After several enjoyable days on Caye Caulker we traveled to Ambergris Caye only a twenty-minute ferry ride. Ambergris Caye is where we stayed for the remaining two and a half weeks of our trip. As we were getting on the boat to go to Ambergris I realized I had left all our passports in the safe at the hotel, yikes!! Fortunately I just walked back and got them, I was delayed 1 ½ hours so as foolish travel mistakes go this one didn’t cost me anything but a bit of time.
Ambergris Caye is a linear barrier island that extends all the way to the border with Mexico considered an island only because of a man made channel that separates it from the mainland. The only major town is called San Pedro and is quite a lively place, lots of restaurants and bars mostly catering to tourists. The streets are very tiny and most people used golf carts to navigate the town, in fact full size cars require a special license. I was curious about the name Ambergris and came across an article in the New York Times about the origins of Ambergris which turns out to be a hard perfumed substance that was used by nobility in Europe and is quite rare. It is formed in the stomachs of whales, basically some sort of a gall stone if you will. The Ambergris if jettisoned from the whale can float around in the ocean for years before showing up on a beach somewhere. Presumably Ambergris was found of the shores of this lovely Caye in its past history giving its name.
Once we got situated in our hotel and my passport snafu was forgotten we began checking out the town, investigated dive shops and looking for cheap grocery stores (this was difficult). We had lunch at Caroline’s cookin’ at the urging of our oldest and enjoyed beach and the pool before watching the Superbowl.
We were loving Ambergris Caye despite being far more developed than Caye Caulker and also chocked full of many old white Americans, I am assuming they are attracted to the weather and is basically the only country in Central America that speaks English.