Ambergris Caye is approximately 25 miles long and nearly 1 mile wide and is tangled with swaying palms and lush green Mangroves reaching out for a drink from the crystal clear waters. White sandy beach stretch out for miles providing visitors a serene and picturesque view of the stunning aqua color water of the Caribbean. This caye is approximately 25 miles long and nearly 1 mile wide and provides visitors with a calm relaxing atmosphere while you bathe in the warm waters drinking your favorite cocktail. If you are feeling more adventurous the island is one of the top sites for SCUBA diving and snorkeling. Dip below the water’s edge and unlock a new world, a treasure trove of tropical fish and colorful corals dance and play around you or dive deeper and explore one of the many shipwrecks looming below.
A Pirate’s History of Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye is falsely identified as an island is actually the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sharing a border with Mexico this area was once a rich trading route for Spanish, English and even Dutch explorers for centuries. Merchant ships traveling from Honduras to Guatemala would haul cargo comprised of gold, silver, dyes, exotic fibers, and rich hardwoods like mahogany that were in high demand to Europe. The barrier reef located half a mile from shore provided a natural break and shelter for traders and pirates needing a place to camp. In addition to pirates whalers were also known to prowl the waters off the coast of Belize in search of Sperm Whales who secrete a substance known as Ambergris and was once prized for its use in perfumes and colognes.
Belize has over 200 islands and a number of shipwrecks have been documented throughout the area of Ambergris Caye as ships had been plundered for their illustrious and exquisite cargo or dashed amongst the rocks and coral outside the reef during hurricanes. Divers and snorkelers have been known to stumble upon old bits of wood, cannon balls, broken china, or even candlesticks.
Just a few recorded shipwreck sites:
- Habaneros-Palmeros: Possibly one of the oldest wreck sites off Ambergris Caye
- Tres Cocos
- Hol Chan
- 1 Mile South of Hol Chan
- Mackerel Hole
- Caye Chapel
- St. George’s Caye
Just to name a few…