Belize is the land of shimmering waters, sun splashed islands, and beautiful forests. Among the many attractions of the country, the island town of San Pedro stands out. Made famous by Madonna’s song “Isla Bonita,”which was inspired by the island caye where San Pedro beach is located, the charming community is filled with visitors and locals year-round. Below is our hand-picked itinerary of the best things to do in San Pedro, Belize.
Getting to San Pedro Beach
To get here, you must take a ferry from Belize City. There’s two ferry companies: San Pedro Belize Express ($40 US) and Ocean Ferry ($25). San Pedro Express is the more upscale option, and the extra cost is well worth the experience. The ride takes about an hour and a half. Alternatively, Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, Curio Collection by Hilton offers transport directly from the airport to the ferry terminal. They also take care of the ferry ticket and meet you at the dock along San Pedro beach for a hassle-free experience.
Begin by Visiting the Palapa Bar & Grill
A gorgeously unique seaside lounge, Palapa Bar & Grill is known for it’s U-shaped pier that offers a special experience. It’s not just for adults, but it’s best to enjoy a cocktail or Belikin in the inner tubes located in front of the pier. People of all ages can also jump off the wooden planks and enjoy the crystal clear waters around the establishment.
Schedule A Diving or Snorkelling Experience
Head over to the popular Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Reserve, or go a bit off the beaten path to see the incredible Mexico Rocks. You’ll get to observe beautiful sharks and rays along the barrier reef.
Plan A Day Trip: The Spectacular ATM Cave
Easily the most popular cave in Belize, ATM cave is about an hour inland from the coast. Like all caves in the region, it is made out of limestone, but what makes it special is its sheer magnitude and collection of Mayan artifacts. In order to experience the magnificence of ATM cave you’ll need to leave San Pedro beach first thing in the morning and it will be a full day trip.
Squeeze in Some Ruin Explorations
Inland Day-Trip – No trip to Belize is complete unless you visit its inland wonders. Even if you prefer white sand beaches and Caribbean waters, a day trip to visit the caves, climb Mayan ruins, and learn about the culture is a must.
Half-Day Trip – For those who want a half-day experience, there’s the Altun Ha Mayan site. Located less than an hour north of Belize City, you can spend a couple hours exploring the only Mayan site in existence located near a coastline. Take your time climbing the ancient pyramid stairs and learning about Mayan culture before returning to harbour. Enjoy a cocktail or lobster tail as you soak up some of the local culture as you wait for the ferry back to San Pedro.
Explore Caye Caulker
Small and quaint yet vibrant and full of life, Caye Caulker is a magical place that is brimming with quintessential Belizean culture. Here, the streets are made of sand, and “go slow” is the motto that every local and visitor equally observes.
Eat and Drink Local
San Pedro is home to upscale restaurants and establishments that feature local gourmet food. Try some of the best ceviche in the world, Belizean-style tacos and burritos, or perhaps a locally-brewed Belikin or Belikin Stout as you get acquainted with local culture.
End The Day With a Sunset Cruise
Catch a sunset cruise from one of the auxiliary piers on the east side of the island. For $35 USD you receive a welcome drink and get to spend two hours cruising the crystal clear waters, watching a breathtaking sunset. There’s no better way to end a day – or a trip – than a sunset cruise in the Caribbean Sea.