thinking about moving there to work as a scuba instructor for about a year and wanted to know the first step. How did you guys start out? If you have time, any insight would be awesome.

    John
    From Texas

  8. Hi John

    Scuba instructor is one of those tricky things. I am not sure exactly where that particular job falls in regards to non locals and a tour-guide license unless you are planning to own a business. A couple scenarios include – finding someone who is willing to hire you and help you get work papers or look into buying a business and getting papers that way. You might want to contact a couple of local dive shops and ask them about the whole non locals being scuba instructors and what it takes to do so.

    What part of Texas are you from?

  9. Gotcha,
    So normally the business that you work for will take care of the paper work/legal side of working? What is the best way to find a place to stay (9 months – 1 year)? Price range?

    I’m from Fort Worth.

    Thank you so much for your speedy response to my first question.

    John

  10. People often opt for finding a place to work who is willing help them get papers. Some people will go freelance and get papers on their own and then find the place. As for finding a place to live what price range are you thinking? You can find a one bedroom apartment for around $500 – $600 range we paid $450 for our first apt here one bedroom in town. There are lots of property management places here and San Pedro Sun classifieds is a good spot to look as well.

    Met a lot of people from different parts of Texas since moving here.

  11. No kidding? That’s funny. A buddy of mine is there alot.

    I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was thinking something that was furnished so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a bed and such. I would also want a kitchen and bathroom… Thoughts? Is there a website for the San Pedro Sun classifieds?

  12. Lot of places come furnished or semi furnished here. Sometimes you can luck out and get a fully stocked kitchen. When we came here I brought ikea cutlery – did a dollar store shop for kitchen stuff and we brought cookware so we were pretty set. Of course shopping here is a bit better now for things like than than it was 4 years ago. http://www.sanpedrosun.com/classifieds/page1/ Try these as well http://www.mandmrentalsbelize.com/ and http://www.cayemanagement.com/ If you do not line up something in advance you may want to consider a couple days stay at a cheap hotel like Pedro’s while you apartment hunt.

  13. Cool. Thank you so much for all your help! It’s awesome to get first hand information from someone.

    Thanks again,

    John

  14. HOW DOES ONE GET FROM AMBERGIS CAYE TO THE MAIN LAND OR SAN PEDRO. BOAT OR FLYING?

    THANKS,
    PAUL GERBER

  15. San Pedro is the town on Ambergris Caye Island. Depending where on the island you are you can get to San Pedro by foot, bike, golf cart, cab or boat. To get to the mainland Flying takes about 15 min and boat roughly 90 min.

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