Tourists have made Ambergris Caye the most popular destination in Belize for a variety of reasons. Resort hotels along the coasts of the thin island have taken steps to widen the naturally tiny beaches and extend piers out into deeper water for swimming safely above the legally protected sea grass.
However, most visitors to the island are more interested in the history of the ancient Mayans who created it and the wilderness reserves. Ambergris Caye condos have been established in the community of Grand Baymen to facilitate longer stays for those visitors looking for an in-depth experience of the many wondrous sights.
Sometime before 1000 A.D. the Mayan people of the area sought a means of increasing regional trade. Ambergris Caye was attached to the Yucatan peninsula at the time, and coastal traders had to navigate the eastern edge of the island. The problem with this path was a longer distance and the presence of the second largest barrier reef on the planet. Even experienced boater could encounter disaster on the sharp edges of the reef. The Mayan people constructed a channel that created both the island and a safer trade route.
The channel is roughly a mile wide at its narrowest point, and it is now the Bacalar Chico National Park & Marine Reserve. It is a great first stop for nature lovers looking to explore the diversity of wildlife. Many endemic plant and animal species can be found in the reserve, and guides specialize in helping visitors get the desired experience. With over 200 bird species, five species of wildcat, wild deer and crocodiles, there is no lack of natural stimuli. Visitors can explore the protected lands from forested trails, boat tours, and snorkeling expeditions. Habitats include mangroves, coastal beach scrub, salt marsh and mixed mangrove. Nearby are the most dense nesting zones for the Green and Loggerhead turtles in Belize.
More Adventures in the Wild
Many other opportunities are easily arranged with tour guides in the single island city of San Pedro. These require some travel to the nearby land of Belize and north to the Yucatan, so serious travelers will certainly benefit from stay in Ambergris Caye condos at Grand Baymen.
One remarkable journey is tubing through a network of caves at Caves Branch. Knowledgeable guides introduce explorers to ancient Mayan paths through the caves and surrounding jungle. You will have the opportunity to learn about the history of ceremonial sites along the way and medicinal uses of jungle plants. The caves themselves are over 100,000 year old formations studded with sparkling quartz. The subterranean river contains rapids suitable for beginners, clear blue swimming holes seemingly without a bottom, and plenty of limestone embankments to rest upon.
Divers and snorkelers will without doubt find more adventures than can be enjoyed in a week-long vacation. The reef is a giant wall stretching 185 miles from a mainland point near Bacalar Chico to the south. Specific stretches of the reef hold species found nowhere else in the world, and the reef is subject to seasonal changes no different from above-ground habitats. Many dive sites can be found just off the island and within minutes of the San Pedro hyperbaric chamber.
An investment in the Ambergris Caye condos of Grand Baymen is an investment in a lifetime of enjoyable vacations. All the amenities are present to increase your comfort, including on-site rain cisterns for the freshest drinking water. A fitness club, resort-maintained beach access, and the privately maintained Baymen Garden all combine for an unforgettable experience in tropical paradise.