Plan a Trip to San Pedro, Belize: A Sparkling Town on the Island of Ambergris Caye

Rich in history and natural beauty, this spot should be on the top of your vacation list.
San Pedro, Belize
San Pedro, Belize / Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

San Pedro is a small town located on Ambergris Caye, an island off of the northeastern coast of Belize. The place itself is rich in Mayan history, having been home to Mayan civilizations prior to the arrival of European settlers. Archaeological sites on the island provide evidence of the location’s ancient roots.

With the arrival of Mestizo refugees from the Yucatán Peninsula in the 19th century came the fishing and boat-building industries that are integral to San Pedro’s economy to this day.

Its beautiful beaches and proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef attracted tourists beginning in the 20th century. Today, San Pedro remains a must-visit destination for travelers seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Streets of San Pedro
Streets of San Pedro / Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Best places to stay

The beautiful coastal town has several properties that are guaranteed to provide a relaxing tropical getaway. Among them is the Grand Caribe, a beachfront property offering condominium-style accommodations. Other options in San Pedro include the Phoenix, Alaia, Victoria House and Ramon’s Village Resort.

2024 rookies Xandra Pohl and Berkleigh Wright
2024 rookies Xandra Pohl and Berkleigh Wright / SI Staff

Where to eat and drink

The island’s restaurants offer a variety of fresh seafood and the best traditional dishes that Belize has to offer.

For a delicious and authentic Belizean meal, consider heading to Elvi’s Kitchen, which offers incredible seafood and a warm atmosphere.

Or, head to El Fogon, which serves authentic Belizean dishes cooked over firewood—an ode to the methods of their ancestors.

Other dining options in San Pedro include Angler’s Seafood Restaurant, Maxie’s Restaurant & Lounge—which serves an unmissable coconut mojito—and Lily’s Treasure Chest.

SI Staff
San Pedro beachfront / SI Staff

Local activities and experiences

Whether you’re seeking an adventure or a more relaxing vacation, San Pedro should be at the top of your list. Hotels like the Grand Caribe offer both concierge services to plan local activities and spa services.

But when it comes to local outdoor adventure, you can’t leave without checking off some (or all) of the following activities:

  • Great Blue Hole flyover
  • Great Blue Hole dive
  • Snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley
  • Local food tour
  • Sunset sailing on a catamaran 
  • Parasailing
snorkeling off the coast of San Pedro
Snorkeling off the coast of San Pedro / Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

The charming narrow streets and colorful buildings of the town are host to a variety of shops, art galleries and cafes that are worth a visit, too.

Streets of San Pedro
Streets of San Pedro / Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

And, of course, you can’t leave without taking a trip (or several) to the local beaches. The best spots near San Pedro are Secret Beach and Ramon’s Beach.

San Pedro Beach
San Pedro Beach / Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Marine and other wildlife

San Pedro’s proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef means that the water off the coast is host to an abundance of marine life. Through snorkeling and diving excursions, visitors can experience all that the reef has to offer—colorful coral reefs, tropical fish and other marine life, like nurse sharks, stingrays and sea turtles.

Snorkeling in San Pedro
Snorkeling in San Pedro / Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Beyond the ocean, the island is home to numerous species of birds, including ospreys, herons and egrets, as well as other animals such as iguanas, bats and land crabs. You can also find a few species native to Belize, including coatis and agoutis, small mammals found in the wooded areas on the island.

On set with 2024 rookie Brittany Mahomes
On set with 2024 rookie Brittany Mahomes / SI Staff

FAQ

How to get to San Pedro

For those traveling from out of the country, book a flight to Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, Belize. From there, you can either take a 15-minute flight on one of Belize’s domestic airlines or a 1.5-hour ferry ride to the town of San Pedro.

Best time of year to visit

San Pedro is a perfect destination year-round. Belize has two seasons: dry and rainy. The dry season spans December to May, and the rainy season stretches from June to November.


Published |Modified
Martha Zaytoun

MARTHA ZAYTOUN