Spotlight on San Pedro Town- a Practical Guide for Travelers

Traveling to a new destination and discovering the quirks and hidden treasures is part of the fun. But it’s also nice to have a basic lay of the land and take some of the guesswork out of things. Getting around Belize is easy in part that the official language is English, and locals and expats alike are friendly and helpful. Ambergris Caye, the largest of Belize’s many islands that skirt the coastline, is 26 miles long and about a mile wide.

The only town on the island is San Pedro, where the majority of businesses, the airport, ferries, water taxis, banks and gas stations are. As the island is long and skinny, so too is San Pedro Town. There are just a handful of streets which can become congested during peak times. Golf carts are the most popular form of transportation, for both tourists and residents, and follow the same laws as motorized vehicles. Expect the main roads to be paved or cobblestones, with back streets and part of the main road north to be unpaved. The paved road ends at Mile 3.5 North, at Belizean Shores Resort. Throughout Belize, speedbumps are used to control the speed of traffic.

While streets are named and in town there are street signs, most of the island uses mile markers as addresses. Mile markers start at Central Park and go north and south. For example, X’tan Ha Resort is at Mile 7.2 North, meaning that from Central Park, the resort is 7.2 Miles to the north. There is a toll bridge in the Boca Del Rio neighborhood for all motor vehicles going north out of town or coming into town.

North Ambergris Caye

On to the practicalities. As there is only one town and the island itself is small, plan to spend some time in San Pedro Town should you need any of these services while vacationing. There are currently two gas stations, one is south of town on Coconut Drive and the other is on the lagoon side just south of the Police Station. Many pharmacies and grocery stores can be found throughout town. There are one or two small groceries north of the toll bridge, but you will find a wider variety of items with better prices if you shop in town for sundry items. ATM’s can be found at any of the banks, marked on the map above. Do note that there are no ATM’s north of the bridge. Money is dispensed in Belizean currency; the practical exchange rate is US $1 = BZ $2.

You can embrace the true island style and walk along the beachfront where many venders, bars and restaurants can be found. The streets parallel to the sea in town tend to have the most gift shops and restaurants. On the back street is a thriving craft market where you can find handmade items such as carvings, tapestries, hammocks and jewelry.

The San Pedro airstrip is towards the southern end of town and is the only airstrip on the island. Flying from the Phillip Goldson International Airport (code BZE) to San Pedro Town via local flight continues to be the most popular method to get to Ambergris Caye. Additionally, there are ferry companies located in Belize City that make daily runs to the island. Those arrival docks are located in town on the beach.

Aside from renting a golf cart, you can also choose public water taxi transportation to get you up and down the coast of Ambergris Caye. The Coastal Xpress makes scheduled daily runs up and down the island. Regular taxis are available on the island but are generally not a cost-effective way to get around.

San Pedro Town is a fun and lively place to explore when you vacation on Ambergris Caye.  Having some basic info on where to find things can take the pressure off and let you relax into your holiday.  For more on travelling to Belize, make sure to check out our handy guide.