The best things to do on Ambergris Caye, the sun-soaked island just a stone’s throw from the Belize Barrier Reef
The largest island in Belize is also the country’s most popular tourist destination – and for good reason. La Isla Bonita as it’s affectionately known is perfectly positioned just a short distance from arguably the country’s greatest asset: the Belize Barrier Reef.
With its dazzling variety of underwater life, the Belize Barrier Reef is part of the world’s second-largest reef system, the Mesoamerican Reef. Formed by an underwater mountain range creating countless reefs and lagoons, the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef boasts every imaginable shade of blue. Ambergris Caye is also the main launch pad for trips – by boat or plane – to the world-renowned Great Blue Hole.
On the caye itself, island life is in full swing. At your hotel, you can spend your days kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, windsurfing or simply lazing in a hammock. Further afield, there are marine reserves, a national park and a wildlife refuge to visit, not to mention San Pedro, the island’s main town and possibly the golf cart centre of the world.
We’ve picked out the eight best things to do on Ambergris Caye, so you can make the most of your sun-blessed days on La Isla Bonita.
1. Blue Hole Scenic Flight
Measuring 318m (1,043ft) across and 124m (407ft) deep, the Blue Hole and its surrounding reef system are truly mesmerising. But it’s one of those sites that actually looks better from afar – or above to be precise. The best way to see the Blue Hole is by scenic flight. This will allow you to truly appreciate the giant sinkhole’s size and features.
From the air, you can see the hole’s near-perfect circumference, its deep-azure eye, its vibrant aquamarine border and the wider pearl string of reefs, lagoons and islands stretched across the horizon. The Blue Hole is located around 88km (55mi) off the coast of Ambergris Caye.
2. Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Its sheer ease of access makes Hol Chan Marine Reserve one of Belize’s best spots for diving and snorkelling. The popular site offers vibrant coral formations and diverse marine life packed into a small area with shallow waters in an easy-to-reach location off Ambergris Caye. There are few sites in Belize – if not the world – that offer such rich reward for so little effort.