Ambergris Caye is also known as San Pedro Town or La Isla Bonita
Imagine a secluded beachfront property. Behind you lies a calm caye. In front, sprawling as far as the eye can see, are the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. In the summer, the sea winds cool the island. In winter, the winds blow in an enveloping warmth. The water is always inviting, and an air of true relaxation permeates every corner of the land.
Separated from the mainland, Ambergris Caye is a secluded island stretching on for 25 miles with only a mile wide width. It is a length of pristine beachfront that is the largest of Belize’s almost 200 islands. From almost total seclusion to an uninterrupted view of the Caribbean, Ambergris Caye is the top attraction for visitors seeking a true tropic jewel.
On this stretch of island, guests are placed on the edge of the world’s second largest barrier reef. Less than a half mile from the shore, everyone is welcome to take in the underwater marvel by snorkeling, scuba diving or even hiring a private charter boat. Nearby are some of the reef’s most famous attractions, including the Blue Hole, Shark Ray Alley, Lighthouse Reef and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
While many resorts are sprinkled across this remote section of land, none are as accommodating as The Villas at Banyan Bay. Varied to suit every style and every budget, guests are treated to rooms complete with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a jacuzzi, free Wi-Fi, room service, access to a three level pool, a manicured beachfront and babysitting services.
The Villas is only a 20 minute stroll from the island’s largest settlement, San Pedro Town. Though cars are prohibited to preserve the island’s natural beauty, golf carts have become the main mode of transportation. That being said, the softness of the white coral sand is too inviting of a walk to most, making casual strolls the preferred method of transportation.
San Pedro Town is a true seaside town full of all the charm of the Caribbean Sea coupled with a slow, tropical ambience. Here there are a number of on-water restaurants, including the famous Rico’s Restaurant which focuses on contemporary Belizean Fusion cuisine as interpreted by the award-winning Chef Luis Cawich.
The most notable local food in Ambergris Caye is the Creole combination of rice, beans and fish or stew chicken. Other dishes come from Indian, Cajun, Chinese, Thai and Jamaican influences. However, unsurprisingly, visitors will find no limit to the amount of seafood available. Abundant and always fresh, daily catches haul in conch, lobster, squid, and shrimps.
This broad catch only hints at the sheer diversity of the creatures inhabiting the nearby reef. Dolphins, rays, tropical fish, coral, manatees, and sharks don’t even make up 1% of the life found just below the surface. However, not all animals are underwater. In fact, the small stretch of land itself is home to a number of birds, lizards and turtles. Bird watchers also find much pleasure trying to spot the Jabiru Stork, booby bird and the elusive Sea Eagle.