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Most people visiting the island will first fly into the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, located on the mainland. From there, travelers have two main options.
First, two companies, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, provide regular shuttle planes to the San Pedro airport. These small planes hold about 15 passengers and the flight takes about twenty minutes. One-way fares are about $55. It is best to book ahead of time, possibly through your resort. You can also book them when you arrive in Belize City, although you may have to wait a couple hours for an available flight. When you arrive at the San Pedro airport, taxis are available to take you to your hotel. Most resorts can arrange to have transportation waiting for you upon your arrival at the San Pedro airport.
As an alternative to flying from the mainland, you can also take a ferry, although it's really only a better option if you are averse to flying in a small propeller plane. Ferries run several times a day between Belize City and San Pedro. Fares are cheaper than airplane fares, although you will have to first take a taxi from the International Airport to the ferry dock. The trip across the water takes about 90 minutes, so be sure to take medicine for motion sickness if you are prone to getting seasick. It's important to note that there are two ferry terminals operating out of Belize City as of 2010. One ferry terminal/port is located in the heart of downtown. The newer ferry port is on the outskirts of the city and very small. They have slightly different schedules, but it's important to make sure your taxi drops you off at the correct port if you booked your tickets in advance. The names of the two boating companies are so similar, it's easy for mistakes to be made.If traveling from the Rivera Maya, as of 2010, there is also a direct boat shuttle from Chetumal to San Pedro aboard San Pedro Water Jets . It is incredibly convenient for those traveling between Cancun, Playa and Ambergris. The main bus terminal in Chetumal is a short taxi ride from the port.
Upon airport arrival baggage carriers can take bags outside to the Taxi's. Be careful, though, that all of your bags are accounted for.
As to safety. Travelers can go all over Ambergris Caye and never feel anything but welcomed.
Restaurants. The food is generally fair to poor. But there are a few gems. First, Ruby's for breakfast. Ruby's is in San Pedro (road by the beach). They have the best chicken burrito for breakfast and their fruit bowls are also great. Second, the pizza was fabulous. Cannibals and one other place had it and it was freshly made and very good. Third, there are several take out Oriental places. They have huge woks and cook right in front of you. For $3.00 US you can feed three people with the best fried rice you have ever eaten.
Finally, where to buy groceries. There are three big stores. Go to the ones right before the bridge that crosses to the north side of the Island. The one just south of San Pedro is obnoxiously expensive.