San Pedro’s inhabitants are majority Mestizo, and the island has the largest number of US expats in Belize. Though it receives the largest amount of tourism year round than any other part of Belize, making it a more expensive area, San Pedro retains a local Belizean feel that is not likely to dissipate anytime soon with its local arts, authentic cuisine, and yearly traditional festivals. There are many locally owned businesses and generations of San Pedranos who have lived here for years. The Barrier Reef is visible from shore and the infamous Great Blue Hole is closest to San Pedro, making it the diving capital of Belize, as well as the jumping-off point for dive and snorkeling trips to other sites like Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Golf carts and bikes are the main modes of transportation here, and most people either go barefoot or wear sandals.
- Make sure to pack insect repellent and sunscreen; biodegradable sunscreen is recommended since it won’t harm the ecosystems and cause coral bleaching.
- US dollars are accepted all over the island.
How to Get There
San Pedro is easily reached from Belize City via a short 20-minute flight or by water taxi from Belize City, Corozal, Caye Caulker, or Chetumal Mexico; it’s just over an hour by boat from Belize City. Once there, rent a golf cart or bicycle to get around Ambergris Caye or grab a taxi.
When to Get There
If you’re planning to dive, book your visit during the dry season (from April to June), if possible, although diving in Belize is considered good anytime. As for San Pedro, stay during one of the town’s annual celebrations, such as San Pedro Day, which takes place June 27; San Pedro LobsterFest in June; and Carnival, starting on Ash Wednesday, for a festive look at the local culture.
Head to the Great Blue Hole Many travelers stay in San Pedro because of its accessibility to one of the world’s top dive sites—the Great Blue Hole. Located along the Lighthouse Reef, the Hole is considered a must-do for experienced divers. Dive operators in San Pedro run frequent day trips to the site, departing in the morning.
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