Getting Around Ambergris Caye Belize
Ambergris Caye is a relatively small island, 26 miles long in total and a little over a mile wide. Getting around depends on where you are staying and what you want to do. Walking, bikes, golf carts cabs and water taxi are the main forms of transportation used. The island is a mix of cobblestone, concrete paved and dirt roads.
I’ll start off by giving you the basic fundamentals. “In town” is considered to be anywhere north of Tropic Air, up to Belize Bank (6 blocks long and 3 blocks wide). The main streets in town run parallel to the ocean (north and south) are listed below from east to west:
- Barrier Reef Drive, or Front St. – One way north and ends after Caribena St. so you must turn west to avoid the dead end. From the Airstrip, the most direct way to get to Front St. Is to go north on Coconut Drive (which is the street in front of Tropic Air). Turn right (east) on to Tarpon St., then make a left (north) on Front St.
- Pescador Dr., or Middle St. – One way south at Extreme Geeks (Caribena St.) but north is the main 2-way street that takes you to the bridge and all the way north.
- Angel Coral St. or Back St. – 2-way traffic and the widest (so the one the big trucks take).
- Nurse Shark St. or Back Back St. – Not used as much as the other 3.
Both north and south of town mile marker measurements begin at Central Park on Barrier Reef Drive.
San Pedro itself is a small town with lots to see and a variety of restaurants, hotels, and shopping. Due to its size, walking is the easiest way to get around town. That way you can take your time to stop and browse or chat with friendly people you meet along your travels.
If you feeling relatively fit, are on a budget and want to cover a bit more ground then a bike rental is a great option. Check with your hotel first. Some give complimentary bikes for guests and some charge a small fee. There are also a few places around town like Calvio Bike Rentals (663-1738/661-7143) in Boca del Rio, and El Guapo in town. A one-week bike rental from a shop will be in the $80 BZD range.
Some people also opt to buy a bike depending on how long their vacation is, then give it away to someone in need, a school or a charity organization to raffle off, when they leave. You can find bikes in the $295 BZD range (without basket and lock) at pretty much any hardware store in town. I prefer to buy my bikes at Harmouch Hardware. I have bought two there so far since 2006. If you want to know what makes their bikes so special to me, read my Buying a bike in Belize post.
The best way to get around Ambergris Caye is to rent a golf cart and explore north and south. This is a great way to get a full feel for the island and what the different areas have to offer. Even though you might not know your way around, Ambergris Caye is easy to navigate. If you do make a wrong turn, it will not be long before you get yourself back to the main road. Just be sure to pay attention to road signs as many streets in town are one way.
If you want to save 10% on your golf cart rental at Carts Belize please feel free to email me, to find out how.
Unless your resort or hotel provides airport pick up you will likely want to take a taxi. They are readily available outside Tropic Air baggage claim area or at the water taxi terminal. If you are not staying too far from town a taxi will cost you in the $8 BZD range. Further south past Victoria House Resort will cost you in the $15 BZD range. If you have to take one north of the bridge then expect to pay $35 BZD or more. Some taxi drivers have a printed rate sheet for the southern and the northern destinations so feel free to ask to see it.
Always make sure to set a price with your cab driver before you get in no matter how short the ride. Here is a good traveler example of why setting your price first is so important, from a Taxi ride post on the TripAdvisor San Pedro Message Board.