Stylish Beachfront Hotel near World-Famous Dive Sites
Just north of the Belizean town of San Pedro, Kama Ultra Lounge serves not only as a launch pad for boating and diving excursions around the Belize Barrier Reef, but also as a destination in its own right. The property combines San Pedro's laid-back vibe with trendy decor and entertainment reminiscent of a Miami beach club. The centerpiece of the property is the private beach, which is lined with black-and-red day beds.
You’ll be greeted with two welcome drinks upon arrival, and can unwind with an included massage for two at your leisure. At night, head to Kama’s upscale restaurant and lounge, which was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in 2012 by TripAdvisor. The hip lounge hosts Friday ladies' nights, hookah nights, and fire dancers wielding torches or burning tax forms. The hotel’s one-bedroom units feature tropical decor and views of the Caribbean Sea. Each morning, an included hot breakfast of Belizean specialties might include egg tacos, chicken burritos, tropical fruit, and johnnycake, a sweet roll made with coconut milk.
Ambergris Caye, Belize: Small Island near World’s Second-Largest Barrier Reef
Recognized as one of the World’s Best Islands by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2011 and by TripAdvisor in 2013, Ambergris Caye sits just off the northeastern coast of mainland Belize. By law, none of the island's buildings can be taller than the highest coco palm, which helps create a serene, unspoiled vibe. The entire island is only about 25 miles long and 1 mile wide, but its varied ecosystems range from low sand ridges to lagoons and mangrove swamps.
Hop aboard a speedboat or glass-bottom boat to reach the Belize Barrier Reef, which lies about 10 minutes away. It's part of the second-longest barrier reef in the world and was designated an UNESCO World Heritage site for its biological diversity. The reef shelters a remarkable variety of sea life, including nearly 500 species of fish and rare, massive West Indian manatees that can reach the size of a compact car.
The town of San Pedro is situated on Ambergris’s southern end. Formerly a small fishing village, it’s now home to various boutiques, which stock artisan crafts ranging from ziricote woodcarvings to Guatemalan jewelry.