Activities for Kids on Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye is one of the largest, most visited islands in Belize.  Most adults visit the island for the incredible diving and snorkeling that the Belize Barrier Reef offers, but what about activities for children, especially little kids?  We’ve have lived here for 2 months with our 3 and 1 year old and have a few ideas of what to do with kids on Ambergris Caye. Many of these activities revolve around water, after-all, this is an island. 

1. Snorkeling with Kids in Belize

Snorkeling in Belize is awesome!  The variety of colorful fish and underwater creatures along the reef is extraordinary and the color of the water is mesmerizing. Even if kids don’t want to stick their face in the water, taking them along on a snorkel expedition can still be fun and entertaining. The water is so clear, that they’ll be able to see the bigger species of fish, sharks and stingrays from the boat.

Most snorkel tours go to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is the best area to see lots of variety of fish, eels & turtles.  Our 1 yr old loved just being on the boat, it was a new place with a lot of interesting things to touch and play with.  Our 3 yr old was able to snorkel, well, more like float, along side with us in his life jacket, and he loved it.  The tours also go to Shark Ray Alley where we fed the sharks sardines and then we all jumped into the water to swim with them.  Our guide brought over a shark and a stingray so we could feel its skin.  Older kids will have even more fun on a snorkel tour of the reef since they are capable of swimming and snorkeling on their own.

In our opinion, when visiting Ambergris Caye, snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley is a must do for every adult or child!  Read and see more pictures of our experience snorkeling in Belize.

Stepping down into the water to pet a Stingray

Stepping down into the water to pet a Stingray

2.  Kayaking the Blue Waters of the Cayes

I’m a bit of a kayak nut and have turned kayaking into a fun family activity that I do with my 3 yr old G.  He loves coming with me, and although he says he’s going to paddle, usually I end up being the only paddler while he looks to the horizon for dolphins and fish jumping out of the water.  At this age, kayaking only entertains him for about half an hour, but I still enjoy my time with him talking, laughing and jokingly urging him to paddle.  The waters near Ambergris Caye are so many shades of blue that it is fun paddling from one shade to the next, looking down to see marine life and pointing out where we live from different areas of the ocean.

With older kids, kayaking can be a nice half day adventure with several fun stopping points, perhaps to the reef for a snorkel, to a restaurant on the water for lunch or kayaking around some of the beautiful boats anchored in the waters.

3.  Jet-skiing

You may think we’re crazy for taking a 3 & 1 yr old out on a jet ski, but let me assure you that these powerful machines are steady and safe when used properly and a whole lot of fun! The calm waters around the island provide for a smooth ride. Our entire family fit on one jet ski. With our little one sandwiched in between us, we headed out for a half hour of speed and splashes.  The view of the island from the water is great, but we had the most fun following a Spotted Eagle Ray swimming in the water.

Jet Skiing near Ambergris Caye

Jet Skiing near Ambergris Caye

4. Fishing off the docks

There is no shortage of docks in San Pedro and all of them are open to the public from the hours of 6 am-6 pm. This makes for a quick and easy fishing trip right off the end of the nearest dock. The fish are plentiful that just a fishing line and some bait will more than likely get you a nice snapper. This is great for the young ones because you can be out there as long as their patience will allow. We have managed to catch a nice sized bone fish on our first time out, but most of the time we have our bait nibbled of our hook and end up just feeding the fish. We say we are fattening them up for when we do catch them. Our 3 year old loves to reel in the line and our 1 year old loves just playing with the bait.

Fishing off the docks in Ambergris Caye

Fishing off the docks in Ambergris Caye

5. Playing at the Beach

Being on an island makes for easy access to a lot of beach and the Belize barrier reef is a few hundred meters away from shore. This helps break the waves of the open ocean leaving the water close to the island calm, shallow, warm and absolutely perfect for little ones.  There is usually no need to worry about rip tides or large waves, in fact there are barely any waves.  In certain areas, children can walk out into the ocean several hundred feet without going in further than waist deep, often times shin deep. The beautiful fine white sand of Ambergris Caye makes building sand castles, sand spaceships, and sand angels a joy for the little ones. And luckily, there are plenty of beach side bars and restaurants so that while your kids are playing, you can enjoy a beverage or snack. There are also some interesting marine life that come near the shore. Check out what a fellow San Pedro blogger saw as she was walking along the beach:

A clear ocotopus on the beach - courtesy of SanPedroScoop.com

A clear ocotopus on the beach - courtesy of SanPedroScoop.com

 A Water Paradise

Ambergris Caye is nothing short of a water paradise for young and old.  The above is a short list of 5 things to do with children on Ambergris Caye, but it certainly isn’t all that is available. This little island is a magical place for children and can create lifelong family memories.

Can you imagine the fun kids would have playing here?

Can you imagine the fun kids would have playing here?

Hope you liked the shortlist! Now that you have discovered great activities on Ambergris Caye for kids, start clicking on the links below to read about other great places around the globe for children!

Europe & the Middle East

5 Things to do with kids in London – Theodora Sutcliffe – Travels with a Nine Year Old

5 Activities for kids in Fethiye, Turkey - Renee – ramblecrunch

The Holy Land: Israel- Gabi Klaf- The Nomadic Family

The Netherlands – Emiel van den Boomen – Act of Traveling

Asia-Pacific

5 Things to do with kids in Brisbane, Australia – Tracy – OurTravelLifestyle

Chiang Mai for toddlers, Northern Thailand – Barbara – The Dropout Diaries

Central Australia for families - Jarrad Page – Wandering Photographer

South Australia for families - Amy Page – Livin On The Road

North-America

My top 5 things to do with kids in Boston, USA - Justin Mussler – Great Family Escape

Our New York City family favorites, USA – Diya Luke – A Minor Diversion

5 Favorite places to visit with kids in Washington, D.C. U.S.A. -Susan Verbeeck – Grow in Grace Life

5 Favorite places for kids in Seattle, WA, USA- Keryn Means- Walkingon Travels

5 Favorite places for kids in Sunset Coast, Michigan, USA - Jessie Voigts – WanderingEducators.com

5 favourite winter activities for families in Vancouver, B.C. Canada-Jess Farrugia – With 2 Kids In Tow

5 Favourite places in Kingston, Ontario, Canada-Jennifer Miller- EdventureProject.com

Latin-America

5 Best places for kids in Costa Rica- Mary-Bohemian Travelers

5 Great activities for kids in Lake Chapala, Mexico - Alisa – Living Outside of the Box

Fun kids outings in Antigua, Guatemala -Lainie Liberti – Raising Miro

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18 Responses to “Activities for Kids on Ambergris Caye, Belize”

  1. Jennifer Miller January 9, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    I LOVE Belize… one of our favourite places in the world. We haven’t been to Ambergris Caye yet, we always head back to friends on Tobacco Caye… maybe next time! :)

  2. Rebecca January 9, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    I wish I had written this one…wah. Love it.

  3. Living Outside of the Box January 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Love how you listed the links by areas! What beautiful beautiful water there!!!

  4. walkingon travels January 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Thank you SO much for addressing what you do with your kids when you go on a snorkel adventure. Too often I hear about the amazing things people see with their kids, but what about us with kids who aren’t quite able to snorkel yet. Like your 3 year old, our 2 year old is now very happy to just be in the water, even if it is with a lifevest on. During our last trip to Hawaii I saw a little girl with a buggie board that had a face mask build in so she could float on top and look down in the water when she wanted. I’ll definitely be checking this out on future trips.
    And of course you have me dreaming of Belize now. Just another place to add to the list!

    • S King January 11, 2012 at 7:24 am #

      We take our children everywhere with us, to many people’s surprise. And we’ve found that they are much more capable, even at this age, than they are given credit for.
      I don’t understand when people ask me if there are things here for children to do, as if they need some artificial entertainment. More than likely, they’ll end up having so much fun playing with the other kids on the beach. Simple and Fun!

  5. Amy January 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Wow – looks like an amazing place to visit! I can imagine the entire family having a great time there – it is stunning.

  6. Mary January 10, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Looks beautiful. I must admit to really needing an ocean fix really soon and this beautiful post just reminded me that I must get to the Thai beach soon. Belize looks like it may be on our list when we circle back that way!

  7. Renee January 10, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Oh. My. God. I have never been to Belize, but after reading your post, I’m ready to move there. That water! The sea life!

    Fantastic post, thank you.

  8. with2kidsintow January 10, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    How lucky you are to be living in Belize! We love the beach life so this place would be right up our alley, if we ever get back to that part of the world that is! But great to have this list –thanks for a great post!

  9. Diya January 11, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    Thank you so much for catering this to a 3 year old and 1 year old (the same ages as our kids). Belize looks as wonderful as I imagined and now we have a guide catered to our needs!

  10. Emiel January 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Wow, Belize made it to the top of the list! :)
    What great pictures and I do love your Fishing off the docks tip, that’s just great. I could stay and play in these places forever!
    Emiel

  11. Tracy January 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Sitting here in several layers of jackets with heaters on that looks to be close to the most amazing place on earth. What a wonderful place for your children to have the chance to explore, play and learn in. Thanks for sharing this list!

  12. wandering educators January 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    what incredible opportunities – and i LOVE that photo of the octopus. we need to go!!

  13. Katie May 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    You are such an inspiration to us all. We recently took a cruise that stopped in Belize for the day and we loved going to the Belize Zoo and Howler Monkey Sanctuary. We’d love to see more of the country someday with our child too. Right now she is going through that 2-year-old “scared of the water” phase so we would never be able to get such awesome pics.
    How to Have a Wild Time in Belize with Kids

  14. Tiffany January 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    We are headed to Ambergris Caye for vacation in a few weeks. We have rented a house and so will be preparing our own food and eating out. What do you think about the myriad of vaccinations recommended? (by the CDC, in my case, as I’m from the US) Many of them have to do with contaminated food or water (hep A and typhoid) and the others with animal bites (malaria and rabies). I’m not sure we need to worry about animal bites since we will only be on the island but not sure about contaminated water and food worries. Your thoughts as the experienced one?

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