San Pedro is the town located on Ambergris Caye, although many people use the terms San Pedro and Ambergris interchangeably. In addition, Ambergris Caye is actually two islands -- North Ambergris Caye and Ambergris Caye.
North Ambergris Caye tends to have higher-end resorts and upscale housing - most of it in the tourism rental market. A water taxi makes regular runs between the North Ambergris Caye resorts and San Pedro Town for easy access to local restaurants and shops from North Ambergris.
San Pedro Town proper runs south from the cut that divides Ambergris from North Ambergris to Sunbreeze Hotel. Lodging in San Pedro Town proper tends to be more budget lodging, with most (but not all) moderate and upscale lodging south of San Pedro Town. San Pedro Town proper is where most of the local gift shops and art galleries are located, as well as some of the more well-known restaurants and night spots on Ambergris Caye, such as Elvi's Kitchen, Caliente's, Wild Mangos, Blue Water Grill, and Big Daddy's.
The Placencia Peninsula is a narrow 17-mile long peninsula that juts out into the Caribbean in southern Belize, about 40 miles south of Dangriga. The Placencia Lagoon on the west separates it from the Belize mainland. The Caribbean Sea forms its eastern and southern borders.
Placencia Village is the hub of the Peninsula, where most of the local restaurants, bars, gift shops, banks, the main dock, grocery stores and other services are located. Seine Bight, a Garifuna village, is about 5 miles north of Placencia, and Maya Beach, a distinct community on the Peninsula, is about 5 miles north of Seine Bight.
The Placencia Peninsula offers a good range of lodging options, from rooms with shared baths, to cabanas on the beach with efficiency kitchens, to very nice two-bedroom air-conditioned apartments, beach houses, hotels and luxury villas.
Hundreds of cayes (the local word for islands) are located off the Belize coast between the mainland and the Belize Barrier Reef.
Many of these islands are too small for any type of development, and many are so vitally important to the health of Belize's marine environment that they are simply too valuable to be developed.
However, Belize does offer some unique small island experiences, such as Whipray Caye, catering primarily to salt water fly fishing enthusiasts, Coral Caye, a former fishing camp turned Coppola retreat off the Placencia coast, or Pelican's Pouch, where you can snorkel or dive the incredibly rich marine habitat of Southwater Marine Reserve, a part of the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site.
But, don't expect upscale luxury - most times no a/c because the resort has to manufacture its own electricity and meals are not intricately prepared gourmet affairs. Instead, the focus at meals is on freshly caught and simply prepared local seafood.
The Hopkins/Sittee area offers beachfront hotels and resorts that are also conveniently located near the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Bocawina ziplining, plus the area is only a couple of hours' drive away from cave tubing, the Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan ruins and ATM cave in the Cayo District of Belize. For sea activities such as fishing, snorkeling and diving, the Southwater Marine Reserve, a Belize marine protected area and part of the Belize Reef World Heritage Site, is very easily accessible.
In terms of lodging, Hopkins/Sittee includes two entirely different areas of hotels/resorts - Hopkins Village and the Sittee area south of Hopkins.
Hopkins Village is a small Garifuna village, with some good Garifuna restaurants and bars where you can experience unique Garifuna drumming and dancing first-hand. (The Garifuna culture was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Culture in the 1990s because of its unique language, music, cultural practices and dance.) Hotels in Hopkins Village and immediately surrounding areas tend to be small and owner operated.