Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye, Belize

In Central America off the eastern coast of Belize is a small island floating freely in the Caribbean Sea.  Here is where I enjoyed my first trip to the Caribbean last year.  Americans in the central and eastern parts of the U.S. tend to vacation in the Caribbean, while those of us on the west coast frequent Mexico or Hawaii for tropical adventures.  So the Caribbean was new to me.

 

Ambergris-Caye,-village-squOur vacation in Belize was primarily planned for a birding trip with a group, but prior to meeting up with the group we spent a few independent days on this spirited and sparkly island.  Only 25 miles long and a mere one mile wide, the island is surrounded by white sand beaches.   You can read more about the island here (but skip the part about the meaning of the word “ambergris”).

Ambergris-Caye,-street

A pleasant convenience to this small island were the golf carts, the main mode of transport.  You could go anywhere in a rental cart, dressed in casual swimwear and flip-flops.

 

Frigate birds, pelicans and gulls

Frigate birds, pelicans and gulls

But I am a birder and don’t live that way.  We like to load up with pounds and pounds of optical equipment, dress in long-sleeved shirts so we can stay out in the sun until we nearly faint, and wear hiking shoes so we can trudge through the mangrove swamps.

 

snorkeling with rays

snorkeling with rays

 

And although I did do the swimwear thing and enjoyed a great day of snorkeling and beach walking, my favorite day was the day we explored the island on that crazy golf cart.

 

Spiny-tailed Iguana

Spiny-tailed Iguana

We watched mating iguanas, delighted in the frigate bird often cruising overhead, tip-toed through someone’s back yard in pursuit of an Olive-throated Parakeet, and escaped from some irate dogs as our golf cart flew across cobble-stoned roads.

 

The food was fantastic–rice, beans, fresh-caught fish, plantains–with a Caribbean and Mayan flair.

 

When it was time to return the rental cart, a local woman made a map in the sand for me, directing me to the island’s only gas station.  We found it in some back canal area, where a kindly man suggested I not turn my back on the canal in case of alligators.

 

snorkeling find

snorkeling find

 

Although I very much enjoy being with a guide and seeing far more birds in a day than I would on my own, I treasure days without a guide too.  Free-flying days give me big smiles and great memories.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

Our airport chauffeur

Our airport chauffeur

Aerial view of Belizean coast

Aerial view of Belizean coast

 

 

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30 thoughts on “Ambergris Caye

    • I have found, in a happy way, that there is usually some sort of nature adventure wherever one goes…we just have to keep our eyes and ears open. I appreciate your visit and comment, my friend. 🙂

  1. I’ve heard good things about Belize. Nice place to see Natural beauty.
    Are you telling me you left your Californian bikinis at home? Incredible! 😉

  2. Against your wise advice, I immediately looked up “ambergris.” Gross. The meaning does take away from the description of the pristine beauty of the island…

  3. Wonderful new travel experiences Jet ! Lovely photos from the little floating paradise in the Caribbean Sea ! Thanks for the link,I checked out the info there and I understood why we should skip the meaning of the word “ambergris” … A bit squeamish,I suppose.
    Loved your last aerial view over the blues and greens ! It’s really marvellous to see from high up how the green land kisses the blue ocean … 🙂

    • And I imagine you have a lot of experience with beautiful islands, living in Greece, dear Doda. I’m delighted you enjoyed and learned more about this gem in the Caribbean. So wonderful to hear from you, my friend…. 😀

      • Yes,but it’s so different … All gems have some certain value,but different colour,size,glow … Those Caribbean islands have unparalleled exotic beauty.
        Besides,different is always interesting.Isn’t it ?
        PS : I always learn from your delightful posts and also feast my eyes on exceptional natural beauty 🙂

      • Oh, I certainly agree, beauty varies all over the world; and that’s what makes it so FUN to see as much of it as possible. So glad to share the beauty with your appreciative spirit, dear Doda. 😀

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