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San Pedro Town – The Colorful Capital of Ambergris Caye

San Pedro, Belize is perhaps the most famous location in the country due to it being featured in the hit 1986 Madonna song “La Isla Bonita” which was written about this lovely seaside town. Indeed, portions of the video for the song were filmed on location in San Pedro.

Belize vacations are just not complete without a visit to San Pedro. Originally a small fishing village, it now has a year-round population of about 20,000 people but receives tens of thousands of visitors every year.

San Pedro is located on the southern tip of Ambergris Caye, which makes it an excellent base of operations for activities like windsurfing, sea kayaking, kite surfing, fishing, snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving on the reef. Because of this proximity, San Pedro is renowned for its amazing seafood restaurants, many of which serve fish and other delicacies caught earlier the same day. San Pedro also has several lovely beaches.

Most people in San Pedro are bilingual in Spanish and English, although some San Pedranos rely on what’s called “Kitchen Spanish,” a simplified version of the language with heavy influences from English-based Kriol. San Pedro was originally settled by refugees from a civil war in Mexico in the 19th century and officially became a town in 1848.

Because San Pedro is on an island, there are very few cars. Most people in San Pedro get around by foot, by bicycle, or with the use of a golf cart. There is a small airstrip with connections to the mainland and two other islands. Visitors can also find private water taxi service from San Pedro to the mainland and islands like Caye Caulker.

San Pedro plays host to several very exuberant street festivals throughout the year, including Fiesta De Carnival, Lobsterfest, and the International Costa Maya Festival. These multi-day affairs include parades, live music concerts, games, and lots and lots of dancing.

Ambergris Caye resorts range from budget options a short distance from the beach to exclusive, high-end resorts that can only be reached by boat. Many of the most popular Belize resorts are located in or around San Pedro because Ambergris Caye is the top tourist destination in the country.

If you’re looking for some assistance in planning Ambergris Caye vacations, contact Adventures in Belize (AIB). AIB is staffed by local travel experts who specialize in crafting Belize vacation packages that include visiting San Pedro and enjoying all the activities on the reef.