The museum is closed at this time. We hope to be able to reopen at some time provided we receive sufficient donations.

CLICK HERE for the Ambergris Jade Museum

Discover the heritage of Ambergris Caye

Its place in the Ancient Mayan world, how the Island became a pirates' refuge, the founding of San Pedro out of the terror of civil war, life in a sleepy fishing village.

The Ambergris Museum & Cultural Center tells the whole story. Visit us during your stay. We are centrally located at Island Plaza (on Barrier Reef Drive). Open hours are 8:00- 8:00pm, closed lunch from 1:00- 2:00pm

Gift shop and refreshments available. Small admission charge, schools and groups by appointment please.

In the early 1990s, after twenty years of tourism on the Island, a group of San Pedranos recognizing the need to preserve their island heritage, came up with the idea of the Ambergris Museum. The aim was to collect the history of Ambergris Caye, both ancient and recent, both material and oral, and then to present the story for residents and visitors.

To donate online to the Ambergris Historical Museum,
please CLICK HERE.

The Ambergris Museum opened for the first time in February 1998 at Island Plaza on Barrier Reef Drive. Local people have lead the program from the outset, and the Museum is registered as a non-profit making initiative independent of local or national government. Generous support from several international agencies, the Govt. of Belize, and many private individuals and businesses has resulted in an acclaimed new facility. A Friends of the Museum group has been set up giving both individuals and businesses the opportunity to become a part of the project in the future. Goals of the museum include establishing an educational outreach program for the community, and assisting the government in the management of historic sites on the caye.

Here's a brief guide to what you will find on a visit to the Museum.

Papo Alamilla's reconstruction of a Maya settlement on the Caye

The Museum is proud to exhibit several fine examples of Mayan ceramics found on the Caye. These beautiful vessels from Belize's Archaeology Department are once more on the island where they were used centuries ago. The island held an important place in the network of Maya trading routes, and the exhibit includes flint tools, obsidian and pottery all of which originated on the Central American mainland.

You'll see everything from Maya pottery to colonial period weapons

Skeletal remains have also been found, and the Museum displays fascinating examples of dental mutilation; a practice common amongst the Maya.

Collections of early glass bottles, silver coins and shot represent the period in the 17th and 18th centuries when the island was a retreat for pirates and buccaneers.

El Nino de Atocha, was revered for his miracle working powers

More recent history tells how the village of San Pedro was first settled by refugees from the civil war in Yucatan 150 years ago. The hard life of a community dependent on the fishing and coconut industries, their religious devotion and simple social pleasures are all given extensive coverage. Photographs and a film of San Pedro in 1950's and 70's complete the impression of life on the island before the tourists came.

Fishing was the only viable industry in San Pedro in the 1960's

A small gift counter sells Belizean ceramics and weavings in aid of the Museum. Ambergris Museum is open Monday - Saturday 2.00pm and 8.00pm, and Sunday 1.00pm - 6 00pm. A modest charge is made for admission. Senior citizens get a dollar off the admission charge. Admission fees are half price on Sundays. Groups wishing to visit are asked to make appointments in advance.

Related links:

Herman Smith's Column "Dig It", with interesting articles on Ambergris Caye and its past and archaeology. Brought to you by the San Pedro Sun.

Field Guide to Ambergris Caye, with lots of geologic and historical information, as well as information about the plants and animals of the area.

150 Years of San Pedro Town, a special section on the 150th anniversary celebration this year. Also brought to you by the San Pedro Sun.

Natural Healing and Medicines, by Ray Auxillou.

Excavations on Ambergris Caye

Click here for pictures of our opening night festivities.

The Maya at Bercellon and North Ambergris Caye

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services Search Messages

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