San Pedro is the largest settlement on the 25 mile long island of Ambergris Caye and the population continues to grow each year. With its picturesque coastline, crowded by colorful buildings and bright blue waters that lap against the shore, just the view alone is worth the visit. In reality, tourists visit for the tranquil environment and the abundance of watersports available. Transportation here is a little different than what you'll find on mainland Belize.
Because San Pedro is located on an island, it takes a little bit of extra planning to figure out how you'll get here. The most direct route is to sail into a local marina, but not everyone can or wants to travel that way. Those who plan to fly, cruise, or even drive will first have to make a stop in Belize City before making the final journey to San Pedro.
Golf carts are the main way to get around San Pedro, though some tourists will choose to bike or rent a scooter instead. A full sized vehicle will be hard to find here, but you will be able to call a taxi when you are in need. For transportation between San Pedro and the other Belize islands you can travel aboard a ferry or water taxi.
Flying to San Pedro means first flying to Belize City. If you're touring other areas of Belize, you can fly to the , but if you're flying internationally you'll head to the , which is 30 minutes outside of the Belize City city center. Domestic airlines and will take it from there, making the 15 minute flight to Ambergris Caye for between $30 and $60(USD) per person each way. Click here for a more in depth explanation of the process, including which airlines you can book to fly internationally.
Those planing to sail to San Pedro should be warned that the coral reef surrounding the island can be difficult to navigate, but those who feel up for the challenge can certainly make it happen. San Pedro is an official port of entry, and while this certainly makes thing easier, you'll want to be sure to arrive prepared. Read our guide to San Pedro Sailing to learn all about clearing in.
...a popular port of call...
Over two million people each year take to the Caribbean Sea aboard a cruise ship and make stops all over the region. Belize is a popular port of call, with five to six ships each week stopping in during the height of tourist season. Cruisers who have dreams of seeing San Pedro during their day in port will arrive in Belize City, which is currently the only cruise port in the country, then take a ferry over to Ambergris Caye. It doesn't take long and many cruise ships even offer excursions as part of your package.
If you are planning on driving to Belize, make sure you arrive at the border prepared. You'll need to purchase Belize Liability Insurance and a one-month importation permit, plus show proof of ownership, rental, or lease, and register your vehicle to your passport.
The trip from the Mexico/United States border takes approximately 24 hours non-stop. Once you reach the Belize border you can take the Northern Highway for 103 miles and you'll find yourself in Belize City. You can also take the Western Highway from Guatemala for 82 miles. When you arrive, head to the Marine Terminal, park your car, and get on board a ferry to San Pedro. Unfortunately, there are no car barges that allow you to take your vehicle with you.
Do not expect to rent SUV's or even a compact car while in San Pedro. The cay is too small and rental agencies shy away from the conventional vehicles. Instead, you can expect an offering of scooters and golf carts to help you travel the area. Be sure to click here to learn more about the local companies and some of the price tiers you can expect in San Pedro.
One way to travel around the cay is via taxi. Because the area of San Pedro is small, you can expect fares around town to be quite low. However, some of the more remote resorts can be costly (so make sure that the resort does not offer complimentary transport first!). To learn about some of the local companies, click here.
As you ay expect, since it is surrounded by water, ferries are a popular way for travelers to reach San Pedro. Belize's ferry system makes this easy, and regular trips from the mainland means you never have to worry about missing the boat. However, you will still want to know the contact information of the ferry you decide to use, as well as some understanding of the schedule. You can find all of that here, at out San Pedro Ferry Guide.
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