Population of San Pedro Belize
Pedro Town is the major settlement on the island. San Pedro's populace has grown to 10, 000 plus year-round inhabitants, with many newcomers from the mainland and from abroad as well. The original "San Pedranos" (from the 1800's til the 1970's or so) are Mestizo, and and speak both Spanish and English. The island has the largest concentration of visitor accommodations in Belize and its hotels, fishing and diving facilities are some of the best in the country.
The town is a picture postcard setting beside the clear turquoise sea. Coconut palms sway and rustle in the gentle cooling trade winds. Low rise hotels, guest houses and boutique style resorts & condos, from modest to magnificent, are nestled along the coast and throughout the town.
If you want a comfortable, shorts-and-sandals seaside vacation, at a moderate price, just a bit off the beaten path but not too far, where the seafood is fresh and beer is cold, where the water won't make you sick, an island with most of the modern convienences without the plastic tackiness, with great diving, excellent snorkeling, beautiful water and beautiful white sand beaches, where local folks are mostly friendly and hablan English (though they may speak Spanish at home), with dependably beautiful weather most of the time, then I guarantee you'll enjoy Ambergris Caye.
Yes, tourism is the number one industry in what was once a fishing village. Now, fishing is still most excellent, but tourism has far surpassed it as a contributor to the local economy. This is not, however, the edgy tourism of Cancun, with millions of package tourists hitting the beach. No building is higher than a tall coco palm, or three stories.
Golf carts and bicycles are the principal mode of transportation. The streets are home to local and visiting barefoot strollers, casually making their way through the shops and restaurants or just relaxing and chatting with the locals who are friendly and tolerant. To see the many faces of the island, see the Kay Scott FACES & PLACES OF SAN PEDRO online photo gallery.
A few taxis, trucks and private vehicles are in service in the growing community, and the newly formed traffic committee is hard pressed to create an equitable policy regarding importation of future vehicles.
Ambergris Caye has much to recommend it. Away from the center of town there is an abundance of birds and other animals. Much of the island is covered with a broadleaf forest that attracts wildlife. The yards of the houses and the hotel grounds all bloom with tropical flora. The sea abounds with adventure for fishermen, divers, snorkelers and sailors. Some of the best outfitters for fishing and diving trips are found here, along with plenty of charter boats. San Pedro makes a fine base for excursions to nearby attractions and the more distant islands and atolls. The stores are well stocked with a wide variety of food and some of the country's best cooks take pride in their seafood specialties.