Our first stop in Belize was just north of Belize City, on the very small island of Caye Caulker. I say it is worth paying a bit more for accommodations (and US$40 is not bad) if you can get a good beach access like the Trends Beachfront Hotel provided. We spent some time here every day in the hotel lawnchairs, drawn up near the rustling palm trees. It was a perfect spot to catch the breezes, watch the activities on the beach, read our books and take a short stroll up to our refrigerator every now and then to replenish the drinks!
While there, we watched the antics of some of the local school boys in the back of the village's dump truck (one of the few 'official' vehicles on the island) as it was parked beside one of the palm trees not far from us. They each plucked one of the leaf strands off a branch of the tree and then, by pulling some other part of the leaf, were shooting the fronds at each other like arrows! It was just like in Africa, the kids know how to make a toy out of anything!
However, since you have come all the way to little Caye Caulker, you should also make the time to walk it's amazing beach - along the the eastern 'reef-side' of the island. With the numerous small boats bobbing on the water, the waves breaking off-shore on the reef and the many interesting buildings, there is no shortage of things to observe. It also really helps to settle you into the slow pace of life on Caulker, as both locals and tourists go about their business with no great hurry - it will only take a few days before you too can no longer remember what day of the week it is!
Take the water taxi to Caye Caulker and spend the day. Go see the seahorse at Seahorse Park (or creek). Someone will scoop one up in a glass jar so you can look at it up close (doesn't hurt them). Walk to the "split" and have a cocktail while your feet dangle in the water off the water wall. Talk to the locals and eat at one of the cafes on middle street. The taxi runs every hour and is nominal to travel by.
Caye Caulker's motto is "Go Slow". And why not...there is not much to do. The snorkeling and diving is great. Other than that, you can have a beer at the Sport's Bar or the Lazy Lizard or cool off in the heat of the day at the split. If you hurry through town, the locals (who are all very friendly) will tell you to "go slow!".
Chocolate's Guest House is a great place to stay and Annie's shop (below the guest house) has great merchandise. Also, Chocolate and Annie are opening a nice new, very well built guest house with kitchen.
Pictures below are of the Lazy Lizard at the split and Caye Caulker just as sun is trying to come up.
Unless you are a party animal, you will probably prefer Caye Caulker over Ambergis. There are hardly any cars, just golf carts and bicycles, whereas, Ambergis has lot's of cars and noisy trucks. The shopping on Caye Caulker is just as good as on Ambergis and there are plenty of restaurants.
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem. This is the motto of Caye Caulker and life takes on a much slower pace here. Spending the day reading in a hammock or under a palm tree is the norm.
If you feel adventurous, there are many tour companies that will take you out for a day of snorkelling on the world's second largest reef. You can also book a tour to see the gentle sea cows of the ocean, the manatees.
There are many, many accomodations available for the budget traveller. If you are looking for something a little posher, then Caye Caulker may not be for you.
See more photos and tips on my Caye Caulker pages.
Caye Caulker and Amergris Caye are probably the two most famous off the coast of Belize City. I stayed on Caye Caulker and did a snorkel tour from one of the local operators - absolutely amazing! Visibility was good and I saw sting rays, manta rays, eels and even a shark (I think) that zoomed by out of the corner of my eye. The guys on the boat thought they saw it too!! August was the wrong time to visit - extreme humidity and blatantly bothersome thick sand flies. Roland is a local Garafuna that lives in a little shack on Caye Caulker. I hope he's still there after a hurricane swept by there a few years back. These people are very poor. I hung out with him for a day and he crafted me a tiny wooden seahorse as time went by, knowing that I didn't really have that much extra money to spare for him. Roland will carve anything any size for you if you're looking for a true souvenir. You get to spend many hours together and really absorb what it's like for these people to live there. A great adventure!
Do a beach barbeque with a tour group. I recommend Rocque and Jerry who can be found at Sol Caribe. It is the best meal you will have all week. Combines cooking out, fishing and snorkeling.
A really fun day that has a bit of everything. You can try spear fishing. The snorkeling is great and you get fed the freshest fish.
We booked with Hicato Tour (the friendly Ecuadorian guide is called Carlos) and paid 30 Bel $ per person, everything included.
The boat is adequately called Reef Rat.
From 10 till 5 pm, you stop at several reefs, at an island for lunch and at a shipwreck.
The only snorkeling you can do off the beach is at the split. There isn't much to see and the currents are quite strong so you have to be careful. We saw some barracuda and smaller fish hanging around. To make it worth your while you have to take a boat out, but chilling out on Caye Caulker is a lot of fun in itself!
While you are in Caye Caulker, one of the best things you can do is bring along your reel and or if you do not own any, then you can ask around for fishing tour guides who will give your trip an extra boost! Go out to explore the waters around the island by going fishing either for snappers, groupers or some specific fish.You will enjoy getting of the island. One of the best tour guides that is also family oriented and is passionate about fishing is a guide by the name of Esley! He has taken out so many different tourists family, couples and individuals who always has the best time and they come back after a long day of fishing with an amazing experience. You can email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org
You can ask to go fishing for half day or a full day! deep sea or reef fishing!
Seaside Cabanas Caye Caulker
2 Reviews and 330 Opinions We were so happy with our stay at Seaside Cabanas; we've only been back for a week and we're already...