Living like a local on Ambergris Caye
Posted by: Las Terrazas Resort
Here at Las Terrazas Resort, it is our hope that between the warmth and comfort of our resort and the friendly vibe of the island residents that our guests can experience a sort of home away from home while visiting Ambergris Caye…. and there is no better way to cultivate that spirit of comfort and familiarity than by living like a local. Rather than feeling like a tourist on our soil (or should we say…. sand?!), we encourage you to check out some favorite neighborhood hotspots and live like the locals do! Below, our born-and-raised San Pedrano staff members share their favorite things to do when out and about on the island. Be sure to check out these local destinations while visiting us at Las Terrazas Resort on beautiful Ambergris Caye to get a true taste of Belizean life.
Ambergris Caye is known for its natural wonders, but local residents know the island's best kept secrets. The Belize Barrier Reef - located only minutes offshore from Las Terrazas Resort and its onsite 5-star PADI dive shop - is the largest and best-preserved reef system in the Northern Hemisphere and is teeming with tropical fish and coral unlike anything anywhere else in the world. According to locals, island visitors should be sure to check out Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley for Shark Ray Snorkeling and the Mexico Rocks for the greatest and most diverse coral and sponge display in all of Belize. Or head on down to the neighboring island of Caye Caulker to visit the Coral Gardens, a quaint spot within the Barrier Reef that is known for its vibrant and colorful collection of coral. Rumor has it that manatees inhabit these waters, so it's no wonder that the locals love this little spot.
Island guests are generally aware of the more typical excursions like jet skiing, cave tubing, and zip lining. While these are certainly a hit for anyone seeking adventure, the local Las Terrazas Resort staff had much to say about another adventure altogether: Parasailing with Castaway Caye! Here you can get a bird's eye view of Belize from 300 feet above sea level. Your leisurely soar through the air will allow you to enjoy the view, observe the island, take in the breathtaking sunrise or sunset, and see sharks, dolphins, and manatees from the sky. This is one adventure that locals say is a must-do on the Ambergris Caye!
San Pedranos obviously spend a lot of time on the beach. Live it up like a local and arrange a beach barbecue for your family and friends - even better, we recommend scheduling a snorkel or reef fishing trip with Freedom Tours or Seakarus, both of whom will personally arrange the beach barbecue to top of your excursion. True Belizeans enjoy conch hunting and spearfishing; while we wouldn't recommend going about this alone, both Backwater Tours and Seakarus offer lessons and this is one experience that will definitely leave you feeling like a local. For a more leisurely experience of the beach, take a walk or run on the shore, or go swimming in the crystalline waters of Ambergris Caye.
Although it's becoming more and more well known among tourists and a bit of a haul from Las Terrazas Resort, even locals agree that Secret (Not-So-Secret-Anymore!) Beach is a huge hit. This happening spot is full of beach bars, restaurants, shops, and water sport companies all meant to ensure optimum fun in the sun. Secret Beach has something for everybody: you can eat your fill and drink to your heart's content by way of one of the many bars and restaurants. Soak up the Belize sun with a drink in hand as you rest on one of the many pool chairs or hammocks that line the sand, or opt instead to cool off at one of the picnic tables situated in (yes, in!) the shallow waters of the beach. Play beach volleyball, float on a tube, or enjoy water sports such as jet surfing and pedal boating courtesy of several adventure kiosks that have recently popped up on the beach. Listen to music, buy coconuts, chill, eat, laugh, drink, rest, lounge, and party - Secret Beach has it all! Don't forget to take a picture with the famous Secret Beach sign while you're there
Live Music & Beach Bars
Get on your feet and shake your legs like a local! San Pedranos love music and local genres include Punta Rock, Soca (otherwise known as Calypso) and Dance Music that is sure to make you want to get your groove on! Belizeans love quality time with their families and Ambergris Caye offers big, family friendly beach bars that encourage family get together. Bring your kids and take in the native tunes at one of the many local beach bars such as the Lazy Lizard Bar, Palapa Bar, and Sandy Toes.
Be sure to check out Carambas for a great patio or Elvi's Kitchen for a long standing island favorite going on 25 years strong. Briana's is another local favorite; this authentic mom and pop shop is a little hole in the wall joint that is best known for their fast food (although you might be better thinking in terms of street food than you are McDonalds). Famous for their garanachas, fish panades, salbutas, and fry jacks (Belizean style beignets), this local fare is a favorite among islanders. For the best ceviche in town, be sure to visit Lily's Treasure Chest. And, of course you must try out the street food! Papusas, street tacos, and palettes abound, and patrons will not be disappointed. Don't forget to try a Belikin Beer. Of course, we would be remiss in not including the fresh seafood and local cuisine at Las Terrazas Resort's onsite O Restaurant in this list of best dining options on Ambergris Caye!
And there you have it, some of the best kept secrets of Ambergris Caye that we'll have you experiencing the island like a true local…. Or like Ricky Martin would say, you'll be Livin' La Vida Local.