How to get to Secret Beach, San Pedro

How to get to Secret Beach, San Pedro

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Last Updated November 12th, 2019

Detailed directions to Secret Beach San Pedro, Belize with pictures on how to get there

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If you’re looking for a hidden paradise then look no further than Belize’s Secret Beach on San Pedro island.  An oasis tucked inland of the island, accessible by small boat or driving through barren unmarked paths via rented golf cart.

Secret Beach is one of the San Pedro locals favorite beaches and still somewhat a local secret. So, while I’m tempted to keep this haven true to its name- as a secret! -I want to help you skip over the confusion and waste less time getting lost.

This way you can enjoy even more time lapping up the stunning clear waters, fresh coconuts and sea breeze at the beautiful Secret Beach.

If you’re staying in San Pedro, find out how to travel to the island stress free

What is Secret Beach?

(and what makes it so special?)

San Pedro island Belize is known for its eatern shoreline of coral reefs, fishing, marine life and nightlife. Only 10 years ago did a developer lay down a road that stretched to the western side of the island. This made the western side accessible for the first time and it exposed a breath-taking set of beaches and waters.

How long does it take to get to from San Pedro to Secret Beach?

The drive from Secret Beach to San Pedro can take up to two hours driving one way. It depends on if you spend any time getting lost while driving there, and how fast your golf cart can go… as well as your ability to withstand the bumping up and down a golf cart on an unpaved, dirt road for over an hour.

Why should you visit Secret Beach in San Pedro?

        Many of the coastline areas of San Pedro are covered in quite a bit of seaweed. So while the sunrises are spectacular from town, the beaches are not the best for wadding into for a good swim. However, further into the Caribbean Sea are some wonderful snorkeling waters off the coast of Belize. Making Secret Beach a haven place on the island.

  • Once you arrive you’ll notice the pristine waters that are effortlessly calm, and beach goers can wade almost 200 feet out!
  • While you may need some bug spray [here is a sustainable and healthy bug spray that I would recommend], there is no seagrass or seaweed, as compared to the coastal side of San Pedro, that I mentioned above
  • During the busy season, there are multiple bars and restaurants open along the beach, plus there will be options to rent stand up paddleboards and kayaks – perfect for those novice water sport athletes since the water is so calm
  • It still feels undeveloped and like a hidden gem of a destination. Since it takes quite a drive to get to this Belizean beach, not many want to make the trek out here, so there won’t be an overcrowded site.

How to get to Secret Beach from San Pedro, Belize

  • The most convenient way to get to Secret Beach is by golf cart.

  • You will need to first rent a golf cart in San Pedro town. There are quite a few options to choose from, but fear not because if you’re staying at a hotel they will easily be able to connect you to their preferred golf cart vendor. Within 20 minutes of asking, you should have someone ready to have you set up with a golf cart

Looking for a hotel in San Pedro? Compare prices HERE

  • Now, that you have your golf cart and it’s tank is full (important! As it can take up to two hours to get there) you are ready to head out to one of the best beaches in Belize

*Note- you can physically ride a bike to Secret Beach, but I would NOT recommend doing so. The dirt path is very bumpy. Trust me, your bum will thank me later.

Secret Beach Belize Directions

  • There is only one road that can lead you to Secret Beach, with quite a few outlets leading in other directions

  • From town, if you’re facing the Caribbean Sea/ocean side of the island then turn LEFT and head towards the NORTH side of San Pedro island

  • As you begin to leave the main town area of San Pedro you will come to a small bridge. There is a $5 fee you must pay in order to cross. Once paid, you’ll be given a pink slip for your return crossing. Do NOT lose this pink slip, otherwise you will have to pay again to cross back.

  • Cross the bridge and stay on this road for as long as it goes

  • Eventually you will come to the end of the paved road and a dirt path will curve to the left. Go down that path
  • Once you’re at this curve you’ll notice that the land quickly transforms from lush, tropical greens to flat, almost desolate beige mangrove swamp like surroundings. This part of the dirt road will be fairly easy to navigate through based on the visibility of the path and the few half built homes that are spread out in this area.

    *Please note- we were told that there are alligators living in the swamps, so do not wander aimlessly through them

  • After a bit of driving down the desolate path you may start to feel concerned that you’ve gone too far, but don’t worry! You will soon see a small sign that steers to the LEFT

  • From there, there will be small signs close to the ground directing you towards the bars & restaurants at Secret Beach. You have to look down in order to see these signs (see the images on this post), otherwise you may miss them and drive the wrong direction. If you follow these signs they will lead you to Secret Beach

*What helped us was continuing to remind ourselves that Secret Beach was essentially the opposite side of the island from town. If someone you are going there with has a good sense of direction let them utilize their natural compass.

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Arriving at Secret Beach, Belize

        You’ll know when you’ve arrived (or at least are very close) to the best beach in Belize as there will be other golf carts parked to the left and right of the beach entrance, and you will see the dock straight ahead.

        Once you park your golf cart, walk over to enjoy the calm and gorgeously clear and teal water. You can rent chairs on the beach if you spend money at one of the bars. We were told that we needed to spend $100  for access to the chairs. Sounds fairly pricey, yet could be managed if you go in a group.

        It was just two of us visiting, and we were comfortable placing our stuff at the end of the dock as we floated nearby there as we could see it from the water.

        Typically there is at least one person slinging the sale of fresh coconuts for coconut water, and they offer adding rum to them as well (hello dolly, this is a perfect tropical beverage combination!).

        HOWEVER, they will put a plastic straw in it. Be sure to tell them ahead of time NO to the plastic straw. I almost always bring my own reusable straw with me nowadays (I didn’t have one for this trip, womp womp) You can purchase a reusable straw here.

        It is highly suggested that you leave Secret Beach around one to two hours before the sun sets. This is so that you can safely drive back to San Pedro while the sun is still out.

        The dirt paths are not lit up at night, and driving them in the dark would be dangerous, even with the headlights on the golf carts – let’s be honest, golf cart headlights are not the brightest, plus you’ll have been driving in dirt paths so they’ll be covered in dust.

What to do at Secret Beach

In years past, visitors to Secret Beach had to bring their own water and food, but now there are multiple bars on the beach you can visit and enjoy a chilled cocktail or beer.

Blue Bayou Bar : a tropical looking bar with beautiful views

Maruba Beach Klub : more upscale bar with lots of cushioned chairs and music

Paco’s Secret Beach : one of the newer bars at Secret Beach

Pirates Not-So-Secret Beach Bar & Grill : they have ables in the water so you can enjoy the calm waters with your food & drinks

Secret Paradise Beach Bar : this bar has the largest beach area with a large bar and volleyball nets

There are are also plenty of people renting paddle boards and electric surfboards. But in my opinion, your time will be best spent drinking from a coconut while you float in the calm, clear waters.

Staying at Secret Beach:

There is only one place to stay the night at Secret Beach called Secret Beach Cabanas. They have quaint apartments cabins that allow visitors to stay to witness the stunning Belizean sunsets.

Planning a trip to San Pedro?

Check out the TOP Things to do on the island

What to pack when going to Secret Beach, Belize

  • Any of your beach essentials
    • sunscreen, hat/s, sunglasses, towels, etc

Here are three reef-safe sunscreens I would recommend using:

All Good Sport Sunscreen

Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen

Amavara Mineral Sunscreen

  • Extra phone batteries and charging ports

  • Cash for the bar

  • Your own snacks if you’re vegetarian or vegan. There didn’t seem to be many vegetarian or vegan options

Fun Fact about Secret Beach in Belize

From the water of Secret Beach you can see an island owned by Leonardo DiCaprio called Blackadore Caye. He is intending to build a complete eco-friendly resort on the island. You can read more about it here and here.

If you’re planning on visiting Secret Beach in Belize you will not be disappointed. The long and bumpy drive will be well worth it once you dip your toes into the warm and clear waters of San Pedro’s best beach (at least it’s the best in my opinion).

If you do go, pretty please let me know! I would love to hear about how much you love it… and see if these directions helped ease the confusing process of getting there.

Happy sustainable travels!

xo Laura

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Top Things to do in San Pedro, Belize

Top Things to do in San Pedro, Belize

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Don’t miss this incredible island!

     

Considering a trip to Belize? Then you’re probably checking out San Pedro and wondering what are the top things to do on the island.

Beautifully clear blue waters, colorful small town and low key living …with a slight party habit, San Pedro, Belize is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an island getaway.  San Pedro is perfect for travelers of all types.

Below is a list of things to do in San Pedro for both adventurous and low-key relaxing travelers.

How do you get to San Pedro?

There are two ways you can get to San Pedro, Belize – by water taxi or by plane. You can read all about both here.

With so much to explore, here are the

Top 8 things you need to see & do in San Pedro, Belize

Snorkel Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley

One of my favorite days out of the entire trip was snorkeling the Hol Chan Marine Preserve. Located a few miles off of the coast of San Pedro, this is a MUST do activity.  Hol Chan Marine Reserve had the most incredible sea creatures & clear water for snorkeling and diving. And fun fact, it’s the second largest barrier reef in the world!

Check out my blog post that details what we saw and how the company we chose had an environmental focus.

Sunset Cruise

Being on an island means lots of access to beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  TripAdvisor has plenty of options for cruising groups at sunsets. Some including drinks, dinner, etc.  Based off of a locals recommendation we chose to walk along the beach to find a boat for sunset (thinking it would be cheaper, which it was).

*Travel TIP : Book a sunset cruise PRIOR to arriving to San Pedro. Boats don’t go out every evening so booking in advance will guarantee you a stress free experience.  Luckily, we found a unique sail boat last minute, who provided us rum punch and light snacks.

Explore San Pedro town

San Pedro town is colorful, with welcoming locals.  Meander through the streets, and the shops located beachside. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see how people live on the island.

 

Belize Chocolate Company

This adorably decorated business right on the shoreline provided amazingly delicious baked goods and homemade chocolates.  They focus their efforts on recycling and sustainability for the island so is a great business to support.

Rent a Golf Cart

There are almost no cars on San Pedro island, so you can either rent bicycles or golf carts. I would suggest golf carts because (1) it’s fun and (2) the roads are fairly bumpy so riding a bicycle on them is like asking for your bum to be sore. Renting a golf cart is an easy & efficient way to explore parts of the island that you can’t access by foot near San Pedro town.

Enjoy local nightlife

There are a lot of options for bars in San Pedro’s town.  As any other place you travel to, not all bars are created equal in providing a comfortable experience.  So, go where you feel you can have the most fun with no concerns. Monday night is the islands most mellow night.

Here are a list of bars that were suggested to us:

  • Crocs
  • Playa Bar
  • Blue Water Grill
  • Lola’s
  • Wet Willys
  • Big Daddys
  • Barefoot Iguana
  • Jaguar Temple

On the weekends at the central square, there are various tented areas where you can purchase grilled street food (Plant based people, these street food vendors may not be for you as I did not find any vegetarian options).

Blue Hole National Park

Another MUST do experience, however since we weren’t able to scuba dive we chose to not visit (at least for this trip).  Here is the information I was able to gather while we considered going:

  • It is a two and a half hour boat ride to get there, so it is an all day excursion
  • There are three tour groups that take you there, for scuba divers and snorkelers

Amigos Del Mar

Ambergis Dive

Ramons

  • When you first arrive to San Pedro book this excursion if you want to do it.  The tours do not go out daily so if you aren’t on the island for too long you may not get the chance to go
  • For snorkelers, you will snorkel around the Blue Hole (1.15 miles), then Half Moon Caye, have lunch and do a short hike, then snorkel at The Aquarium

*see the TIPS section of this post for more about the Blue Hole National Park Experience

Spend a day at Secret Beach

I had heard whisperings of Secret Beach on San Pedro.  You’ll find an off the beaten path, slice of heaven.  Visiting here will leave you more than surprised that a paradise like this still exists.

If you want to find specifics on how to get there (as there is no cell service, nor map leading you there) and how to pack for it check out this blog post.

Water Activities

Your hotel will have plenty of options for companies offering jet skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking, catamarans… pretty much any water activity you could want to do.  There aren’t major waves off of San Pedro so if you’re hesitant don’t let your fear of a strong current deter you. It’s a very approachable water area.

Spend an evening at Truck Stop

A food truck hub complete with an ice cream shop, pool and epic sunsets! Truck stop has nightly events that you can find out about through their facebook page.

Where to stay in San Pedro, Belize

When choosing where to stay in San Pedro, I would suggest staying near San Pedro town. You’ll be conviently close to the docks where you arrive and depart (unless you fly into their small airport), and you’ll be near the majroity of restaurants, excursion docks and more

Check out current hotel deals for San Pedro below

Booking.com

Don't Forget to Pack:

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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Top TIPS for visiting San Pedro, Belize:

  • San Pedro has small beaches, and depending on the weather (storms) there may be seaweed washed up on the shore.  If you’re staying near the main town understand that while convenient, it is not meant to be a lay on the beach and wade into the water type of place.  Those perfect beaches are there but further on a less trodden path (see my post about getting to Secret Beach). Or rent a boat to swim in the ocean further from the shoreline.
  • Humidity is real in Central America and can be intense.  Stay hydrated.
  • Unless you are scuba diving or an avid snorkeler, I would not suggest snorkeling the Blue Hole National Park.  According to local advice, you will see much more wildlife at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and the excitement behind the Blue Hole is that scuba divers have a rare opportunity to dive so deep into unobscured waters.
  • Rent a golf cart to get around. Since the island of San Pedro is longer than it is wide, it’s not convenient for cars to drive around. Most hotels will be able to connect you with a golf cart company.  Prices are all very similar so going through your lodging is great because they will bring it right to you.

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Eco-Friendly Tips for the Beach

Eco-Friendly Tips for the Beach

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Five simple tips to help keep our beaches clean

Note: this post contains affiliate links to products we love and have purchased ourselves on Amazon. Clicking these links doesn’t cost you any extra money, and you’re supporting us by doing so. You can view my disclosure page for additional details.

When choosing a destination for a vacation one of the most popular reasons for going will be a place with stunning views and landscapes.  In order for these destinations to be desirable they are well maintained by someone who is being paid to do so, and some beaches cannot keep up with the trash pollution (hello tides bringing things in and out).

        Beaches are easy places for people to leave behind garbage because the assumption is that ‘I won’t be coming back here so not my problem anymore’, or a personal “favorite” of mine is the assumption that someone will clean up after you.  It’s confusing to think about how and when that mindset settled in, but the reality is no one is coming in after you to clean up your mess on a beach.  Beach clean ups are great, but they are a band-aid over a bigger problem, not a solution.  So, I’ve put together a simple list of things YOU can do to prevent waste and be eco-friendly on your next beach visit.

Five Friendly Tips to help keep our beaches clean

1. CARRY A (REUSABLE) WATER BOTTLE

Instead of purchasing another plastic water bottle, reuse one you already have or carry a sturdy reusable bottle with you.  It’ll be a great reminder to fill it up and stay hydrated, and it saves plastic from being left behind.

Here is a resusable water bottle that I really like

*My suggestion would be to not invest too heavily into a reusable bottle that you will travel with.  I once had an empty water bottle tossed via a secondary, full plane, re-check of our carry on luggage with the reason being I couldn’t have any bottles of any kind…

2. BRING A REUSABLE CLOTH SHOULDER BAG OR GROCERY BAG

        Plagues are to human destruction, as Plastic is to the ocean… alright, my attempt at an analogy may not be great, but the point I’m trying to make is that plastic is the devil- especially to our oceans.  Avoid plastic like a plague and always bring a reusable bag with you.  Some clothing stores use cloth bags, such as Free People and Verge Girl, that you can reuse or use a reusable grocery bag.  They are lightweight and very useful.

These cloth bags are a great size for a long day spent at the beach

3. WEAR REEF-SAFE & CRUELTY FREE SUNSCREEN

Coral reefs maintain and protect vast parts of our oceans.  They can be bleached and die from oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are main ingredients in many mainstream sunscreens.  They are toxic to our oceans.  Protect marine life and coral reefs by wearing reef-safe and cruelty free sunscreens.

I am currently working on reviewing various sunscreens that fit into this category to share which ones are best for protection, quality and for your dollar.  In the meantime, here are brands that I have heard of:

  • Sun Bum; I use their 30 spf
  • Hang Ten
  • Jason Mineral
  • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
  •  Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen
  • Bare Republic

*search for mineral and zinc oxide based sunscreens

4. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD

Packing your own food will allow you to use reusable Tupperware and avoid horrific items like foam packaging and plastic straws.  While at home I use the Pyrex brand, but for travelling these silicone bags are great (plus they have cute little pandas on them too)

If you bring items that are individually wrapped, such as protein bars, be sure to…

 

5. TAKE YOUR TRASH WITH YOU

Some beaches will have garbage bins on the beach, which is wonderful!  However, beaches are windy places.  When the wind starts it’ll pick up whatever lightweight items are in a garbage bin and float them away.  Use that reusable bag you’re going to bring with you and store your trash in there to toss out at home or at your lodging.

        That’s it!  Five very simple things you can easily do to help preserve beaches.  It’s incredible to think about how simple these five tasks are and even more incredible how impactful you, as an individual, can be utilizing these tips.

Share this post with someone you go to the beach with so you and your team can be prepped for the beach that all you have to do is enjoy the the rays & the waves!

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