12 Best Things to Do in Ambergris Caye: Attractions on Belize’s Largest Island

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Ambergris Caye
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Wondering what to do in Ambergris Caye? I’ve got you covered. From snorkeling in the breathtaking Hol Chan Marine Reserve to lounging on the pristine Secret Beach, get ready to experience the best activities and hidden gems in Ambergris Caye!

Welcome to Ambergris Caye, Belize’s island gem where adventure and relaxation blend perfectly amidst the beauty of Central America. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves, with the Caribbean sun ready to guide you through a day packed with unforgettable activities.

From the thrill of snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve to the chill vibes of Secret Beach, this island has it all. It’s a place where you can explore ancient Mayan ruins in the morning and enjoy a sunset cruise in the evening.

In this guide, I’ll take you through 12 of the coolest things to do in Ambergris Caye. From diving into the deep blue to cruising around in a golf cart under the sun, there’s a bit of magic for every type of explorer. Forget those overwhelming itineraries. I’m here to walk you through the top picks and secret gems, ensuring your trip is packed with awe, not exhaustion.

Eager to uncover what makes Ambergris Caye one of the top places to live and visit in Belize? Let’s jump in. The island’s laid-back charm and natural beauty are something you need to see for yourself. Stick with me, and I’ll show you why this place should be at the top of your travel list.

The top places to visit in Ambergris Caye right now

Best Places to Visit in Ambergris Caye

Ready to explore the treasures of Ambergris Caye? From the vibrant underwater life at Hol Chan Marine Reserve to the serene beauty of Secret Beach, this guide is your ticket to the ultimate island experience. We’ll dive into both the well-loved attractions and hidden gems, ensuring you discover all the fun and free things to do in Ambergris Caye.

If you’re drawn to spectacular marine life, laid-back beach vibes, and rich cultural encounters, Ambergris Caye’s array of activities will enchant you. Brace yourself for an extraordinary journey through Ambergris Caye’s top experiences, kicking off with the unforgettable adventure of snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve!

1. Snorkel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Imagine slipping into the warm Caribbean waters and finding yourself in an underwater carnival. That’s Hol Chan Marine Reserve for you. Just a short boat ride from Ambergris Caye, this spot is a snorkeler’s dream come true.

The reserve is split into zones, but the real action is in the shallow reef. Here, you’ll swim alongside schools of colorful fish, graceful stingrays, and even the occasional curious turtle. The water clarity is unreal, making every detail pop like you’re living inside a high-definition documentary.

I recommend going early or late in the day to dodge the bigger crowds. It makes the experience feel even more personal, like the marine life is putting on a show just for you. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a nurse shark, which, despite their name, are totally harmless to humans.

Need to get your own gear? No worries. There are plenty of rental spots that offer everything you need for a day under the sea. Plus, the guides know all the best spots and can tell you stories about the reef that you won’t find in any guidebook.

Without a doubt, snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of the most fun things to do in Ambergris Caye. Trust me, it’s an experience that will stick with you long after you’ve dried off.

Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of the best things to do in Ambergris Caye.
Dive into the vibrant underwater world at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a snorkeler’s paradise near Ambergris Caye.

2. Go Scuba Diving at the Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole is a marvel that puts Ambergris Caye on the map for adventurers from around the globe. Diving here is like exploring another planet, one submerged in deep, mesmerizing blue. It’s a giant submarine sinkhole, one of the world’s most awe-inspiring dive sites. It’s right at your doorstep when you’re in Ambergris Caye.

Descending into the Blue Hole, you’re greeted by crystal-clear waters and a sense of tranquility that’s hard to find anywhere else. The walls teem with marine life, from tiny, vibrant fish to majestic stalactites formed over thousands of years. It’s a dive that challenges and rewards, offering sights that few places on Earth can.

For the best experience, I recommend going with a seasoned dive operator who knows the site inside and out. They can guide you to the most spectacular spots and ensure your safety in this unique environment.

Remember, the Great Blue Hole is for experienced divers due to its depth and the technicalities of diving in a sinkhole. If you’re up for the challenge, it’s an unforgettable adventure. It’s something I always recommend to anyone who asks me what to do in Ambergris Caye.

Explore the wonders of the Great Blue Hole, a mesmerizing submarine sinkhole.
Explore the wonders of the Great Blue Hole, a mesmerizing submarine sinkhole.

3. Take a Fishing Trip Offshore

Heading out to sea for a fishing trip is one of the most amazing things to do in Ambergris Caye which offers both excitement and relaxation. The Caribbean waters around the island are teeming with life. As such, it’s a prime spot for anglers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned fisher or trying it for the first time, there’s something incredibly rewarding about casting your line here.

The variety of fish is staggering. From the elusive bonefish in the shallows to the mighty marlin in the deep, every trip is an adventure. Local guides know these waters like the back of their hand and can take you to the best spots. They’ll also share tips on local fishing techniques, which can turn a good day on the water into a great one.

What’s more, you don’t need to worry about equipment. Most charter services offer all the gear you need, along with the chance to catch and cook your day’s haul. Imagine grilling your catch as the sun sets over the Caribbean—a perfect end to a day at sea.

Booking a trip is easy, with options ranging from half-day excursions to full-day adventures. I highly recommend Yellow Dog Flyfishing. It’s a chance to see Ambergris Caye from a different perspective, one that many travelers miss.

So, why not add a fishing trip to your list of places to go in Ambergris Caye? It’s a unique way to connect with the island’s natural beauty and bring home stories you’ll tell for years.

Experience the thrill and relaxation of a fishing trip in the abundant Caribbean waters.
Experience the thrill and relaxation of a fishing trip in the abundant Caribbean waters. | Image Source: https://www.yellowdogflyfishing.com/

4. Explore the Island by Golf Cart

One of the best Ambergris Caye attractions isn’t found in the water but on land. Exploring Ambergris Caye by golf cart offers a unique and fun way to see the island at your own pace. It’s the preferred mode of transportation here, blending perfectly with the island’s laid-back vibe.

Cruising down the sandy streets, you’ll discover hidden gems that aren’t on the typical tourist trail. From secluded beaches where you can enjoy a quiet moment to local eateries serving up delicious Belizean fare, the freedom of a golf cart lets you find these spots easily. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to mingle with locals, who often share their favorite places and stories with travelers.

Renting a golf cart is simple, with several rental shops offering daily and weekly rates. They’ll provide you with a map and some basic guidelines on where to go and what to see. My tip? Head north to Secret Beach for a day of sunbathing and relaxation or explore the southern part of the island for stunning views and excellent photo ops.

Remember, driving a golf cart is all about taking it slow and enjoying the journey. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the best way to see a place is to slow down and let it reveal itself to you. Believe me, adding a golf cart adventure to your list of things to do in Ambergris Caye is a decision you won’t regret.

Explore Ambergris Caye on a golf cart for a unique and laid-back island experience.
Explore Ambergris Caye on a golf cart for a unique and laid-back island experience.

5. Try Kite Surfing on the Coast

Looking for an adrenaline kick? Kite surfing in Ambergris Caye turns the thrill dial up to eleven. The island’s breezy conditions and warm, shallow waters create the perfect setting for both beginners and experienced kite surfers alike.

Local kite surfing schools offer lessons for all skill levels. This ensures that you get up and riding safely. The instructors are passionate about the sport and the island, providing tips not just on technique but also on the best spots and times for kite surfing. Imagine gliding across the water with the wind in your sail, the sun on your back, and a view that beats any postcard.

For those who’ve already mastered the basics, Ambergris Caye’s coastline offers a variety of conditions to test your skills. From calm, flat waters that are ideal for honing your technique to more challenging spots that will get your heart racing, there’s something for every kite surfer here.

Kite surfing here is epic. You’ll zip across the water, powered by the wind, in a dance with nature that’s both exhilarating and grounding. Think of it as your personal action movie, with the Caribbean’s crystal-clear waters as the set. It’s hands-down one of the most exciting things to do in Ambergris Caye.

Get an adrenaline kick with kite surfing.
Get an adrenaline kick with kite surfing in Ambergris Caye.

6. Sail from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker

Ever dreamt of sailing the Caribbean? Here’s your chance to make it real. Taking a sailboat from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker is one of those “must-do” experiences that truly captures the essence of island life. It’s a journey that’s as much about the voyage as it is about the destination.

The trip between these two islands is nothing short of magical. You’ll glide over turquoise waters, with the breeze guiding your way. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins and majestic sea turtles that often accompany sailors on their journey. It’s a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, offering stunning views and a peaceful escape from the everyday.

Once you reach Caye Caulker, the laid-back vibe of the island welcomes you. It’s smaller and even more relaxed than Ambergris Caye, if you can believe it. Stroll along the sandy paths, grab a bite of the freshest seafood, and soak in the sun on pristine beaches. You’ll quickly realize why many coin Caye Caulker as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Belize.

You can easily arrange this trip through local tour operators in Ambergris Caye. Many offer packages that include stops for snorkeling and swimming along the way.

My personal tip? Check out the options at the San Pedro docks where you’ll find a variety of tours tailored to different budgets and preferences. Booking in advance is smart, especially during peak season, to secure your spot on this unforgettable journey.

Realize your dream of sailing the Caribbean by taking a sailboat from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker.
Realize your dream of sailing the Caribbean by taking a sailboat from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker.

7. Stand-Up Paddleboard Around the Island

Paddleboarding around Ambergris Caye is a serene way to connect with the island’s crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life. It’s an activity that suits everyone, whether you’re a seasoned paddler or trying it for the first time. Gliding over the calm Caribbean Sea at your own pace offers a unique perspective of the underwater world below and the lush coastline.

For those eager to try, many beachfront resorts and rental shops along the shore offer stand-up paddleboards by the hour or day. They’ll give you a quick tutorial to get you started, ensuring you’re comfortable and ready to explore. Early mornings are the best time to head out when the water is at its calmest, and you can often have the sea all to yourself.

If you’re confident, I recommend paddling out to the reef where the water turns from turquoise to deep blue. It’s an incredible sight and a great spot for a quick snorkel break—just remember to secure your paddleboard.

Paddleboarding is one of the most unique things to do in Ambergris Caye. It’s straightforward, enjoyable, and a tranquil method to appreciate the island’s beauty up close.

Explore Ambergris Caye on a paddleboard—serene, inclusive, and offering a unique view of the vibrant marine life and coastline.
Explore Ambergris Caye on a paddleboard—serene, inclusive, and offering a unique view of the vibrant marine life and coastline.

8. Kayak Through Mangroves and Along the Shore

Kayaking in Ambergris Caye lets you weave through the island’s lush mangroves and paddle along its picturesque shoreline. It’s a peaceful yet adventurous way to explore. This activity gets you up close with nature, where you can spot a variety of birds, fish, and maybe even a manatee if you’re lucky.

Many resorts and rental shops around the island provide kayaks, some even for free to their guests. They’ll suggest routes that take you through the most scenic spots. For an unforgettable experience, aim for an early morning start. The water is calmer, and the wildlife is more active, making it the perfect time for exploration.

As someone who’s been to Ambergris Caye, I recommend bringing along a waterproof bag for your belongings and a camera. The mangrove tunnels are not only a haven for wildlife but also incredibly photogenic. Plus, kayaking at your own pace allows for spontaneous detours to secluded beaches.

Kayaking offers a unique chance to explore Ambergris Caye’s hidden gems, like its tranquil mangroves and secluded shores. For a smooth experience, don’t forget to ask for a map highlighting the can’t-miss spots. This activity shines as one of the fun things to do in Ambergris Caye, perfect for adventurers and peace-seekers alike.

Explore Ambergris Caye on a kayak—peaceful, adventurous, and a chance to spot diverse wildlife.
Explore Ambergris Caye on a kayak—peaceful, adventurous, and a chance to spot diverse wildlife.

9. Bird Watching in Bacalar Chico National Park

Bird watching in Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve is an enchanting experience that connects you with the untouched beauty of Ambergris Caye. This protected area, a haven for biodiversity, offers a rare glimpse into the habitats of exotic birds, from the majestic frigatebird to the colorful toucan.

To get the most out of this experience, I recommend hiring a local guide. They’re not only knowledgeable about the area’s ecology but can also lead you to the best spots for sightings, often hidden away from the usual paths. Early mornings are golden for bird watchers, as this is when the forest comes alive with activity and song.

For those planning to venture into this birding paradise, packing a pair of binoculars and a bird guidebook is essential. These tools will enhance your ability to spot and identify the diverse species that call the reserve home. Additionally, staying quiet and patient pays off, as it allows you to witness the natural behaviors of these fascinating creatures.

Wondering where to go in Ambergris Caye for a mix of thrill and tranquility? This birding paradise tops the chart, offering peeks at nature’s finest without the crowds.

Bird watching in Bacalar Chico National Park unveils exotic avian beauty, from majestic frigatebirds to colorful toucans.
Bird watching in Bacalar Chico National Park unveils exotic avian beauty, from majestic frigatebirds to colorful toucans.

10. Spend a Day at Secret Beach

Ever dreamed of lounging on a secret beach, where the sands are pristine and the crowds are nowhere to be seen? Ambergris Caye has just the spot: Secret Beach. Despite its name, it’s become one of the not-so-hidden gems on the island, but for good reason. The crystal-clear waters and vibrant beach bars create a paradise vibe that’s hard to beat.

Finding Secret Beach is part of the adventure. Just a short golf cart ride away from the bustling town, it offers a serene escape with all the amenities you could want. My tip? Grab a coconut drink from one of the beachside bars, find a comfy spot, and soak in the Caribbean sun. For those looking to amp up their beach day, water sports rentals are available right on the sand.

If you ask me, Secret Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Ambergris Caye. Whether you’re swimming in the shallow waters or enjoying the local cuisine, it’s a day well spent in paradise.

Uncover paradise at Secret Beach, where pristine sands and vibrant beach bars set an unbeatable vibe.
Uncover paradise at Ambergris Caye’s Secret Beach, where pristine sands and vibrant beach bars set an unbeatable vibe.

11. Explore Mayan Ruins at Marco Gonzalez

Curious about the ancient stories etched into Ambergris Caye? Marco Gonzalez Maya Site offers a rare glimpse into the past, nestled right in this modern-day paradise. This archaeological wonder isn’t just a collection of ruins. It’s a doorway to the rich Mayan history that shaped Belize.

Venturing to Marco Gonzalez means stepping off the beaten path—literally. The site is surrounded by mangroves, requiring a bit of an adventurous spirit to explore. But that’s part of the charm. Once there, you can wander among the remnants of Mayan plazas and pyramids, some still holding secrets yet to be uncovered.

Bringing along a guide can transform your visit from a simple walk through old stones to an enlightening journey through time. They’ll share insights into the Mayan civilization, the significance of the site, and maybe even a local legend or two.

For history lovers and curious travelers, Marco Gonzalez is one of the most fun places to visit in Ambergris Caye. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring insect repellent—the path can be rugged, and the mangroves are beautiful but buzzing.

Explore the ancient stories etched into Ambergris Caye at Marco Gonzalez Maya Site.
Explore the ancient stories etched into Ambergris Caye at Marco Gonzalez Maya Site.

12. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise on the Caribbean

Fun things to do in Ambergris Caye don’t stop when the sun sets. They just get a different vibe! A sunset cruise on the Caribbean is my top pick to wrap up your island adventure. It’s a unique experience that combines stunning views with a taste of local culture.

Boarding a boat as the evening sky paints itself in oranges and purples is unforgettable. You’ll sail along the coast, music blending with the sound of waves, under a sky turning from dusk to starlit. My tip? Look for a cruise that offers snacks or a drink on board. There’s something special about toasting to the beauty of Ambergris Caye with the sea breeze around you.

For those wondering what to do in Ambergris Caye at night, this cruise is it. It’s the best way to soak in the island’s panoramic views and toast to the adventures you’ve had and the memories you’ve created.

As the sun sets, enjoy a unique vibe in Ambergris Caye with a Caribbean sunset cruise, blending stunning views and local culture.
As the sun sets, enjoy a unique vibe in Ambergris Caye with a Caribbean sunset cruise, blending stunning views and local culture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Ambergris Caye, Belize:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Ambergris Caye? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Ambergris Caye.

Is Ambergris Caye worth visiting?

Yes, Ambergris Caye is worth visiting. In fact, it’s a must-visit in Belize. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a history enthusiast, or someone looking to unwind, this island has something special for you. Take it from me, your trip here will be packed with unforgettable experiences.

Is it better to stay on Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker?

Tough choice! Both islands have their unique vibes. Ambergris Caye is larger and offers a wider variety of restaurants, nightlife, and activities. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a bit more buzz alongside your relaxation. Caye Caulker, on the other hand, lives by the motto “Go Slow.” It’s smaller, more laid-back, and everything is within walking distance. My advice? If you can, why not experience both? Start with the lively atmosphere of Ambergris Caye then wind down on the tranquil Caye Caulker.

Rainbow Grill & Bar, Caye Caulker, Belize
Rainbow Grill & Bar, Caye Caulker, Belize

What is the best month to visit Ambergris Caye?

I’d say that the best time to visit Ambergris Caye is between late November and mid-April. This period dodges the rainy season, giving you sunny days perfect for outdoor adventures and clear skies for those stunning sunsets. Plus, the island vibe is just right—not too crowded, but lively enough to feel the energy of Ambergris Caye.

Is Ambergris Caye safe?

Yes, it’s safe, especially by being smart about your travel choices, like anywhere else. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and there’s a strong sense of community. Stick to well-traveled areas, especially at night, and keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t hesitate to ask your hotel or local friends for safety tips—they know the ins and outs of the island!

What is Ambergris Caye, Belize, known for?

Ambergris Caye is famous for its stunning Barrier Reef, just a short boat ride away, offering world-class snorkeling and diving. The island’s laid-back yet vibrant culture, delicious seafood, and breathtaking beaches are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a place where you can dive deep into the blue at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve by day and enjoy the lively town of San Pedro by night. It’s known for making every visitor feel right at home, amidst the beauty of nature and the warmth of its people.

The top things to do in Ambergris Caye for all types of travelers
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