Barefoot in Ambergris Caye Belize

Winter. Chicago.Blah. Time for a sun break!

It just so happens that I have family in Belize – and they have a small B&B on Ambergris Caye, Belize – right on the edge of the magical turquoise Caribbean sea. Done and DONE!

Ambergris Caye is a long, narrow strip of an island, about 20 miles east of Belize’s mainland and practically touching the Yucatan Peninsula directly north. Anchored by the town of San Pedro to the southern end of the island, it’s the most visited of the cayes (islands). It’s an idyllic, relaxed barefoot tropical place, bordered just ¼ mile offshore by the hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, which makes it a world class diving, fishing and other watersports destination.  When I first visited San Pedro in 1999, the streets were sand, there were barely any cars and most people walked around barefoot and drove golf carts. Over the years, tourism and development have continually changed the island, but it remains at heart a waterfront village, full of palapa bars and boat docks pointing the way to the waters beyond.

Upon landing at the airport, my stepdad picked us (my husband, 8-month-old daughter and I) up in the golf cart. After some talented luggage wrangling, we were off on our 2-mile journey north. The busy town center quickly dissipates, and as you cross north of the river cut, the road winds past private homes and condo buildings flanked by lush bougainvillea, palms and tropical lilies. After about 25 minutes, we pulled into the narrow track at Blue Wave Villas – and into a marvelously lush jungle.

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