After not wanting to leave Mexico, Belize had me (and Dad at home!) on tender hooks due to it’s crime rate. But as soon as we arrived I quickly realized how wrong I had been as we were instantly made to feel welcome.
We stayed in Caye Caulker for 6 wonderful nights and Sophies Guest Rooms (€220/$525BZ for 6 nights) was our home on the waterfront for our time there. This accommodation was located right beside the split and many restaurants which made it ideal. Caye Caulker was more expensive than Mexico so we pushed our budget to it’s limit with this stay but it was 100% worth it.
The streets of Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is a small island in the Carribean Sea, approx 8km long and 1.5km wide, located approx. one hour boat ride from Belize City and two hours from Chetumal, Mexico however overall the trip took approx 4 hrs (custom\immigration stop at San Pedro). We used the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi which cost €50/$120BZ pp from Mexico and €15\$36BZ pp to Belize City. English and Spanish is widely spoken on the island.
The view from Sophie’s Guest Room
What to do in Caye Caulker
Snorkeling in the world’s second largest barrier reef
Caye Caulker’s crystal clear waters and close proximity to the second largest barrier reef in the world makes it an excellent location for snorkeling! So with that we booked a full day snorkeling tour with Caveman Tours, 65 Dollars \130 Belizean. With Ronnie and Vito as our guides we were well catered for. The tour started at half 10 in the morning and finished at half 4, and included 6 snorkel stops (manatees, Hol Chan reserve, sunken cargo vessel, coral gardens, shark ray alley, chatos channel) and a seahorse finding and Tarpon feeding stop. Lunch was also included with different food options available.
Yup, they are sharks behind Alan
Pretty amazing to spot Manatees!
To say it was amazing is an understatement, you need to go experience it to belize it!! It felt as if we had been dropped into a magical and colourful aquarium, swimming with at least 3 varieties of stingrays, fish of all sizes and colours, a turtle (another tick for Alan’s bucket list!), sharks, yes real, wild, teeth baring sharks, and manatees. It’s definitely another world down there and makes you appreciate how precious the oceans and corals are for sustaining all this tropical life.
Our first turtle sighting!
One of the many stringrays we saw
Some tips – book into the tour a few days ahead to make sure you can be accommodated. Don’t go on tours where touching marine life is acceptable. Wear suncream on your butt, don’t think this needs an explanation!
All the fish!
Literally “Go Slow”
As the motto in Caye Caulker is “Go Slow”, we spent the majority of our days relaxing in around the split, a narrow channel which was created when a hurricane ripped through the island, at either the Lazy Lizard or Sip n’Dip. I happily finished two books while Alan enjoyed the Belikin beer. There is a diving board at the end of the split which I not so graciously conquered on my third attempt. Yeah!!
The Caye Caulker motto
We went to the outdoor cinema at Bondi bar where we watched Atomic Blonde (awful movie even if Charlize Theron is in it!) under the stars in the presence of the biggest bats I’ve ever seen and a barking dog at the nude scenes, but all made for an unforgettable night! It cost $8 BZ for the movie and $3BZ for popcorn. Incense coils burn to keep the mosquitos away. Movies were at 6.30pm and 8.30pm but the movie nights vary so take a stroll up past the port along the main road to see what movies are showing and when.
The view from the split
Watching the sunsets at the pier was another favourite thing to do. It is even more mesmorising after the sun goes down as the clouds take on an orange hue against the blue of the sky and the reflection on the water. It makes for happy hearts and picture perfect shots! Listen out for “when the sun goes down, the brownies come around” if additional blissful relaxation is sought!!
The best sunsets!
Other things to do
There is plenty more stuff to do if you’ve had enough of relaxation, try paddle-boarding, kayaking around the island, diving in the blue hole, sun set or half day cruises to name a few.
Overview of the restaurants we eat in
- Wish Willy, great food (lobster, conch curry 40$ altogether) and very very informal.
- Amigos, for a huge pizza (25$) which I ended up regretting.
- Chef Juans Kitchen for breakfast, definetly recommend, fast, friendly with no fuss.
- La Cubana, for 15$ for stewed chicken \ meatballs and 3 mixed drinks with rum, whats not to like.
- Enjoy Restaurant and Bar, good selection of food and happy hour drinks. My fave was purple haze while Alans was panty ripper.
- Maggies Sunset Kitchen, nice garlic lobster but most expensive, we paid 30$ per lobster.
- For “some after dinner treats” i.e delicious cake, 5$ per slice go to The Cake Lady, you wont be disappointed. You will find her along the main road, near Crocodile Street corner.
- Jenny’s To Go Food, cheap fry jacks for breakfast but be prepared for a bit of a wait.
Overall Caye Caulker was unforgettable, unbelizable, charming and relaxing. Blissful paradise that I hope doesn’t change in the future. Highly recommend visiting even if only for a few days, you won’t regret it!