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Ready, Set, SWIM Ambergris Caye! Some of the Best Beaches in Belize

Finding the Best Beach in Belize on the country’s Most Popular Island

Belize is fast becoming well known for the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere (second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef), for our gorgeous snorkeling, diving, sailing…all types of water sports.   The closer you get to the reef, the whiter the sand, the bluer and clearer the water and there is an explosion of fish, turtles, dolphins and sea life.  But Belize – in particular the Northern Cayes (Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye) have no been known for the best beaches in the world.

Both right along the reef and no matter where you are along the shore, the view is spectacular.  So what could there possibly be not to like?

Parasailing over Ambergris Caye - looking north as the reef gets closer to the island
Parasailing over Ambergris Caye – looking north as the reef gets closer to the island

Nothing I say, the water is absolutely gorgeous and swimming and sunning off a dock  is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

The dock of Ak’Bol  Eco-Resort in the Tres Cocos neighborhood.  (Lots more photos of Ak’Bol…)

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The dock at Mata Chica Resort.

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But the reef being right off shore means a few things (it actually touches the land way up north) – the water within is more calm than the open sea, it is relatively shallow and in many areas, turtle grass flourishes.  Often this make it a bit trickier to wade into the water.

Swimming off the docks (and boats) is awesome, please trust me!


BUT if you want to also find a beach where you can wade in to cool off, here are some of my picks.  And pics.

And remember, all beach in Belize is public.  So while you may not be allowed to use a resort’s chairs and pool, you are definitely able to roll out a towel ANYWHERE – and that includes all docks.

Beaches are public always.  All docks are public from 6am to 6pm.

Here are some of the best beaches in Belize.

Ramon’s Village – Just south of town is one of the original and most famous resorts on the island, Ramon’s Village.  They have a beautiful strip of beach (and a popular swimming dock for the kids in town) that is great for wading in.

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Central Park – Over the last few years, there has been a revival of Central Park in downtown San Pedro.  An old palapa was torn down and the street vendors have been more to a designated area on the Back Street.  It’s left Central Park’s beach looking beautiful.  And, while shallow, it’s a lovely and convenient spot to sit in da wata.

Central Park, San Pedro, Belize
Central Park, San Pedro, Belize

centralpark1Boca Del Rio – This beach is also a road – and may be the prettiest street in the world.  All along this stretch is gorgeous but when it comes to swimming, the northern area near the actual Boca Del Rio or “Mouth of the River” is the prettiest spot.  And is filled with golf carts and locals wading and swimming on the weekend.

A windy day.


And less so…

boca del rio

There is a beach bar called Sandy Toes about half way up the Boca Del Rio stretch that has a fantastic beach area, a super cute bar and just a great set up.

One of the best beaches in Belize is in San Pedro town

X’tan Ha Resort – Now we are heading farther north…7 miles north of the bridge over “the river” – or cut in the island.   The road now extends all the way up to the resort (not all paved but as of recently, most in good shape)

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My friend Adam auditioning for the Belikin calendar.

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Tranquility Bay – This more remote gem of a resort is even farther north…in fact, it’s the northernmost resort on Ambergris Caye.  So when you are staying up there, you often have the beach and the gorgeous snorkeling areas basically to yourself…or you are sharing with a handful of guests.  The reef is so close that you can easily kayak out but if lounging on the beach is your thing?  It’s just gorgeous.

And the craziest thing – at least in my book – is that this property – the WHOLE 12 acres – is for sale – for what I believe to be a crazy low price.  (And I NEVER say that on this island.)

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You can also charter a boat to take you and your friends and family to take you to the restaurant up there if you want to enjoy the beautiful northern caye.

Secret Beach – The name is pretty much tongue in cheek these days – the secret is TOTALLY out.  About 4 miles up the road north, you will see this sign.  Hook the left.

secret beachBut that doesn’t take away from the fact that this shoreline on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye (the side NOT facing the reef) leads into crystal clear waters, rocky coves, sand bars and soft sandy beaches.

One note:  the beach is CROWDED on the weekends…if you can, head out in the morning during the week.

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If you would like to overnight on the West Side of Ambergris Caye – you only have a handful of choices.  There is a small spot at Secret Beach – Paradise on the Caye.  You can also check out Mahogany Bay Village.  While the rooms are NOT on the west side of Ambergris Caye – they do have a beautiful beach club there.

Best Beaches in Belize - West side of Ambergris Caye

For this next one, you need to charter a boat but…man…it is worth it.

The Sand Bar

The leeward side of the island is scattered with small cayes and south of some of them, sandbars form.  Beautiful pinkish sand sandbars just barely peaking out of the water.  Bring along some beach chairs and some well iced drinks AND LOTS OF SUNBLOCK and you are in business.

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So there you have it…some of my favorite beaches.  But I’m still TOTALLY a dock fan.  Something about coming out of the water and laying on a warm dock…free of sand…that makes me very happy.

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The Best Swimming Beach on Ambergris Caye Belize


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7 thoughts on “Ready, Set, SWIM Ambergris Caye! Some of the Best Beaches in Belize

  1. Susan

    thank you, needed this today…SNOW FLURRIES and we are suppose to get SNOW tomorrow! Bucks County PA it should be Spring and in the 60’s!!!! I might be down sooner than June/July!

  2. Elaine Scop

    21 days and counting. I was excited before. After this article I am ecstatic!Thanks for all your wonderful insight and photos. 🙌

  3. larissamac82

    I love the whole wealth of info you provide. I can’t wait to come there to visit. What is your absolute favorite beach?

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