Looking to get away from the crowds of Cancun and Cozumel? Head a little farther south to Ambergris Caye. Belize’s largest island is ideal for ecotourism, with peaceful mangrove forests to explore, and the famous Belize Barrier Reef right off the coast. Sound like your cup of tea? Let’s learn about Ambergris Caye, and the travel medical insurance or travel insurance you need to visit it.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers visiting Ambergris Caye – FAQs
Although Belize is becoming more popular with tourists and expats all the time, you still shouldn’t expect the public hospitals here to offer the same level of care you’re used to. In order to get adequate medical treatment at a predictable price, get travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Ambergris Caye?
Tourists are no longer required to buy travel insurance in order to enter Belize; but that doesn’t mean you should go without it. Going abroad without travel medical insurance means putting your bank account at risk. You can’t control how much your medical costs may be if you get hurt or sick, and you’ll be responsible for paying that whole amount yourself if you don’t have travel medical insurance. It’s much less stressful when you know you’re covered.
Why buy travel medical insurance before visiting Ambergris Caye?
If you were to get seriously injured or suffer a major illness on Ambergris Caye, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need to be transported to mainland Belize. But even then, the public hospitals may not be able to treat you. Treatment at an expensive private hospital or pricey emergency medical evacuation could be the only options. To shield your bank account and protect your health, be sure to have travel medical insurance that offers this coverage.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers visiting Ambergris Caye – FAQs
Imagine that you’re all set to vacation on Ambergris Caye when you suddenly break your leg while digging out your suitcase, or a loved one unexpectedly passes away. You can’t travel now, but what about the nonrefundable money you’ve already spent on airline tickets and your room at the resort? You better make sure to buy trip cancellation insurance when you book your trip.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance before traveling to Ambergris Caye?
You’re unlikely to be able to get a full refund for the airfare, hotel room, and activities you’ve already paid for if you have to cancel your trip. This leaves you in the unenviable position of having to pay for most of a vacation you can’t take.
The solution is to have trip cancellation insurance. It can reimburse you for these nonrefundable prepaid costs if you have to cancel your trip for a reason that’s covered by the policy you’ve purchased.
What can be covered by trip cancellation insurance for Ambergris Caye?
We’ve covered how travel insurance can provide trip cancellation coverage, but it doesn’t end there. Most plans can also offer coverage for things like:
- Lost or delayed baggage
- Trip interruption
- Travel delay
- Emergency medical care
- The option to purchase additional cancel for any reason coverage
The exact coverage ultimately depends on the plan you purchase. It’s a good idea compare several plans on this website before deciding which one is right for you.
Ambergris Caye’s Most Popular Activities
Visit San Pedro Town
San Pedro is the only town on Ambergris Caye. Formerly a sleepy fishing village, it’s now a town of over 16,000 with plenty of resorts, hotels, beaches, and clubs to enjoy. San Pedro is likely where you’ll base yourself during your Ambergris Caye vacation. Fortunately due to its Creole influences, the vast majority of San Pedranos can speak English as well as Spanish.
Discover the “Secret” Beach
Truthfully, the Secret Beach is no secret at all. In fact, it might be the most popular tourist attraction on Ambergris Caye. Here, you’ll find Caribbean waters befitting a travel brochure, a waterpark, and ample opportunities to swim and snorkel. There are also popular bars here such as Pirate’s Not-So-Secret Beach Bar & Grill, and Maruba Beach Klub.
Marvel at the Great Blue Hole
Head east off the coast of Ambergris Caye and you’ll find a true curiosity of nature; a 147-foot marine sinkhole known as the Great Blue Hole. This attraction is part of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve. While you’re welcome to scuba dive or snorkel here, you will first need to buy a permit to do so. The Great Blue Hole is often included as part of Belize tour packages. You can even book a helicopter ride here if you prefer not to go by boat.
Eat Up at the Truck Stop
Located in San Pedro, The Truck Stop is a unique dining experience that consists of restaurants and bars all housed in converted shipping containers. Of course, you’ll find the requisite swimming pool and swim-up bar here, as well as a beer garden and a relaxing deck over the water. The Truck Stop hosts live bands and other events most every night of the week.
Snorkel at Shark Ray Alley
Want to swim with sharks without the risk? You can do that at Shark Ray Alley. Beginners and experienced snorkelers alike can swim right along with nurse sharks. But don’t worry. Your fears about “Jaws” are totally unfounded here. Nurse sharks are completely harmless to humans, and are only able to feed on small sea creatures. You can also see other aquatic life such as sea turtles, stingrays, and an array of tropical fish.
Key Guidelines for Travelers visiting Ambergris Caye
Best Time to Visit
April and May tend to be the most popular times to visit Ambergris Caye. The weather is still pleasant, yet it’s in the dry season so you’ll have fewer storms to contend with. Rain is much more frequent from June to November, but you can sometimes get better rates if you don’t mind dodging some drops.
Getting to Ambergris Caye
International flights typically arrive in Belize City. From there, you can get to Ambergris Caye either by airplane or ferry. To save on flights, choose from one of the small airlines that flies out of Belize City Municipal Airport instead of the international airport. Just keep in mind that you will have to fly to the caye on a small propeller aircraft. The flight takes about 20 minutes. Taking the ferry from Belize City to San Pedro is cheaper, but the transit time is about an hour and half each way.
Getting Around Ambergris Caye
Being as the island is only a mile wide and 25 miles long, local transport is quite easy. Walking or renting a golf cart is sufficient in San Pedro, and you can go by water taxi to most other attractions around the caye.
Overall, Ambergris Caye is considered quite safe from a crime perspective. Of course there are bad areas in San Pedro like any city, but you can avoid trouble if you stay near tourist areas, don’t walk alone at night, and drink responsibly. The greater danger is from adventure activities like snorkeling. Make sure to use licensed guides, and err on the side of caution if you’re new to the activity.
Most locals in San Pedro will speak English, but it never hurts to at least know some basic Spanish. When it comes to paying for things, US dollars are widely accepted. However, there are plenty of ATMs all over the caye where you can get local currency. To save money on drinks, choose a local beer brand instead of your usual American or European brew. The local beers are tasty, and a good bit cheaper.
Before You Visit Ambergris Caye – Do This