Tranquility Bay Resort: Ahhhh…The Beach I’ve Been Looking For

I just (reluctantly) returned from a few amazing nights at Tranquility Bay Resort on northern Ambergris Caye.  Located within the Bacalar Chico National Park, Tranquility is a small resort 13 miles north of San Pedro town.  With only 10 cabanas on a perfectly private white sand beach, you almost feel like you are in another world.  Yes, it is secluded but secluded in a perfect way.  I wish I had never left.

I honestly have found the most beautiful beach I have ever seen on Ambergris Caye.  THE BEST BEACH. I am not exaggerating.   Grab one of the many beach chairs or a hammock and relax.  The coast at Tranquility Bay even looks good when a summer thunderstorm is brewing.  And look how close the reef is!

But let’s back up a bit…The Tranquility Bay boat picks you up in town (minutes away from the air strip) and 30 minutes later you are sipping a welcome drink at the bar over the water.  Carlos, the resort manager, is giving you a briefing on the resort and the tons of activity options you will have.

There are some huge advantages to staying this far from town.  The reef is very close to the shore (as you move even farther north, it actually meets the land.)  There is so little beach and boat traffic. You can kayak just off shore to the cut in the reef where manatees are known to frequent.   There are tons of coral heads just feet from the beach…you can snorkel for days just there (perfect for kids).  The beach is fantastic for swimming.   And you have access to dive and snorkel sites that those who stay in town rarely see.  Like a shipwreck just outside the reef…

Tranquility Bay is a full PADI certified dive resort (and located by the Basil Jones Cut on the map below).  A great place to learn to dive away from the traffic of town.

The bar is a replica of one of the first bars in San Pedro Town, the Tacklebox Bar.  Famous for its boat shaped bar and fish tank in the back deck, the original building was destroyed in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch.  Based on pictures that I have seen, this is a faithful reproduction.

You can see the dock, the dive shop and restaurant/bar over the water through this hammock.


Here is the boat shaped bar and cool mural…

And the “aquarium” just below the restaurant’s deck…

Breakfast (included with in your stay) is served each morning over the water.

At night this area is lit and even more incredible.  Huge tarpon and permit hover by the lights feeding on small fish and shrimp.  Eagle rays flap on top of the water.  You can spend a few hours sipping cocktails just watching the activity.  And many people do.  The sky is pitch black and filled with stars…San Pedro town just a dim glow on the southern horizon.

Okay…so the location and the restaurant are amazing.  But Tranquility Bay also has 10 super cute and surprisingly roomy cabanas.  There are four different types:   from the one bedroom with additional loft (shown below) to the Prime Minister’s suite.  Each bedroom is fully A/C-ed but we hardly needed it.  You are so close to the beach and the breeze felt so good.  For much more beautiful pictures than mine and more specifics, check out their website, Tranquility Bay Resort.

There is what they call an efficiency kitchen in each with a microwave, coffee machine, sink and refrigerator for preparing snacks, your morning coffee or keeping your drinks cold.  We loved our cabana.  Very clean, tons of space, lots of towels, GREAT beds…I haven’t slept this well in a while.

And look at the view from the porch.  I mean…COME ON!

Forgot your sunblock in your room?  It’s literally a 20 step walk away.

So…if you need to hit a different bar each night or shop all day in gift shops, if you can’t miss an episode of the Kardashians or you are someone who likes to wear a coat and tie to dinner, Tranquility Bay is not the spot for you.  But if you love a gorgeous beach, water sports, an incredibly friendly (but unobtrusive) staff, good food and peace & quiet, I think this might be your idea of paradise.  You can keep active for your whole trip or just lounge on the beach.  I will definitely be back.

And here are just a few more pictures.  (You are getting off easy.  I have about 10,000 more.)

Hey…that’s me!

The view from my beach chair…

The view down the beach from the aforementioned beach chair north.

Feel free to call me Prime Minister.

To see my walks south and north from Tranquility Bay check out:  #1 The Road Less Travelled and #2 Walk in Bacalar Chico or feel free to emails me, as always, with any questions.






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  • Sounds EXACTLY like my sort of place!

    Was the Tacklebox the place in the Eighties that had a fenced area of sea at the back full of sharks and rays, well lit by spotlights, and an offer of free drinks all night for anyone who swam across it? I pitched up there with my lads on a company smoker and all of us, in turn, stripped off, dived in and swam across it.

  • Me

    Yes! That’s exactly the place. Turtles and sharks in a pen…and I heard stories about the soldiers going in. It used to be the craziest bar on the island. They let all the marine life go right before Hurricane Mitch.

    I never heard about the free drink. That’s hilarious.

  • Muat have been us that killed that deal then!

    To be honest, the owner behaved honourably and started doling out the booze but the lads and I (nearly thirty of us) all decided that a couple of free ones would see honour satisfied all round.

    He said he was very, very grateful but could we all please get dressed again…

    This is one of the best places you have reviewd so far.

    Soon, my ex Lehman Bros trader, soon.

  • On that horrible prospect of me coming to see you, family in tow, any news on connections between Cuba and Belize? Otherwise I have to fly to Europe, connect to the US and then down to Belize. If there was a Cuba link, all I would have to do is fly direct from Luanda to Havana and then make the short hop to Belize.

  • If there is nothing regular, which would obviously be cheaper, consider a charter. Flights out of Angola are bloody expensive, I paid US$24,000 return from Luanda to Brussels business class for two adults, one child and a three month old infant sitting on his mother’s lap and then I would still have the transatlantic and caribbean legs to pay for, whereas I could pay less then ten grand return to fly us all to Cuba.