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Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

Miami, Florida
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185 posts
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Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

We will be going to Amgergris Caye in March, 2014. I have been looking at listings on vrbo and homeaway and have found places a few miles both north and south of San Pedro. We want to stay a little away from town as we prefer quiet and solitude. We enjoy snorkeling, diving and kayaking. We would like to get around using a golf cart and understand the roads north of town (and the toll for the bridge) make this a little more difficult. However, which area has nicer beaches (maybe more sandy beach bottom versus sea grass) and more solitude? If we find a private residence on the beach in either area, what differences exist between the north and the south? Thanks for all of your feedback.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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1. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

Where you stay won't have much impact on diving, the operators will pick you up at the closest dock. However, is you stay north, it would make sense to pick an operator that's based there.

There's no good snorkeling from shore except far north at Tranquility Bay. A lovely property, on a nice stretch of beach, but, quite isolated. You would basically be there. The water taxi doesn't run that far north, and, a golf cart is simply unrealistic.

The further north you go on Ambergris, the closer you get to the reef. I'm not sure at what point it becomes an issue as far as kayaking. I live a mile south of town when I'm on the island and people kayak to the reef from there on a regular basis.

Because of the proximity of the reef, less than a mile off shore, there is sea grass along pretty much the entire island. The exception are the beaches at some resorts where they have cleared it away.

I prefer south of town, I like the easy access to town. Being only a mile south, we walk everywhere, along with the occasional cab ride. There are several restaurants and grocery stores closer than that.

Are you looking for a private house or villa or a condo type place?

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

We are actually looking for a private house or villa. We prefer privacy and quiet. I do have a few more questions.

When people kayak out to the reef, are there buoys that they can hook up to?

Do you have recommendations for dive companies? I am certified but have not dove for awhile. I would like to be with a company that can ease me back into it.

Are all golf cart companies pretty much the same as far as product and price? What should I expect to pay for the week?

Does it really make sense to take a tour on the mainland (mayan ruins, cave tubing, etc) since it takes hours to go back and forth? If we were to spend a few days on the mainland for these activities, do you have any recommendations which city is best to stay in?

Even though the roads in the south are better, what does that mean? Are they paved, gravel or what?

Any information/recommendations you have is greatly appreciated.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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3. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

I'll try to answer at least some of your questions. I know there are some buoys where kayaks can be tied up, but, I don't know how many there are, or, where they've located, other than the one in front of my condo.....

My husband has done most of his diving with Ecologic Divers. He's been pleased. His last dives were with Island Divers, he liked them as well. Lots of folks like Chuck and Robbie's as well.

I honestly know very little about golf cart rentals. We've only rented a few times, just for a few days.

Here's a link to some of the companies, there are more:

http://ambergriscaye.com/golfcarts/index.html

Over the years, I've made the day trip to the Mayan site at Lamanai four times. Yes, it's a long day, but, I've enjoyed every single trip.

My personal thoughts on whether to stay on the mainland are that if you are planning more than one trip back to the mainland for a tour, you might as well stay on the mainland and get your touring done, then, come to Ambergris. It doesn't really take hours to get to the mainland, about an hour in the boats the tour companies use. The trip to Lamanai does involve a bus ride, and a 26 mile boat ride up the river to Lamanai, but, that's part of the fun.

Tropic Air does a tour to Lamanai as well. It makes the trip much shorter.

If you decide to stay on the mainland, look for lodging in/around San Ignacio in western Belize.

The road to the south is paved for two miles. Then, it's dirt/gravel. It's relatively well maintained, unless there's been lots of rain, then it gets big pot holes.

The road north is dirt. For the first couple of miles past the bridge it usually isn't too bad. After that, it can be pretty awful. It's really just a path in some places, and if it's been raining, it can become almost impassable. People get stuck all the time. Many cart rental companies have limits on how far north you are allowed to take the carts.

If you choose to stay further north, you can always just use the water taxis. They run on a regular schedule and are reliable.

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

Thanks so much Jeanh. Your answers were very helpful.

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5. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

Any recommendations for a tour company going to the ruins from ambergris caye?

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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15,566 posts
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6. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

All of my trips have been with Tanisha, they have a web site, or stop in at Hurricanes in San Pedro.

I've also heard good things about Searious and Seaduced.

7. Re: Best Area on Ambergris Caye to Stay?

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