When you get off the boat at Caye Caulker you are greeted “Welcome to paradise!” And it sure was true. I don’t know that I have met a nicer people then the ones of Belize!
Mayan people lived here 2,500 years bc until Spanish explorers made their way here in the 1500s. In the 1600s the English, Scottish and the Pirates made their way. In the 1780s British took rule and brought slaves and slave bosses from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands to log mahogany woods. In 1833 slavery was abolished in the British empire. The country was named British Honduras until 1981 when Belize got its independence.
Caye Caulker is a magical place!
You can tell it has been discovered. It is no longer a secret. But it is far from a Cancun or a Cozumel down the road. You will not see a franchise of any kind. Local people either operate a restaurant, store, or are tour operators for the most part. There is a fruit guy, there is a bread guy. “Banana bread, HOT frrreesh out de oven!”
There are a hand full of roads on the island but there aren’t any cars! Everyone drives a golf cart. Even the taxis are golf carts! What’s not to like about that.
I was walking down the road the other day and a guy said “hey man you have to slow down!” I said ok. He said “no man, slower. Slower. Ok now you got it!” Haha the people of Belize are great!
We got a room at Raul’s Place. $30 US a night for a private room with bathroom and a refrigerator and coffee maker. The couple that own the two story apartment have been on the island all of their lives. They told me tales of the many hurricanes they have survived or how the two islands that make up Caye Caulker used to be one before a hurricane in the 50s. Now the area between the two islands is about 100 feet across! It’s called The Split..
After meeting many locals and discussing property in Belize and the way it has changed for the good and the bad over the years I heard some tales about “The Split”. It once was a place the local people would come for birthday parties, celebrations and holidays to relax with their families. There was a small bar there. The bar was bought not long ago and turned into an obnoxiously loud party spot with overpriced drinks and food geared towards partying tourists. But the owners told the local people that they do not want them there. They are no longer welcome at the split! The place they have been coming with their families for many years! So I chose to not spend a dime at The Lazy Lizzard and if you have respect to the local people of Caye Caulker you wouldn’t either. But enough about that. There are plenty of great local bars on the island with tons of amazing views! I went to Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen one night for amazing chicken kabobs and a sunset cocktail.
(Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen)
My days were usually started at Meldys. A small bright little shack a coupe back from front street. The price is good and the food is amazing! French toast, eggs, fruit and bacon. The Belizian breakfast, which is fry jacks (fried fluffy dough) refried beans and a chicken wing soup. It’s amazing! Food for two and all for $9. This is sure to cure any hang over! Just in time to go to Ragamuffins for a snorkeling tour. I chose them be because they have a fleet of four sail boats to take you out on!
A day spent sailing the Caribbean, snorkeling the largest reef on this half of the planet and eating fresh out of the ocean sea food. It was an amazing day! The first stop on the tour was Shark-Ray Alley. The second I entered the water I was surrounded by 7-8 sharks and could see 4 big stingrays. There were some fish around as well.
The second spot was snorkeling around the reef. Lots of coral, small tropical fish and a few caves.
The tour ended with some time to wander on your own around the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Lots of little bright colored tropical fish and a few golden rays.
There is an hour sail back to the island wile listening to reggae music and drinking rum punch. One of the best tours I had in Central America.
And every single night that we were on the island we had dinner at Reina’s. The best jerked chicken I have ever had in my life! Jerked chicken with grilled pineapple, rice, seasoned cooked vegetables, and more pinapple on the side. And it comes with a free rum punch! You won’t find a better meal on Caye Caulker as far as I am concerned.
Where to stay-
Raul’s Place-60 blz ($30USD) Good breeze, refrigerator and coffee maker in room. Quiet
Getting there and away-
Belize City- The ferry boat from Belize City will get you to Caye Caulker in 45 minutes. I payed for a round trip ticked which for a traveling man is no good. If you are traveling north to Mexico buy a one way boat ticked and you can take the ferry to Mexico from the islands. I paid 28 blz ($14us) round trip.
To Mexico you can book a ferry boat from Caye Caulker to Chetumal. Two hour boat ride that stops in San Pedro for immigration. Cost-120 blz ($60us)