Traveling to Belize- Your travel logistics guide to Ambergris Caye All you need to do to gain access to our helpful guide is to click on over. You’ll find videos, infographics, maps and more.
Where in the world is Belize?
Did you know that the entire country of Belize is the size of the state of New Jersey? This little gem sits below Cancun, Mexico snuggled in between Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea.
Contrary to popular belief, the nation itself is not an island, though the coast is peppered with some 200 islands, or “Cayes” (pronounced, “keys”). The Cayes enjoy close proximity to this hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, stretching from the north to the south of Belize.
The largest of these islands, Ambergris Caye, is a thriving hotspot for tourists, ex-pats, and locals that can trace their lineage back on the island to the days of a small sleepy fishing village. Ambergris’s only town, San Pedro, was made famous by Madonna’s 80’s hit, “La Isla Bonita.”
Belize’s biggest draw is the reef, and all that it offers. Belize is perfect for:
- Scuba divers ready to cross the Great Blue Hole off of their bucket list
- Snorkelers looking for pristine coral formations and a myriad of fish
- Sports fisherman in search of that next trophy
- Thrill-seekers ready for an adventure with parasailing, sky diving, kite surfing and more
- Families ready to escape the hustle of the city and enjoy life on island time
The geology that is to credit for the stunning coral and reef formations off the coast of Belize, and just offshore from Ambergris Caye, also influence our shoreline and beach. The reef acts as a buffer and prevents large deposits of sand on the coast. While our beaches are not like other destinations, they do exist, and vacationers and locals alike enjoy swimming in the sea.
Did you know?
- The island has only 1 road going north
- There is a toll bridge at the north end of San Pedro Town
- Ambergris Caye is just 1 mile wide
- The only airstrip is located in the heart of town
- Golf carts and water taxi are the preferred transport options
International Flights & Airlines
With new international hubs being added to meet the travel demand, it’s easier than ever to fly to Belize. From many points with the USA, flights to Belize are as short as 2 ½ hours. All flights arrive to the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA), located in Belize City.
The airlines that serve Belize are:
- American Airlines
- Southwest Air
- Tropic Air
- S. Airways
Though it is a small country, there are two local air providers offering service to a network of airstrips throughout Belize. The quickest way to get to Ambergris Caye is to book a hopper flight to the San Pedro airstrip. Maya Island Air and Tropic Air both offer this service, and have terminals at the PGIA, for your convenience.
Did you know?
- The airport code for Belize is BZE
- There is a current restriction on bringing in drones to Belize. A special permit must be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department, or they are otherwise not allowed to be brought into the country
- It’s easy to become a VIP traveler when you book your hopper flight to Ambergris through your Sandy Point Resorts. Contact our reservations agents to find out how!
Visas & Immigration
Travel logistics to Belize are easy, and making your way through customs and immigration on arrival can be a breeze. Just ensure that you have the following documents on hand:
- Valid Passport
- Completed Embarkation Form
- All non-residents of Belize must have a return ticket to their country of origin
- A valid visa for all countries from which a visa is required
- Visitors need to satisfy the Immigration Officer of a specific address or reservation at a hotel
Traveling with kids? They love Belize! Children need a valid passport and the documents above; and if traveling with only one parent or guardian, a notarized letter of consent must be provided by the other parent.
Getting to and around Ambergris Caye
Travel from PGIA to Ambergris Caye
Once you’ve begun your vacation planning and booked an international flight and accommodations, your next step is to decide on travel to the island. Getting from the PGIA in Belize City to Ambergris Caye needn’t be complicated. There are two basic choices. The first is a hopper flight, leaving from the international airport and arriving at the San Pedro Airstrip. The second is a water taxi, from the heart of Belize City to a dock in central San Pedro Town.
There are currently two airline providers offering service to the island, Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. This is a quick flight, less than 20 minutes, with breathtaking views. The plane will land in the heart of San Pedro Town, where a hotel representative can meet you and transport you to your final destination on the island. If you prefer to travel by sea, there are two ferry companies that offer daily service to Ambergris Caye; the San Pedro Belize Express and Ocean Ferry Belize. To get to the water taxi terminal, you will need to hire a taxi at the PGIA to the water taxi dock. Taxies will be waiting right outside of the airport, the ride is about 25 minutes. Both water taxis are within a couple of blocks of each other and offer regular daily runs to and from Ambergris Caye. A valid I.D., such as a passport, is required when purchasing water taxi tickets and when boarding the vessel. The Ocean Ferry docks in San Pedro at the Caribena Pier by Cholos Bar. The San Pedro Belize Express docks at the municipal pier in San Pedro Town.
Trying to decide your best option for getting from the International Airport to Ambergris Caye? These questions might help:
- What is your budget? The water taxi is a more affordable option.
- Do you have a long, hectic travel day before you arrive at the PGIA? The hopper flight gets you to the island in just 20 minutes, versus 90 minutes on the boat.
- Love flying? You’ll get unbeatable views of the mainland and the barrier reef on a hopper flight.
- Prefer getting a chance to mingle with locals? The water taxi is a great choice and it’s easy to strike up a conversation, maybe even learn some insider tips.
Island Transportation Methods
Traveling around Ambergris Caye is an adventure in itself, and most likely different than your transport options at home. As the island is long and skinny, there are few roads, with just one road going north of the toll bridge at the edge of San Pedro. At the bridge north of town, there is a toll that must be paid both ways for all motor vehicles, golf carts included. The road north is paved, but not lit, to mile 3 North, at Coco Beach Resort and Belizean Shores Resort. Past that point, it is a rustic gravel road.
The top island transport methods are:
- Golf Cart- Many visitors and residents of the island choose golf carts to zip around. There are many vendors that offer rental services hourly, daily or weekly. All Sandy Point Resorts offer onsite rentals as well for the convenience of our guests. Remember to always have your driver’s license on you while driving a golf cart and that open containers are prohibited on golf carts, just as in a regular vehicle.
- Water Taxi- The Coastal Express is a public water taxi that makes daily runs up and down the coast of Ambergris Caye. Think of it as a city bus, but with an island flare. The boat has a set schedule and docks briefly at the resort dock to pick up passengers, it is unable to wait or deviate from its route. Their dock is located next to the Amigo’s Del Mar dock in the heart of San Pedro Town. Simply visit their office located on the dock to purchase your ticket and catch the boat from town to go north or south. Or, if you are at one of their scheduled stops, which includes the Sandy Point Resorts collection, simply check the schedule provided in your Guest Directory and let the front desk know which boat you would like to catch.
- Bicycle- Bikes are a great way to see the island and move your body at the same time. Beach cruisers are widely available as a complimentary amenity or for a small daily fee at most resorts. The island is flat and biking along the road is easy going.
- Walking- Embrace true island style and take a stroll to dinner, or just to explore the coastline. Even resorts north of town are sure to have several places worth checking out within easy walking distance. If you’re unsure, just check with your guest services concierge, they are sure to have ideas.
Sandy Point Resorts Hotel Transfers
Sandy Point Resorts offers a hotel transfer on arrival and departure from San Pedro Town to your resort. There is a surcharge per person for round-trip transportation from San Pedro Town to our northern resorts- Costa Blu Adults Only Beach Resort, X'tan Ha Resort, Belizean Cove Estates, Coco Beach Resort, and Belizean Shores Resort. We also can assist with booking your hopper flight, to make the travel process as smooth as possible. The round-trip cost is added to your account for payment at the time of booking. Please note that we do not assess a booking fee for arranging your flights; this is simply a service we provide for our guests.
If you have a confirmed resort reservation, you may click the link of your resort below to complete our arrival survey. You will need:
- Your reservation number
- The email address that your booking was made under
If you haven’t already arranged transportation from the International Airport to the island, we are happy to organize a local hopper flight via Maya Island Air. Upon completion of the survey below, an agent will reach out to you with the credit card authorization form to finalize your booking, which you can complete and send back via email or fax. By completing the quick survey, you are also automatically added to our transport schedule from San Pedro Town to your resort.
- Confirm my arrival at Belizean Cove Estates
- Confirm my arrival at Belizean Shores Resort
- Confirm my arrival at Coco Beach Resort
- Confirm my arrival at Costa Blu Adults Only Beach Resort
- Confirm my arrival at X’tan Ha Resort
*Please note that to be eligible for our Resort Shuttle Boat you must submit your arrival details 72 hours prior to your arrival. If you’ve completed the survey above, you’re all set.
Once you arrive at the island, a Sandy Point Resorts representative will meet you and send you on the next available transfer to your hotel.
All of this, and more, in our Free Guide
For more details, including videos, infographics, regional maps, a road map of Ambergris Caye and even a travel checklist, make sure to click over to our complete guide. This free, comprehensive guide includes everything you may be wondering about traveling to Belize and even some things you may not have considered. We also share the full international flight schedule and all of the travel hubs to make planning your Belize vacation that much easier. See you over there!