BELIZE: A Day in San Pedro Town

San Pedro is the only town on Ambergris Caye. Set along the Caribbean Sea, it is picturesque and very visitor-friendly. There are three main streets going through town, cleverly nicknamed Front, Middle, and Back. Front Street is one way north and borders the sea; Middle is one way south, and Back is two-way and borders a lagoon that connects to the sea (The island is only about 1 mile wide at this point). Most of the buildings are one story, with none higher than a tall coco-palm, and many are colorfully painted.

tall bldgs

“Skyscrapers”

Town is only 4-1/2 miles from our accommodation, but it took 40 minutes and lots of teeth rattling and stomach churning while driving over rocks, potholes, and speed bumps to get to there. Most amusing is that there is a toll bridge over a narrow channel on the way to town. It it about 100 yards long and they charge $2.50 USD each way for vehicles…I will no longer complain about the tolls on our five-mile long San Francisco Bay Bridge!

Toll Bridge

Toll Bridge

Clock tower in center of Front Street--note golf cart parking

Clock tower in center of Front Street–note golf cart parking

Intersecting street

Intersecting street

Looking down Back Street

Looking down Back Street

It’s actually kinda tricky to get around, both on foot and driving. The mainly cobblestone streets are narrow and sidewalks almost non-existent. Golf carts, motor bikes, bicycles, and a surprising number of taxis and private cars maneuver around pedestrians and each other in total disarray—very few traffic signs and no turning signals. To add to the confusion, intersecting one-way roads connect the streets, many with no markings so one must watch the way the traffic is going to know in which direction to drive. (The pictures I’ve posted don’t reflect the chaos!)

There is some traffic enforcement–I did manage to get stopped when I went through a barely visible stop sign while trying to maneuver a roundabout! The officer was very nice, though, just asked me not to do that again. Parking also a challenge as nothing is marked. We were simply told not to park near curbs that were painted—problem is, the color is so worn out or covered with dirt that they’re near impossible to spot!

There’s a little park on the waterfront next to a lovely little Catholic church. Quite logically, the park is known as Central Park (not to be confused with the in New York City…LOL). It has a few picnic tables, a kids’ play area, and open space that appears to be used for special events.

Central Park

Central Park

Statue in front of Catholic Church

Statue in front of Catholic Church

While there, we walked around, bought a couple small souvenirs and some groceries, and enjoyed a nice lunch at a little restaurant recommended by a local (lobster burger for me, conch ceviche for Bob–mucho delicioso).

(NOTE: As it was originally an  English Colony (British Honduras), English is the prevalent language of the country. However, many of the locals we interacted with on Ambergris Caye speak versions of Spanish also, as their countries of origin are in Central and  South America.)

On the way home, we stopped at Captain Morgan’s Casino. It was not open, so we had a couple of drinks by the beach instead ( I had a frozen coconut rum mojito to die for!).

It was indeed a unique day!

 

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