Stylish Beachfront Hotel near World-Famous Dive Sites
The Belize Barrier Reef, just offshore from the town of San Pedro, attracts countless scuba divers each year—especially at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, an underwater channel filled with nurse sharks and massive southern stingrays. In fact, snorkeling and diving are so popular here that catamarans are more common than cars—on land, most people simply get around by golf cart. Just north of town, Kama Ultra Lounge serves as a launch pad for boating and diving excursions, and 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.
Awarded a certificate of excellence in 2012 by TripAdvisor, Kama's upscale restaurant and lounge hosts regular events, such as Friday ladies' nights, hookah nights, and fire dancers wielding torches or burning tax forms. Yet the centerpiece of the property is the private beach, where yards of blue veils flutter in the wind above tiers of black-and-red daybeds. Unwind here with the included beachfront aromatherapy massage for two.
The hotel’s one-bedroom units feature tropical decor and views of the Caribbean Sea. In the morning, a 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 by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the World’s Best Islands, Ambergris Caye sits just off the northeastern coast of mainland Belize. By law, none of the island's buildings can rise higher than the tallest coco palm, which helps ensure a serene, unspoiled vibe. The entire island is only about 25 miles long and 1 mile wide and is filled with low sand ridges, 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 an UNESCO World Heritage Site that's part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The remarkable variety of sea life here includes rare West Indian manatees.
The town of San Pedro is situated on Ambergris’s southern end. Formerly a small fishing village, it’s now home to various boutiques selling artisan crafts such as ziricote woodcarvings and Guatemalan jewelry.
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