Headed to Belize and want to make a list of must-do’s while you’re there? I got you.
On my adventure to Belize, I stayed on the island of Ambergris Caye! This island is aproximately 25 miles long, with an estimated population of 24,000 people (not counting tourists). I flew back and forth to Belize City, so I have the scoop on a variety of things to do! This includes San Pedro and surrounding areas as well.
#1. Truck Stop
This place is unbelizeable!
I was lucky enough to stay at my friend’s house that’s located right next store to all the fun.
Truck Stop is a shipping container food truck park with a bar in the center that has some of the best local staff and food I’ve ever experienced. It also features a swimming pool with a swim-up bar, an 18-foot movie screen, has live music, games (like Family Feud, which was highly entertaining) and all sorts of other awesomeness.
My favorite thing was ordering ice cream from Cool Cone and eating it at the bar….Because I’m 80 years old and don’t party like all you other wild cats.
In my defense, a double shot can also be a double scoop, so it’s kinda the same thing
#2 Secret Beach
Going to Belize and seeing the beaches. I know, this seems obvious. But there’s a reason why people flock to places like Belize for the beach. The lagoon side features the stunning Caribbean Ocean. The turquoise water cannot be beat!
Secret Beach located on Ambergris Caye is a must-do. You can either rent jet skis, a boat, or a golf cart to get there from San Pedro or surrounding areas. The most popular choice is the golf cart route. It takes about 45 minutes on a golf cart to get there on an extremely bumpy road, but it’s totally worth it!
The following photos are from the amazing Bamboo Fence Swing Bar.
Swings, picnic tables floating in the ocean, hammocks, AMAZING food and drinks – does it really get any better?
This is the moment where you feel like you really are living your best life.
And when I said they have great food, I mean it. These were probably the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life. And that says a lot.
I’d also like to add that all around Ambergris Caye you will find amazing beaches. You really can’t go wrong. Here’s some shots from beaches located from the Tres Cocos area to the border of San Pedro.
The awesome thing about this island is that every pier and beach is open to the public, whether it’s located near a hostel or beach-front hotel. It’s illegal to have private beaches and piers. Which means you’re free to explore to your heart’s content.
#3. Take a small plane to anywhere
Yup, you read that right. There are 2 charter airlines – Maya Air and Tropic Air that both fly to and from Belize City to Caye Caulker, Amergris Cay, and other islands in the area. All major airlines fly into Belize International Airport and from there, you take a small plane (each charter plane fits 12 people max) to whatever island you want.
Now let me be the first to say, coming from someone that struggles with overall anxiety and also fear of small places, I was absolutely freaking terrified to do this flight for the first time. To add to my stress, they also asked me if I wanted to be the co-pilot. I said no, but everyone else yelled at me to do it.
I have no regrets because the views from that seat are insane! I ended up doing this flight a total of 4 times in 10 days, so the anxiety wore off pretty quickly.
#4. Belize Zoo
Speaking of taking a small plane to anywhere, we hopped the charter to get us from Ambergris Caye to Belize City. We rented a taxi for an all-day animal experience of a lifetime.
The Belize Zoo exhibits over 200 animals, representing over 45 native species. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions.
Keep in mind that this isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill zoo. I got the vibe of a super home-grown zoo. Hand-made signs, etc. It’s really neat to see and you simply self-guide yourself through all the adorable and amazing animals.
By far my favorite was holding the snake! I wish I could’ve held all the animals, if I’m being real.
#5. Community Baboon Sanctuary
You can now experience the world of Howler Monkeys in their natural habitat! It’s literally a family passed-down community located in the heart of the jungle with families of monkeys!
It’s just a short 10 minute walk into the jungle before the “guide” (family member) starts making the howling sound to call the monkeys. It’s such an amazing experience that I honestly can’t fully put into words.
YA’LL. You literally get to hand-feed monkeys. Are you kidding me. They are sooo cute! They grab on to your hands. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Keep in mind that this is NOT a zoo. They run completely free. The people that live in the community have taken years and years taking care of them to actually earn their trust.
#6. The Iguana Eco Corner
This place is a true hidden gem. There are zero signs showing what it is and hardly ANY info online about it.
Mr. Calvin started The Iguana Eco Corner with the sole intention of saving iguanas from getting eaten by locals. Yup, you read that right. (Apparently they taste like chicken)
He started with 3 iguanas and has grown to over 200!
It’s free (we donated of course), still a work in progress, and it’s located right on his property. He doesn’t care about the money. His goal is to have a place for people to go and experience the iguanas while becoming educated!
It’s a bit tricky to find. But don’t fret. I got you.
📍 The sanctuary is located by the lagoon side, north of the gas station, in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
#7. Bar Hop
Let’s talk about Ambergris Caye for a moment. The entire island is full of beach-front bars. Bar hopping is a great way to get to know locals, tourists from all over the world, and see the beautiful beach views!
I ate Lion Fish at Pirate Treasure Restaurant and Bar. That was quite the experience.
I loved Rum Dog! Like many other local bars, they have tubes you can float in right outside where they bring you food and drinks while you float your life away.
Stellas Sunset Wine Bar and Restaurant is also amazing! It’s actually owned by my friend’s friend (his Belize neighbor!) I had the best bacon grilled cheese and papaya chips and dip!
Hope Haven is the only children’s shelter on the island, hosts the Colleen’s Kitchen Food Bank to over 150 women and children, and hosts empowerment programs for youth and young women.
Twice a week they serve less-fortunate families in the community by providing them with a hot meal. We went twice to help serve food and spend time with the children. They are so incredibly sweet.
The highlight of my volunteer experience was this adorable little girl putting both her hands on my face and saying “You are beautiful.” I literally had to choke back tears. They are so sweet and loving.
The second night that we volunteered, they had soccer shoes donated, and the kids were so excited! We got to help them try on shoes until they found a pair they could take home.
When you see beautiful “Instagram-worthy” places on social media, you are NOT seeing what the people on these islands are really going through. They live in poverty, have no hot water, and are not able to feed their families. We took the golf cart to go pick the children up for dinner, and these are their living conditions.
#9. Walk to the dogs at the local shelter
It’s really neat that the local shelters allow you to go walk the dogs. Giving them a chance to get out and play is so fun!
They are NOT a kill shelter, and take very good care of the animals. Just walking into get leashes we saw dogs getting baths! The volunteers take the dogs out regularly for walks, even if there aren’t volunteers.
#10. Go snorkeling AND see the Mayan Ruins
Ok, so in light of all the Coronavirus madness currently unfolding, I had to leave my trip 7 days early. Making my trip 10 days instead of 17.
I had plans to go snorkeling and see the Mayan Ruins. I didn’t get to do this, unfortunately. I’m adding it to the list because it would’ve been there if I had done it!
To see the top 10 Mayan Ruins in Belize, click here.
We were also supposed to go snorkeling with some locals on the north island of Ambergris Caye. The three most-popular areas for snorkeling from boats near Ambergris Caye are Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark-Sting Ray Alley and Mexico Rocks.
I’m super bummed I missed out on these, but guess what? My friend owns a house there so I can go back when the travel bans are lifted. I’m just so grateful I got to experience 10 wonderful days in paradise!