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 (Keys) 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 above you would come across 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 isSan 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.