If you’re looking for things to do on Ambergris Caye, you’ll probably hear people talk about going to Secret Beach. You might think to yourself, how can this place be a secret if everyone seems to know about? Put those thoughts aside, because no trip to San Pedro is complete without checking out the most famous Secret Beach in Belize.
Belize’s Secret Beach is Ambergris Caye’s Worst Kept Secret
Yes, the cat is out of the bag about Secret Beach, but you should still plan to spend an afternoon there. It’s peaceful, gorgeous, and far enough off the beaten path that you can get away for a bit from the more bougie atmosphere of the rest of Ambergris Caye.
During our time, we actually were some of the only people there, which was absolutely lovely. However, there’s enough infrastructure there that you can expect to see other people, and this is especially true on the weekends. Don’t go to Secret Beach expecting to have complete privacy.
Instead, go with the intention of chilling out and relaxing, enjoy the beach tunes from the local taco truck, and let every worry in your body flit away while you stare at peaceful mangrove islands in the distance.
Read Next: What to do on Ambergris Caye
Things to Do at Secret Beach
It’s a beach, so this one should be obvious, right? Well, there are different kinds of beaches with different styles, so here’s what you can expect at Secret Beach:
Swim in the Clear Blue Water
The water here is peaceful and clear. It was shallow a long way out, so we kept walking until we felt we were a little too far from shore, and then turned back. There were small, minnow-sized fish swimming in the water, but we didn’t see anything else.
Because this beach is on the west side of Ambergris Caye, it has very different water and beach style than the beaches in San Pedro, so if there are bad conditions on the east side of the island (seaweed, etc.) the conditions here can be completely different.
Secret Beach is a great place to paddleboard since the water is so smooth. You can bring your own board picked out from this best paddleboards guide or rent one on the island.
Enjoy the Peace of the Palapas
We arrived just after a hurricane, so one of the palapas was knocked down. However, there are typically two. We enjoyed the view from under the palapa when we needed to escape the sun. Here you can read, take a nap, or do any other relaxing activity without fear of getting sunburned.
Eat a Beach Snack or a Meal
There are several restaurants and a food truck, so we could pick from where we wanted to eat. Technically these are listed as three bars, but they were different levels so you can pick your style. We got some snacks at the food truck, which we ate in the nearby shade.
You can also enjoy your meal in the water on lounge chairs. Alternatively, bring your own food and drinks and save a bit of money (but expect not to have access to the restaurant’s lounge chairs). Since my visit, a new bar called Blue Bayou has opened up that is getting rave reviews, so that may be a fun, new alternative to the taco truck.
Get Your Party On
When I was there, the beach was chill and there wasn’t a party scene. However, during high season, this beach tends to skew younger and more local, and that can mean that it can be a little more fun than the beaches on the other side of the island populated mostly by older tourists. The weekends tend to have younger locals more than weekdays because they’re at work or school. However, if you’re keen to meet some locals or younger tourists, head out on the weekend.
Go Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, or Canoeing
You can rent what you need for these water sports at Paradise on the Caye. Just note that they don’t have a large inventory, so call ahead to reserve if you’re worried they won’t have them available that day.
Check out the Cenotes (Caves)
This is one I skipped, but you might enjoy it. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure at this otherwise relaxing spot, check out this great post from Taco Girl about how to get to the cenotes.
How to Get to Secret Beach from San Pedro
To get here, you’ll want to have a golf cart handy, since the round-trip price for a taxi is over a hundred dollars. Even renting a golf cart for the day can save you a ton of dough. Of course, make sure that you have a designated driver for the ride home if you plan on partying a bit.
The drive is about four miles north of town and three miles west. The first part of the ride is really pleasant because the roads are up to date and paved. It’s when you head west where you’ll start to feel like you’re really on an adventure since these roads are gravel and bumpy as all get out.
For exact directions, ask a local on your way out of town. The signs here can change year to year, and the island has been undergoing rapid development. Prepare to spend an hour on the drive and to feel like you’re lost, but the way is marked pretty regularly.
Read Next: The Ultimate Belize Packing List
How to Get back to San Pedro
The drive back felt longer, but this was mostly because it was dusk and we were being devoured by mosquitos. This picture shows how gorgeous driving back at dusk is, but I don’t know if the twenty mosquito bites were worth it. We should have left earlier to avoid the bug bites!
The way back is simple, but it’s not marked quite as well as the way out there. If you aren’t the type who remembers landmarks for turns easily, snap cell phone pics of the important points on the way out so that you don’t get lost coming back to town.
Read Next: How to Get from the BZE Airport to San Pedro
What to Pack in Your Secret Beach Bag
You won’t need to bring a ton of stuff with you, but there are a few items that are necessary for you to have a good time. (Looking for more Belize packing tips? Check out what to pack for Belize).
- Beach Bag: You can throw everything in a canvas tote bag or a multi-purpose day bag like this large Longchamp that I use as a purse on the road and a beach bag when needed.
- Cash: If you want to enjoy the beach bars, you’ll need to have some cash with you.
- Valid Drivers License: The golf cart driver(s) need to make sure to have their drivers license on them.
- Small Ziplock Bags: handy for throwing anything small and wet and/or covered in lotion into without ruining the rest of your stuff on the ride home.
- Sunglasses: There’s not a lot of shade aside from the palapas
- Mask and Snorkel: There’s not a ton to see here, but if you’re bringing these to go scuba diving or snorkeling the Belize barrier reef, then you might as well bring them!
- Fins: Same as above.
- Go Pro: If you have one, bring it here. There’s not a ton to look at underneath the water, but you’ll appreciate being able to take some cool photos from the water of the surrounding area any selfies and pics of friends you want.
- Full Sized Travel Towel: This towel is the perfect travel towel to have for both using at your hotel/hostel but also taking to the beach since it’s so big and beautiful. Rolls up small and comes with its own pouch so it takes up almost no room in your beach bag. Seriously, I’m obsessed with my travel towel.
- Mosquito Repellant
- Hand Sanitizer
- Seabands: for those who get motion sickness easily. The ride is bumpy.
- Vaseline: Great for an impromptu chub rub and also to slather on any early signs of sunburn.
- A smartphone in an even smarter case: I use a Samsung8 and an OtterBox.
- Headphones: Come prepared with music or history podcasts or travel podcasts already downloaded.
- Something to Read: I usually have my Kindle or a book with me. If I have a guidebook with me, like Lonely Planet Belize, I might bring that or I might take a book about the country that’s either history or a novel. For Belize this might be Belize: A Novel is a historical novel about the history of the country and takes place in almost every corner of Belize.
- Drinks and Snacks
- Your Travel Insurance Policy Information: Between driving the golf cart and being far out of town, I would make sure to have your travel insurance policy info handy in case of emergency since you won’t want to have to go all the way back to your hotel or hostel for the info. Keep it on your cell phone at all times. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. I always get the higher level so that I have coverage for more of my technology in case anything gets lost or stolen. It’s especially important to have it in cases where you’ll be driving or riding in golf carts since the roads aren’t paved everywhere and accidents happen. Have your travel insurance available in a soft copy, and forward your policy info to your primary emergency contact.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any driving, water sports, like scuba diving, sailing, or snorkeling, or if you’re going to do anything in the jungle or visit any ancient ruins.
FAQ about Secret Beach
These are the questions I hear most often about visiting Belize’s Secret Beach.
Is Secret Beach safe for Kids?
Yes, because the water is clear and without a noticeable current, it’s a great place to bring young kids to swim safely.
What Should I Wear to Secret Beach?
We wore our bathing suits with beach cover-ups. Men should wear swim trunks and either a t-shirt or a rashguard.
Read Next: What to Wear in Belize
Is there Cell Phone Signal at Secret Beach?
I’m not 100% sure, but I believe there is service for anyone who picked up a local sim card. There’s also wifi.
Does Secret Beach get Sargassum like the beaches in San Pedro?
No. Because it’s on the western side of the island when the sargasso makes the San Pedro beaches difficult to swim at, Secret Beach is unaffected.
Does Secret Beach have Jellyfish?
I didn’t see any jellyfish while I was there, but I’ve read reports of the odd sitting here or there. The water is so clear that you’ll be able to see anything coming from pretty far away. Like with all beach days, relax, but use caution when it comes to beach safety.
More Belize Travel Resources
If you’ll be headed to Caye Caulker, check out my guide on how to get there from BZE and Belize City.