Transportation Options for Ambergris Caye

Transportation options on Ambergris Caye are more limited than the mainland

Photo credit: © Claris Chirinos

Built up by the Mayans to facilitate coastal trade, Ambergris Caye is a 25 mile long island that stretches out alongside the barrier reef. Tourism is growing here annually, and the island has been developing accordingly, yet it remains a quiet and tranquil place to vacation. Add the fact that regular sized vehicles are rare here and you'll see why people plan to visit Ambergris Caye as a getaway.

Getting There

BecauseAmbergris Caye is an island, sailing there seems like an obvious choice, but this isn't an option for everyone. Most people will fly into Belize and then take a more localized flight to the airport in San Pedro, or use a ferry service to reach the island instead.

Getting Around

Getting around Ambergris Caye is a bit different than the main land. While a small number of regular sized cars do populate the island, most people choose bicycles, scooters, and yes, golf carts to get around.

Air Travel

The airport on Ambergris Caye is called the San Pedro Airport (SPR), and welcomes flights hourly from Belize City aboard two domestic airlines Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. The flight takes under a half an hour, even when making the occasional stop to drop off or pick up passengers on other cays, and tickets cost between $30 and $50(USD) per person one way. Get the full flight schedule, as well as learn what it takes to fly internationally to Belize before heading to Ambergris Caye, click here.


There are four ports of entry in Belize, and one of them just happens to be in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. If you've got the means to charter and sail a private yacht to the island, you'll have to sail directly to the port within 24 hours of your arrival in local waters. There, a customs official will request four copies each of your ship's stores, your ship's papers, and your crew list. Once you have been approved, you'll be able to sail to your anchorage site, and continue to sail in Belizean waters for up to 90 days. Officials patrol the waters to ensure there are no illegal yachts sailing around, so don't try and stay longer or you will likely be caught.


...a quick ferry over to the island...


Cruising is one of the most popular ways to see the Caribbean. During the high season of tourism, which runs between November and May, you can expect to see five to six ships a week sail to Belize. Currently, the only cruise port is located in Belize City, but this is fine news for those who want to spend their day on land on Ambergris Caye since a quick ferry over to the island will make that possible.


Although you obviously can't drive your vehicle all the way to Abergris Caye, that doesn't mean a road trip to Belize is off the table. It takes a full day to get to Belize from the Unites States/Mexico border without stops, and once you reach the Mexico/Belize border it'll be about 103 miles along the Northern Highway before you reach Belize City. You can also take the Western Highway from Guatemala for 82 miles. Then, you can head to the Marine Terminal and park before taking a ferry over to Ambergris Caye. Unfortunately there are no barges that transport vehicles to the island.

What you need to know about driving into Belize is that you'll have to purchase Belize Liability Insurance and a one-month importation permit in order to cross the border in your own vehicle. You will also have to register the vehicle in your passport and show proof of ownership or a lease to prove you've rented it.

Rental Cars

There are very few vehicles driving around on Ambergris Caye, and there are certainly no rental cars available. Tourists who need a set of wheels available to them will have the choice of renting bicycles, scooters, or golf carts. When you're in possession of a golf cart, you're expected to submit to the same rules of the road as a full vehicle would. This means you'll need to have a valid driver's license, drive on the right side of the road, and follow posted speed limits. Click here for more information on your rental options on Ambergris Caye


In most cases, hotels will provide transportation to guests from the air strip in San Pedro or the boat docks. If your accommodations are lacking in this department you can hire a taxi to do the job. Taxis on Ambergris Caye stand out only because there are very few other cars on the island. Otherwise, they would simply blend in because there are rarely any distinguishing marks on the vehicle. If you're still unsure, check the license plate, which should be green to show it is a legal and licensed taxi cab. Fares are not preset and cabs are not metered, so you'll need to discuss the cost of your trip with your driver before you hit the road.


Running between the Marine Terminal and the ferry terminal on Ambergris Caye are a collection of double-engine speedboards that operate as the ferry service between Belize City and this island. They can carry between 20 and 30 passengers at once depending on the boat, and generally costs less than $10(USD) per person.

A more detailed account of this service can be garnered by clicking here.


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