Getting around the island of Ambergris Caye in Central America is so much different than in the U.S. or almost anywhere else in the world. I can almost relate it to my early experiences in South East Asia, with it’s dirt roads, however there you had to worry about being run over by a motorbike or tripping a booby trap.
Flying into Ambergris Caye from the mainland is quite the experience to begin with, as you get a birds eye view of just where you are heading. Landing at the small almost “municipal” size airport, with one small terminal building, and an outside baggage claim area? well, it’s a trip. You can be lucky enough as I have been, to have arranged for pick up to bring me to the water taxi port, walk, or get a golf cart taxi. If you are staying in San Pedro which is the town, you may decide to rent a golf cart for a day, week or more. Just beware, drinking and driving still not a great idea, even in a golf cart.
As I chose to stay at a waterfront resort a few miles up the coast, the resort picked me up and arranged for my water taxi to the resort. This water taxi system became my main means of transportation for my 2 week visit on the island. If you are going to travel for more than a couple days via water taxi, I would suggest buying a week or two pass giving you unlimited rides back and forth to town and coastal restaurants.
If you choose to stay in town, the world is at you feet, really. You can walk almost everywhere, or get a golf cart taxi. If you want to discover more of the island, and even all of San Pedro, you might want to rent a golf cart by the day. Depending on what season you are on Ambergris Caye, visiting the north part of the island can be an adventure, especially during the rains. The road isn’t the best as you get 3-5 miles up north, even for bicycles. Guests at my resort told me how they had to get off their bicycles and walk through massive flooded areas of road, which by the way, are dirt. They even had locals pushing their golf cart through one, that laughed at them for even having bikes.
If you are on the island of Ambergris Caye for more than vacation, maybe looking at it for investment or possible relocation and retirement, I have one great suggestion for you. Contact one of the local relocation guide services, and spend a few hours with that person, being shown different areas, safest places to rent or buy a home. They will fill you in on all the facts they have learned over the years, including the mistakes they made themselves. If you choose wisely, you will spend time with someone who will become not only a friend, but someone that can assist you through the entire process.
I was lucky enough to find Ann Kuffner, with Escape Artist Relocation Services on Ambergris Caye. I spent about three hours with Ann, being shown different areas of town, best shops, where to get groceries, and where all the Expats live. We even met her later for a bottle or two of wine and some excellent cheese at a local wine merchants with her husband. All in all, I would say I found it very interesting and informative, and Ann filled in any and all gaps I had in my knowledge of Ambergris Caye.
I would highly suggest getting in touch with Ann if you too are interested in relocating to Belize, and specifically Ambergris Caye where she has and her husband Mike have lived for over 13 years. http://www.belize.escapeartist.com
For info on Sanctuary Belize on the mainland