The beach of Mahogany Bay Village
Photo: Courtesy of Mahogany Bay Village

This narrow barrier island just off the Caribbean coast of Belize is a beloved beach getaway. Do a long weekend on Ambergris Caye in style, thanks to a new, luxurious outpost and classic local favorites. 

By Lauren Phillips

A quick plane-hop from Belize's international Airport in Belize City, Ambergris Caye is a playground for swimming, snorkeling and diving, and enjoying the laid-back culture of Belize. Make your long weekend a perfect one by checking in at the newly opened Mahogany Bay Village's collection of luxury bungalows, and follow these 10 must-dos. 

1. Kick off the weekend with fresh seafood. 

An exquisite sushi spread, prepared with locally sourced fish, awaits at JYOTO Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Top it off with sake or a house-crafted cocktail.

2. Get your Saturday morning coffee fix.

The coffee game on Ambergis Caye went up a major notch with the arrival of Mahogany Bay Townlet's Rum + Bean. The tiny coffeehouse on the Mahogany Bay property is a local favorite, and also offers a solid rum cocktail list for a fix of a different kind at the other end of the day.

Related: Best Places to Live: Ambergris Caye, Belize

3. Grab some pre-beach bodywork.

Find a wellness fix at in-town yoga spot Science & Soul Wellness. In addition to yoga sessions on the beach and Vinyasa Flow classes, this soulful spot offers aerial yoga classes from beginner levels up and SUP yoga lessons.

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Photo: Alex Robinson/Getty Images

4. Check out San Pedro.

Head in to Ambergris Caye’s town center (a quick golf cart ride from Mahogany Bay) for a buzzy afternoon in the center of this ex-pat haven. Along the waterfront park, local artisans pop up shops vending their crafts daily, and popular restaurants such as Elvi’s Kitchen provide laid-back lunch spots.

5. Go to the beach.

While Ambergris Caye has a handful of good beaches, it's well worth the boat ride to Mahogany Bay Village’s exclusive Beach Club, which sits on the community’s private, sandy, and serene beach (for guests only). 

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6. Hit a beach bar.

Rojo Beach Bar & Lounge, north of San Pedro on the Caye, has everything you want in a beach bar: open-air design, a spot just steps from the water, and all the cold beer and rum drinks your heart desires. But this iconic Ambergris Caye hangout also has an infinity pool and made-from-scratch menu to go with all that splendor.

Related: 20 Best Places to Live on the Coast in 2018

Snorkeling at Mahogany Bay Village
Photo: Courtesy of Mahogany Bay Village

7. Dive. 

With the world's second-longest coral reef flanking its coast, Belize is a diver's paradise. And Ambergris Caye, lying offshore, brings that heaven even closer--within one mile. Book an excursion into these peaceful, rich waters, to explore this magnificent landscape. 

8. Taste local chocolate.

At Mahogany Chocolate, the artisanal chocolates—think bonbons, pralines, truffles, and even drinking chocolate—are made from 100 percent Belizean cacao. 

9. Take a food tour.

With so much to eat and so little time, Belize Food Tours holds the key to sampling all Ambergris Caye’s dining scene has to offer. Pick between three different tours for a minimum of nine tastings.

Related: Weekend Getaway: Newport, Rhode Island

10. Toast the sunset in style.

The setting at SHAKEN, poolside and adjacent to Mahogany Bay Village's stunning Great House, has lingering written all over it. Add the fashion-forward frozen cocktails and small plates from the New Belizean-style menu, and feel that "linger" convert to "never leaving."  

The Main House at Mahogany Bay Village on Ambergris Caye, Belize
Photo: Courtesy of Mahogany Bay Village

11. Stay at Mahogany Bay. 

Ambergris Caye’s new island star, Mahogany Bay Village, echoes the New Urbanism sensibilities of beloved coastal communities such as Seaside and Alys Beach, Florida, with rows of elegant British colonial–style cottages and a cluster of excellent drinking and dining venues, all within walking distance of each other. This ingenious development has thought of it all: You can stay for a weekend at Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, Curio Collection by Hilton, long enough to fall head-over-heels for the sustainable community and its idyllic setting. If your love is true, the charming whitewashed villas are available for purchase and customization.