Madonna sang about "Isla Bonita" and San Pedro back in the mid 80s and its been a long rumor that she is singing about San Pedro, Belize. She and Sean Penn DID visit the island (this is before Ambergris Caye was ONLY popular with scuba dive enthusiasts) in the 80s, according to friends in the showbiz. Madonna and Sean Penn were married in 1985, and Isla Bonita was released in 1986, so, go listen to the song during your stay on San Pedro and YOU decide!
Pop music aside, "La Isla Bonita" is just that. San Pedro is a very unique island destination for Americans, Canadians, and Europeans. You will NOT find the massive 500 room sprauls you get in Cancun, or just up the coast in the Riviera Maya. You won't have 200 people a day trying to sell you garbage on the beach. You won't have tour bus after tour bus clogging the roads.
What you WILL have is an island with spirit and beauty. San Pedro has grown up a lot since we first visited in the early 1990s - Ramons Village is no longer the largest resort on the island, the roads are mostly now paved, and Elvi's Kitchen is no longer a single room restaurant (but, you should still go visit!).
San Pedro is a great spot for anyone that isn't sure the quietness of Caye Caulker is for you, and you want to be nearer to more population.
We've selected 3 properties that are all fairly affordable and offer a unique Belizean holiday experience.
Upon arrival at Belize City, your first stop is San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. This island is a 15 minute flight from Belize City (or almost an hour on the ferry). The island has changed quite a bit in the last 15 years, going from sand & gravel roads to pavement and cars. The island's infrastructure has been upgraded to accommodate the increase in tourism, but don't let that scare you away. Its still NOT Cancun!
The island has not lost its appeal as larger branded hotels are now making their marks on Belize. Our focus is still on Belizean owned or operated properties, with no more than 100 rooms each. This allows you to still get to enjoy the ambiance of Belize and San Pedro.
San Pedro is the gateway to some of the best snorkeling & scuba diving in the world, with the reef barely a mile off shore. At the Hol Chan Marine preserve, you can swim with nurse sharks (don't worry, they don't bite) and sting rays.
Further out from the cayes is Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef, offering more pristine diving, including the Great Blue Hole - which we think is one of the world's wonders.
We have 3 properties in San Pedro: Sunbreeze Hotel & Sunbreeze Suites, located in town and a VERY short walk from the airport (or cart ride). Both properties are along the beach & main street, with many local shops, restaurants, bars, banks, and tour operators nearby. We must say it is a treat to wake up to the smell of fresh baked goods every morning!
Our other property is Royal Caribbean Resort, located on the southern end of San Pedro. This property boasts individual villas for all guests, and has an onsite restaurant and bar.
Regardless of which property you stay at, all will provide you with amazing sunrises over the Caribbean Sea, options to take tours out to the reef, including snorkeling & diving. Kayaks, canoes, and boat rentals are just feet away to allow you to explore the mangroves or go fishing.
One question we get frequently: What is better - San Pedro or Caye Caulker? Well, that's not always easy online (you can call us or email!) - but both are just a short boat ride away, at a cost of about $30 USD. There's no reason you can't explore BOTH!
Day 4 you board our reliable partner, Tropic Air, for the quick flight back to Belize City. To get to San Ignacio & the Belize Zoo, you can select a rental car or transfers with William's Belize - a local in San Ignacio that we trust more than any ground shuttle outside the US!
At the Belize Zoo, you will never get this close to wildlife in your life! The zoo is a reknown "rescue" that has housed and rehabilitated almost every animal found in the Yucatan Peninsula. Conservation & education efforts include the ability to feed toucans, feed or high-5 a jaguar (as you can see on the right is AYT owner Nate doing), and learn about these amazing animals in a very natural & safe habitat.
Another 45 minutes away is San Ignacio, your home for the next few days. San Ignacio is the regional hub for eco-tourism and historical Mayan sites, like Cahal Pec, Xunantunich, Caracol, and many others.
Your home near San Ignacio is Cassia Hill Resort, which is the epitome of a TRUE Central American holiday. Your rooms are casitas spread over 90 acres, with Belizean mohagany interiors. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom WITH hot water (yes, this is a real amenity in this part of the world!), air conditioning, television, wifi, and a queen or king size bed. Oh, and a hammock on the porch.
The resort boasts one of the best "infinity" pools we have ever stayed in - this freshwater pool has a beautiful sun deck and with drinks served from the nearby bar - makes for a great spot to relax at night and enjoy the sunset or star gaze late into the night.
The on premisis restaurant serves true Belizean & Guatemalan foods at a reasonable amount. The bar serves up delicious treats along with Belikan, the beer of Belize.
While in San Ignacio, you can explore the ancient Mayan cities of Xunantunich or Cahal Pec - both within a short drive from the hotel. The nearby city of San Ignacio has some great shopping & restaurants. Cave tubing & zip lining are also very popular here, and the local tour operator can combine tours for you & also pick you up at the resort.
You will also need to get a COVID-19 test from nearby San Ignacio before returning home - once booked, we will send you the link to get that setup.
This package starts at $725USD per person, plus taxes. This rate includes:
- 4 nights at Royal Caribbean Resort, SunBreeze Hotel, or SunBreeze Suites on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - run of house room
- 2 nights at Cassia Hill Resort, San Ignacio, Premium Villa
- Roundtrip air between Belize City Goldsen Intl Airport and San Pedro on Tropic Air
- Roundtrip ground transfers between Belize City and San Ignacio
- Stop at the Belize Zoo
- We HIGHLY recommend 3 nights in San Ignacio, which gives you an extra day to relax and take in the beauty of the Mayan Mountains. Cost is $101/pp + taxes for the extra night.
- Please contact us for cost of children/additional adults traveling and sharing a room due to variable policies.
What it does NOT include:
- Covid-19 pre-travel test to Belize
- Covid-19 travel test to return to US/Canada
- Travel Insurance
- Airfare to/from Belize
The BASE package, including taxes and fees are subject to change and based on availability.
November 2021 -> January 2022: Prices start at $799 per person plus tax, based on 2 sharing a room. Some hotels have significantly higher pricing December 19 - Jan 2, 2022.
January 27, 2022 -> April 30, 2022: Prices start at $775 per person plus tax, based on 2 sharing a room.
Solo suppliment is 100% less $158.
The itinerary as booked is done on purpose. We have analyzed the flight schedules of all airlines serving Belize and avoid ANY overnights in Belize City. We start out on the Cayes and move inland for your return so you have ample time to get back to Goldsen International Airport for your flight.
This package is 100% independent and we provide you with a PDF guide so you know where to go & when. We utilize TripIt to organize your trip, so keep your phone on wifi for the most up-to-date information on flights, hotels, and attractions.
Due to the popularity of Belize, run of house or room categories may not be available at time of booking. If we are not able to find you a room type you like or alternative accommodations, we will refund the deposit paid in full.
$200 USD deposit per person (plus tax) is required to begin the booking process. This is refundable if we are not able to secure the accommodations as sold. Upon confirming travel options, we will then require a 50% deposit, with final payment due 31 days before travel.
Room upgrades to pool side, apartment, and family-type rooms are available. Please put in any requests in comments.
Packages are non-refundable, we highly recommend travel insurance. AYT will work with vendors on possible name changes should you find someone to take a traveler's place.
Luggage limits: 50 pounds and 1 checked bag on Tropic Air, and up to 15#s for a carry-on (small backpack, purse). Additional bags are $35 USD/each.
No meals are included in this package, however every hotel used has an onsite restaurant/bar.