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Walking the Beach on Ambergris Caye

Posted by Valeria Espinoza on May 16, 2011 7:00:19 AM

Walking at Mata Chica's Beach

A major reason most expats’ fitness improves when they move to Ambergris Caye is that walking is a way of life here. That’s partly because it’s a pleasure to walk here. But, realistically, it’s also the least expensive, easiest way to get around town, as long as you live near San Pedro Town center. (That is where Grand Baymen is located.) And for those on a budget, it costs nothing to walk. The only thing you need is a good pair of shoes.

But I see people on the north side of the island regularly walking the beach as well. Of course, they need a bike, golf cart, or water taxi to get into town.

The beaches of Ambergris Caye are public, by law.  They stretch for many miles. And many Ambergris Caye residents own dogs – who demand to be walked.  So walking is a normal part of daily living on our Isla Bonita. Of course, you can walk on the roads. But I much prefer to walk the beach and avoid the traffic…

There’s Always Something Interesting Going On at the Beach

Easter Beach Walking in San Pedro Town

There are so many sights to relish while walking on the beach. One day I’ll notice the frigate birds dive bombing for fish… Once I saw an entire family of moray eels slithering along a seawall, next to my favorite dock… Another day I was amazed to encounter a mass migration of bug eyed blue land crabs scrambling, en masse, for the sea…  And it’s always a pleasant diversion to watch an accomplished kite surfer do aerial acrobatics fueled by the puffy gusts of sea breeze…

When you visit, be sure to get out and enjoy a leisurely stroll on the beach. You can walk for many miles, north or south of town. You’ll see all kinds of people on the beach, walking, running or taking their dogs out for a stroll. The view is enchanting, so it doesn’t feel like exercise... And the bars and restaurants look totally different from the beachside.

You’ll see many birds and kids frolicking in the water.  And there’s always some activity on the beach. Whether it’s a wedding, or a band playing, there are always diversions.  Quite often our friends will beckon to us from one of the many bars or restaurants, inviting us to join them…

But let me explain about our sea grass. You’ll encounter it on the beaches. Sometimes you’ll need to step over it, or walk around it.  It won’t hurt you. Just keep in mind that no one is allowed to remove it from the sea, as it protects our shoreline from erosion. And it provides a home for the fledgling sea creatures that hide beneath its swaying blades. It’s a never ending chore to rake up the sea grass that washes ashore.  But it’s am important, natural part of our environment.

 

Making New Friends While Walking Fido

Tashi takes a break

Beach walking is also a great way to make new friends. Many residents regularly walk their dogs on the beach. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. If your dog is friendly, other walkers will stop to chat and ask about your best friend... I’m always amazed at the number of people I run into on the beach.

And there are some very inviting docks where you and Fido can take a break… My favorite is at Victoria House. Mike and I walk Ziggy and AC up to Victoria House. We usually head out to the end of their pier before we turn around and head home.  We sit for a while at the end of the dock, where the breeze is divine. This spot is a perfect vantage point to clearly view the entire shore, into the heart of San Pedro Town…

Best Time of Day to Beach Walk

I used to walk our dogs in the morning. The Caribbean Sea and reef view is dazzling, clear and vivid blue, when the morning sun hangs low over the horizon.  But the sun is intense in the morning, even at 8 AM. These days I wait until after 4 PM. By that time the sun is sinking into the western horizon, and the light on the beach is more diffuse. The cool breeze blows in from the sea.  I’m not an early morning person. So late afternoon is the most comfortable time to walk.

If you visit the island for more than a few days, you’ll notice that residents here walk a lot. It’s similar to towns in Europe. So you’ll easily burn calories through normal daily activity if you walk and bike. Many people prefer not to own and maintain a golf cart, especially if they’re living here part time. They walk or bike most everywhere. And for those of us who live near town, all the necessities of life are within walking distance. (Of course, taxis are cheap, too…)

Grand Baymen and San Pedro Club  Are Designed for Fit Living

San Pedro Club Wall

This is one of the key reasons we decided to build the San Pedro Club and Grand Baymen development within ½ mile of town. Everything’s convenient. It’s easy for residents to run their errands on foot. No need to own a golf cart…  For more info on the San Pedro Club... We are designing our community to be convenient for residents. And the San Pedro Club is another addition to help our residents stay fit and healthy…

In the wet season the roads can get muddy around San Pedro. But the beach is walkable over 90% of the time.  In the rainy season it sometimes rains for several days in a row. That’s when it’s time to hit the San Pedro Club’s treadmill.  In any case, it’s always possible to walk somewhere on Ambergris Caye!

 

Topics: Tourism in Belize

Valeria Espinoza

Written by Valeria Espinoza