The strange thing about Ambergris Caye is that it has all the natural excitement you can find in other places like Hawaii and Bali, but without all the crowded noisy businesses to ruin your experience. Throughout the years, this place remains the undisputed star of tourism industry in Belize, yet it remains a calm place filled with simple pleasures - beaches and relaxing atmosphere.
For many visitors and real travellers, Ambergris Caye is considered the actual original tropical getaway. Development of tourism industry is inevitable indeed, especially with the tempting economic potential that comes with it. Somehow, this place can balance out the needs for fancy suits and shiny shoes with its charm and comforting environment of shirtless surfers. Crystal clear water is still here, coconut trees are everywhere to be found, and the sense of being “far away” is still strong.
There are times when the island does get busy, of course. Considering that it only has about 25 miles long and 5 miles across, the crowd can potentially overwhelm your intention to relax. Narrow streets get jammed by golf carts, and the area around the coast is now filled with a number of resorts. The outer parts of the island are, however, practically uninhabited. You can still interact with remote communities in the northern end of the island adjacent to Mexican territory where strong influence of Hispanic cultures is still prominent.
Ambergris Caye saw the first interference from modern tourism development in 1970 and it has been steadily growing until now. The most important attraction is Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Beaches in the island are also major tourism destinations. The good thing about natural attractions is the fact that development cannot reach the point of over-exploitation. Popular places are still natural and they keep on attracting more visitors. The conservation-oriented scuba divers also help to keep the natural attractions away from negative effects of commercialization. The reef is a national treasure and is treated as such.
Tropic Air and Maya Island Air are two biggest airstrips in Ambergris Caye. You can also reach the island using ferry from Belize or Mexico. In parts of the island where development is practically non-existent, the landscape is comprised of mainly white sand beaches with mangrove swamp. Due to small area and narrow streets, the main transportation in Ambergris Caye is golf cart. Travelling from places to places is easy with many golf cart rentals at your service.