I have been living on Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize just over 1 year. During this time, met many wonderful people and seen a lot of interesting things. Best of all I followed a dream that made my great escape from winter a reality. As far as living in Belize as a Canadian ex-pat, I have no complaints – so far it has been an easy process and I feel very welcome. I started volunteering with a local island school and have made some good friends. I made the right first apartment rental choice close to the heart of San Pedro Town. I have always been lucky to find good apartments easily, this was the first one I saw. A modest mostly furnished upper floor 1 bedroom for $450 USD/$900 BZD plus extras. electric roughly $25 USD/$50 BZD a month, water $10 USD/$20 BZD a month, Direct tv cable $22 USD/$44 BZD, and internet about $34.50/$69 BZD.
I am glad I ended up downtown since I don’t own a golf cart. The core area of town 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. My apartment is also within flip flop distance from the airstrip which is handy when company comes.
The picture below is Middle street also known as Pescador drive, I took it just a bit north of my old second-story apartment. If you were to head in the other direction (south) you would hit Tarpon street, make a left (east), it would point you at Front street, Wild Mangos Restaurant, Belize Chocolate Shop, the library, and the beach. Make a right (west) and head straight would bring you to Back Street, Neri’s tacos, and the lagoon side of town. A right then fast left and you would land in the airport area and heading south again.
The shot below is Front Street also known as Barrier Reef drive before it got cobblestoned. This street is mostly souvenir shops, real estate agents, banks, a couple of hotels and restaurants, and a few homes up above the shops. One of the nice things about the town is that there is currently a building cap of 3 stories. All along the left side are side street beach access options. As you walk north, you will find Central Park, with tasty street food options, right on the water and the immigration office a bit further up to the left. It’s conveniently located right above is my favorite coffee place, Island Perk. Keep going north and you’ll more shops, a few bars, a self-serve laundromat, and the Phoenix Resort at the end of the road.
Ambergris Caye is the largest of over 200 Cayes (pronounced keys) on the coast of Belize. It is roughly 25 miles long and a little over a mile wide in some places and about 4 miles at the widest point. The popular Belize island is located on the Caribbean Sea close to the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Being on the barrier reef makes Ambergris a great tropical place to visit for divers and snorkelers – a colorful aquatic paradise.
Ambergris Caye History
The island used to be a trading post for a thriving Mayan civilization during the Postclassic period, which spanned approximately 1200 to 1400 CE. The Mayans were an industrious civilization and in order to make a trade route, it is believed they dug the narrow channel that still separates Ambergris Caye Belize and Mexico. This was done around 600 A.D to make the Bay of Chetumal more accessible. If you continued walking north in the south-facing picture below, you would come across the channel between Ambergris and Xcalak Mexico.
I will leave you with today’s forecast – warm and Sunny in downtown San Pedro with highs of 81° F / 27° C and lows of 77° F / 25° C. Average Weather for March on Ambergris Caye offers endless warm tropical days with a daily high in the range of 83°F / 28° C and the opportunity to be grateful for slightly cooler evenings with lows around 74°F/23° C.