While searching for a quick tropical getaway, I stumbled upon Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize. It turned out to be the absolute perfect escape, and I highly recommend for a couple’s trip, girl’s getaway, bachelorette or honeymoon!
It’s the ideal spot to completely relax and also enjoy delicious food and experience unique activities while on vacation.
My highlight of the trip and unlike anything I’ve seen before was Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. You can actually get in the water and swim with nurse sharks and sting rays that naturally gravitate to this spot in the ocean because local fishermen have been cleaning their nets here for decades. Ambergris Caye is minutes away from some of the best snorkeling and the second largest barrier reef in the world!!
Below is our quick 4 day itinerary. And honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about it! Watch my insta story highlight to see our full trip.
GETTING THERE: You fly into Belize City Airport (BZE). And then you can either take a ferry to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye or a baby plane. We chose to do the plane because it’s not that much more expensive and only 15 minutes vs. the 90-minute ferry. Plus the views from the air are so impressive!! Also, the process is so easy. After going through customs, you walk across a small hallway, straight into the local airport to catch your flight. When you arrive in San Pedro, your hotel should have transportation to pick you up.
STAY: Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club. I can’t recommend this oasis more! The service is impeccable. The decor is dreamy. The pool is great; but even better, they have private boats leaving from their dock every hour to take you to their private beach club. No need for the “secret beach”, a spot on the island we heard was overrated because you actually have your own legitimately secret beach.
We went almost every day for the magical sandbar with day beds for rent, free hammocks, free paddle boards and kayaks, and a full restaurant and bar.
For Valentine’s Day, I planned a couple’s massage and rented a day bed for us. I would honestly recommend doing the massage back at your hotel room because it was a bit public and above the restaurant with their fun beach club music playing as you’re trying to relax. The massage itself was great though!! The day bed is soooo worth the rental ($45 for the afternoon). Make sure to contact the hotel concierge prior to your arrival because they book up quickly.
** Make sure to also book a golf cart for your stay before you arrive! They’re available at the hotel for you to pick up and drop off. You could probably find a cheaper rental location in town but the convenience was so worth it to us **
Here is my interactive map with all the hot spots saved. Click on the link or the upper right corner on the embedded map to view larger and see all the locations in list form.
- Arrive, check in, pick up your golf cart, change into swim suits!
- Head to Palapa Bar & Grill, a classic island bar, to catch the sunset and enjoy drinks in their inflatable tubes in the water
- Enjoy dinner with Belize Food Tours. This was a super random idea we found and loved! We reserved a few days prior to our trip. You walk to 8-10 hot spots and try local tastes and drinks at each place. It’s a great thing to do the first night to get your bearings and find places you want to go back to! We were so full and happy by the end and the guide was soooo knowledgable and fun!
- RELAX. That was a huge criteria for us when planning the trip. Sometimes, I can pack the itinerary a little too full and for this trip, I did NOT, so we had plenty of down time to read, swim, and just enjoy. Didn’t even bring my DSLR camera so that I could truly unplug.
- Head to the beach club for a massage and to enjoy the day bed
- Eat at Hungry Grouper! This was a recommend we got on the plane to Belize City from the man sitting next to us who has been going to Ambergris Caye his whole life and now owns a home down there. This restaurant was so good that we went back another night for seconds. Argyle, the owner is awesome! Just trust what he tells you to eat! The fish is so fresh and their sauce preparations are delicious.
- Enjoy rum while bar hopping at all the beach bars close by. You can’t go wrong!
- SNORKEL!!!! We woke up for the morning session. Most companies offer morning or afternoon. We sailed with Sirena Azul; however, I’ve heard really great things about Island Dream Tours, which is more of a party boat scene. Pro tip for Sirena Azul, BYO if you’re trying to enjoy beverages aboard!
- Our sailboat picked up and dropped off at Palapa Bar & Grill so we enjoyed this spot again.
- Relax, do you!
- Eat at Caramba. They have a full menu but you have the opportunity to choose your own fresh seafood, making this a special kind of experience!
- RELAX. Do more snorkeling. Head to the beach club and take advantage of all the free kayaks and paddle boards.
- Eat at Truck Stop. Exactly how it sounds, a bunch of food trucks grouped together for you to choose from. Check out their schedule online or Facebook. They do live music on the weekends as well as movie nights!
- Sadly leave! All good things come to an end. If you have time to kill near the small San Pedro airport, we ate lunch at El Fogon. Order the Salbutes, basically Caribbean tostadas.
IF I HAD AN EXTRA DAY…
- Sail or ferry over to Caye Caulker, the island next door to walk around and enjoy another island. You can also stay here but it’s a bit sleepier and they don’t have hotels with as many amenities
- Take a yoga class at Ak’bol. They’re offered daily in the morning and only $15/class
- Do more snorkeling!
- FYI – the blue hole is a reason many avid scuba divers go to Belize. You can take a 2-hour boat ride both ways to scuba here. It wasn’t something on my list because I’m less about diving into deep caves and more about seeing wildlife and the reefs! But to each their own, so I wanted to mention it. You can also take a plane to fly over it, which I feel like would be more enjoyable because it looks wild from up high!
- Packing list: All the beach/tropical vacation essentials. Some stand out items include a speaker for your golf cart rides, reef-safe sunscreen (yes it is a different kind and important to note so we keep our reefs protected), Monopoly Deal (we’re addicted) or cards to play, beach reads… you get the idea.
- Language: English is actually the official language of Belize so it’s super easy to speak with locals and get around! Most people speak Spanish and Mayan as well.
- Currency: At the time that we went, the US dollar was 1 to 2 Belizean dollars. Almost everywhere we went accepted credit cards, but bring cash to tip and pay any taxi drivers. There are ATMs in San Pedro in case you need to access them. Everyone we paid accepted US dollars so need to exchange money.
- Safety: We felt soooo safe the whole time! Nothing to worry about here!
- Sea Grass or Sargassum: I had heard rumors about this! Unfortunately due to climate change, more sea grass has been washing up to shores and decaying creating a rotten odor and making beaches unpleasant. Fortunately we didn’t have any issues and from the reviews I read, every year is different and the worst months are April-November if that year is having issues.
HAVE THE BEST TRIP!!! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions. Can’t wait to hear how y’all love it!