San Pedro Belize
The entire island of Ambergris Caye, which is the biggest island in Belize, is often referred to as San Pedro. Technically, San Pedro is a town that dominates only the southern part of the island. There was a time when San Pedro was nothing more than a small village located in the middle of nowhere; it had the look of typical tourist town with its beach bars and souvenir shops. The streets were covered in sand and houses were old-fashioned Caribbean style.
Many of those have changed in San Pedro. What was once a Caribbean village connected via a network of sandy streets is now big tourist attraction covered in paved streets on which golf carts are the dominant vehicle. Beaches are packed with more people, and the surrounding areas are now covered by condos.
San Pedro granted township status in 1984. Considering that the development only took about 3 decades to get to where it is today, the accomplishment is quite astonishing actually. In any typical rapidly developing tourism resort, over-commercialization is often inevitable, but San Pedro guards its most valuable asset - the Belize Barrier Reef. There are still no massive towers, highways, or any feature commonly associated with a burst of development.
Located only half a mile from the reef, San Pedro stretches to just about a mile long. Walking (or driving around in your golf cart) across few street blocks will essentially cover the entire area. Most houses remain traditional with wooden construction and zinc roof. Prominent signs of commercialization are mostly bars, restaurants, banks, and souvenir shops. The airstrip is located in the town as well, making it easier and quicker to fly away. There are complaints about over-development, but San Pedro remains traditional town with a little bit of flashiness.
The primary industry is tourism with Belize Barrier Reef serving as the main attraction with scuba diving activities propeling the townâ€™s economic development. Despite its small area, there is a road to the north that stretches to about 10 miles long, providing an excellent panoramic view of the ocean without the need for water craft. Beach houses are additional attractions as well.
There are more than 35 diving sites near San Pedro. Fishes of many different species are always a great attraction for divers, and San Pedro actually offers one of the most spectacular diving scenes all across Belize.