Critters of San Pedro, Belize

Hawaiian Day Gecko Tattoo

There are so many critters in San Pedro, Belize! Luckily not the terrifying, toothy critters from the old horror movies, but really unique animals that are amazing to see and watch. There are way too many to name, but here are some of my favorites.

House geckos are really lucky! 

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for lizards, but geckos are by far my favorite! I even have a Hawaiian Day Gecko tattoo on my ankle. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere with house geckos. They eat bugs and make this really fun chirp-chirp-chirping sound that just makes me happy. Our first trip to Belize didn’t yield too many geckos, but this trip has been markedly different. We have geckos chirping away every evening on our deck, running around eating bugs (get the bugs!).

We had one bounce off of Mr. ItchyFeet’s forehead (everyone was surprised but fine!) and one rode into our apartment all secret secret on my sleeve. I was hoping it would become our house gecko, because they are lucky, but I think she left via the large gap under our front door. So many geckos! 

Gecko on Tile
San Pedro gecko looking for bugs. Get ’em!

Ants! Ants! Ants! 

Some people like to have cute, cuddly dogs around the house to help clean up the kitchen floor when they drop something while cooking. Who needs doggies when you can have ants! It takes them a bit longer to sniff out whatever you dropped, and it takes an entire army of them to get that piece of carrot back to their home, but it is very impressive to watch.

The sugar ants in San Pedro, Belize are crazy tiny but they will find anything you leave behind. Once, I forgot a cough-drop in my purse until I saw the trail of ants heading that way. So sneaky! We found the best way to deal with them is to do dishes right away, wipe up any spills, and put every scrap of unusable food (banana skins, orange peals, meat wrappers, etc…) into a bag in the freezer. Once the bag is full, take the trash down to the street for pickup. And, if they happen to find a little piece of food that you missed; it’s theirs, they’ve claimed it, try not to step on them until they’re able to clear it away.

The birds! The birds!

There are way too many birds to mention, so here are some of the area’s most fabulous. The frigate birds are crazy huge and they just fly overhead looking like pterodactyls. I definitely feel like I’m in some weird dreamscape when I see them. So cool! I have spent hours watching them.

The pelicans are probably as big as the frigate birds and definitely more rotund. They will see something, lower one of their wings, and just drop into the water with this giant sploosh that really grabs your attention. So fun to watch!

There is a family of ospreys that stick together in San Pedro. They make this fun hawk noise and scare the crap out of all the other birds in the area. Sometimes a blackbird will try to defend their territory, but most just leave them alone.

San Pedro also has these green amazon parrots that are so pretty. They fly in a big group from tree to tree and make a bunch of noise. Last but not least are the hummingbirds! We love sitting in the pool, watching the hummingbirds flit from one gorgeous hibiscus flower to the next. They also buzz around the trees and eat bugs. Get those bugs!

Frigate Bird
Frigate bird (pterodactyl) flying over the beach. These things are huge!


Our power went out for a couple of hours one night when we first got here. Luckily we were not making dinner. We went on the deck to check out the stars because that is the best time to do it. We noticed these weird flashes of light in the trees. What the eff!?! Fireflies!!! I haven’t seen fireflies since I was a kid visiting my grandparents in Kansas in the summer!

We went down and chatted with the neighbors about them. The fireflies live in the pine tree by the side of our place, but you really can’t see them well with all the light pollution. The island-wide power outage was the perfect opportunity to see them flying around lighting up their butts. So cool!

Let’s talk about iguanas…

We have a daily morning challenge of finding the iguana(s) in the tree just outside our place. They are really hard to spot sometimes! There are striped black ones that brindle right into the background and green ones that are easier to spot by searching for their tails.

We see them a lot sunning themselves along the beach. They usually stick to areas that are not easily accessible to the street dogs, that wonder around the island, so we usually see them in fenced off areas or the fancy resorts manned by security who routinely move the dogs off the beaches. The iguanas get special attention from the tourists who love to take their picture. It really looks like they are posing for the shot!

Iguana on the beach
Look at this giant iguana enjoying the sun and posing for the camera!


There seem to be three different human to dog relationships in San Pedro. Some are like what we typically see in the United States with the dog wearing a collar and leash and clearly sleeps inside on some comfy couch or bed. Some are a bit more like outdoor cats. These dogs have collars and a home but they get to wonder the island during the day. They can cruise home for food and water and they provide protection for the “owner” at night.

Then there are the street dogs. They don’t have collars and get to do whatever they want. It’s a bit harder for them to find food and water, but they have a lot more freedom. All three types seem to get along fairly well and the street doggies are super nice. I had one put his head right into my hand with a confident, “I’ll take some pets please!”. A friend of mine is pretty confident that I’ll end up with a stray puppy, but I’m holding out… for now (Mr. ItchyFeet: what, exactly, do you mean “for now”?). 

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1 Comment

  1. That was a fabulous and fun read! ❤️❤️
    Hope you are safe in the Switzerlands ?

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