Ambergris Caye is the largest of the two main island cayes (pronounced like ‘key’) in Belize. At first I was worried that Ambergris would feel too touristy being the most frequently visited of the two island and I had wanted to stay on Caye Caulker. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the island didn’t feel as touristy as expected. We found a lot of great local restaurants and bars in and around San Pedro (the main town on the island) that made us feel like locals.
The main reason for the trip was to complete my scuba certification, so we spent most of the daytime under water and went out at night.
THINGS TO DO
Chuck & Robbie’s Dive Shop
Website / TripAdvisor
Beachfront, Buccaneer St,
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
After doing some research on dive shops, my boyfriend and I decided to go with Chuck & Robbie’s Dive shop since we had read great reviews about them online. I had just completed the swimming pool portion of my scuba certification and all that was left to do was my 2 open water dives. Gilbert was the best instructor! I was a little nervous about having to fully take my mask off underwater, but Gilbert made me feel very comfortable and confident when it came time to do it. I was also a little nervous for my first deep dive not being able to see the bottom of the ocean, but with encouragement from my boyfriend and Gilbert, I soon lost any fear or nervousness that I had.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve – The diving was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, especially for my very first open water dive. We saw sea turtles, stingray, nurse sharks, lobsters and giant eels. To this day, Belize has had the best diving I’ve ever done.
Website / TripAdvisor
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Wahoo’s in Belize is unlike any other I’ve ever been to before, and it’s a must-visit for anyone that goes to Ambergris Caye. Known for their famous “Chicken Drop,” a chicken is placed inside a square enclosure with tiled numbers on the ground and you can win money if a chicken poops on your number tile. To be fair, you aren’t allowed to pick your number but you pay a certain amount and are given number chips at random that correspond with different tiles in the square. To start the round, the MC yells “Chicken Security! Bring out my chicken!” and a chicken is brought out to the MC. The MC will ask for volunteers from the crowd to “warm up” the chicken before placing it in the square. I was lucky to get chosen to do this and the MC had me move the chicken up-and-down and in slow circles before placing him in the square. You can even buy small cups of corn kernels to throw in the square to try and encourage the chicken to eat (and eventually poop). Unfortunately, we didn’t win any money but we spent a few hours there people-watching. Everyone (especially after multiple drinks) was so into it! It was absolutely hilarious!
You HAVE TO GO HERE FOR BREAKFAST!!! If I was given the choice to only eat one meal in Belize, I would DEFINITELY choose to come to Estel’s for their breakfast. Hands down, everything I tried here was absolutely amazing but what kept me coming back was the Mayan Eggs, the fryjacks with honey and the corned beef hash. I ended up ordering the Mayan eggs two days in a row with a side of the hash.
If you’re a sports fan and itching to catch the games while in Belize, then you’re in luck since Lola’s is the perfect place to watch the game, especially if you’re a Chicago Sports or Oregon Ducks fan. Lola’s is owned by a guy named Steve, an ex-pat from Chicago and a HUGE Chicago sports fan who has dedicated his bar to all things related to Chicago sports.
I was trying to locate a sports bar that showed the University of Oregon Ducks football game, but finding a bar that could stream the PAC12 network seemed hopeless. Lucky for me, Steve is also good friends with Robbie of “Chuck and Robbie’s Dive Shop” and Robbie is from Eugene, Oregon. Lola’s was not only was able to stream the game but they also angled the TV so my boyfriend and I could still sit at the tables outside while watching. Talk about amazing customer service!
The Palapa Bar is a pretty accurate description as it’s essentially a bar on stilts over the water. It’s further north than the rest of the San Pedro but worth definitely worth visiting in my opinion.The vibe was very laid back with reggae and alternative music playing all day and into the night. The bartenders were super friendly and the service was good. During the day you can go sit in the inner tubes that they have tied to the bar and sip on an adult beverage while floating in the ocean. We never got a chance to do this but we wished we had as it looked so relaxing!
This Caribbean restaurant that sits a little off the beaten path, but they have amazing cocktails and very spicy and delicious Caribbean food. We had a little trouble finding the spot but once we did we were very glad that we had. We went relatively early in the day so we were the only people in the restaurant, but that was ok because we had Caroline herself come out to take our order. She was a sweet older lady with an infectious smile and was very attentive during the meal. We ordered a few rounds of cocktails (the first being an electric blue one infused with a type of energy drink) and eventually moved to fruit juice.
We ordered stuffed jalapeños for an appetizer which ended up being the spiciest food we had the entire trip. Our mouths were on fire! My boyfriend ordered the chicken and rice and I ordered conch for the first time – Both were delicious.
I read about this place on a travel blog where the writer wrote about Pupusas – a traditional Salvadorian dish – and he specifically mentioned that Warugama was the place to get them. A pupusa is essentially a thicker crepe-like batter that gets spread over a flat metal surface and cooked. But before the dough is laid out, you pick what you’d like to go into your pupusa. The minced ingredients are all mixed together and then pour over the flat surface and spread thin like you would cook a crepe. The result is slightly thicker, but full of flavor and makes a surprisingly filling snack.
The seafood one was ok but a little on the fishy side but the sausage and veggie one was delicious! The restaurant itself was super tiny with only a few indoor tables and streetside seating but it always seems to be busy.