If you’re following along, we’re on to part two of P and I’s November honeymoon in Belize. To recap, part one included the jungle, quite a bit of caving and poolside nachos. We were pretty big fans of this little country the size of Massachusetts at this point, but had to keep going. Next up: Caye Caulker.
For parts two and three of our adventure, we headed to the beach, islands to be exact. While we went back and forth about staying on the southern mainland, which is also well traveled and known for its Belizian vibes, we couldn’t turn down the idea of island life. So back to Belize City we went.
While it’s an easy flight from mainland Belize over to any number of the islands off of the coast (including this one), we opted to take the
more authentic cheaper route of going by water taxi. The water taxi will run you between $15-$20 USD, a steal which runs several times per day. They take care of loading your luggage and off you go.
Our first stop was Caye Caulker. We had heard Caye Caulker to be known for its backpacker tourists, amazingly cheap street food and laid back style of well, everything. On all of those fronts, Caye Caulker didn’t disappoint.
Thanks to Trip Advisor stalking (which became our go-to for nearly every stop on this trip) we settled on four nights at Colina Cabanas. Owners Colin and Linda, originally from Canada, have made Belize home and built a little set of cabanas right along the coast of the southern end of the island. They couldn’t have been more gracious hosts, living on-site and available for anything from bike repair to restaurant recommendations.
When we took to booking both of our island stays we had a few simple requirements: transportation and water front access. Transportation on Caye Caulker is one of its most laid back elements, read there is little to none. The island is made up of three streets: front, middle and back street and cars, well you’ll be lucky to count them on one hand. Taxis do come in the form of golf carts, but the main mode of transportation here is biking. With a length of about a mile, biking from end to end is a fairly quick ride.
Once you reach the end of the island, you’ll find what’s known as The Split. This is basically a little swim, drink and sun spot at a break in the island caused by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. While the island technically continues past this point, there is no electricity – other than those producing it on their own as solar power.
As far as coastline is concerned, Belize is beautiful, but not known for wide beaches in this part of the country, making a good dock, palapa, or The Split crucial. You’re more likely to dive off of the dock end and sleep in a hammock than lay on a sandy beach here. We did our fair share of both.
We were more than surprised to find restaurants on the island to be numerous, delicious, quirky and CHEAP. We were both a little (read a tiny) disappointed to not be fans of lobster, as a freshly caught lobster grilled right on the street in front of you ran you about $5 USD.
We didn’t indulge in any fresh crustaceans, but did find something even better in our eyes, a Georgia bar. Having a wedding during football season came with its difficulties, so we were thrilled when we found a little SEC bar to catch the majority of game day, including Georgia – Auburn. The 2/$5 BZD cocktails (equating to $1.25 USD each) were icing on the cake. Win-Win.
Other than a lot of docking, beaching and eating, we also took a day of snorkeling from Caye Caulker. Too bad we weren’t the smartest and failed to pack the GoPro, resulting in no digital proof of that one. Belize is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef, meaning fish in the thousands less than a mile off shore. We ended up doing a half-day trip, which was really close enough for our tastes to a full day, including fruit, more rum and a tour guide for $40 USD each.
Once we finished swimming with the fishes, our guide took us on a tour around the island, going so far as to point out the underwater caves which are just starting to gain popularity with divers. We looked it up getting back to our hotel. No thanks.
While we loved the vibes and the many eating stops in Caye Caulker, there was one little demise: the no see ums. Ugh. Those dirty little jerks. I’ve had my fair share of no see um attacks in the Carolinas, however, this took it to an entirely new level. If you’ve never been bit by these little buggers (or you’re one of those miracle humans like P who aren’t bothered by their bites), they are basically little mosquitos that are nearly impossible to see and even harder to prevent.
Since no see ums are worst at night and sunrise and Caye Caulker didn’t really have in-door establishments (beyond hotels and maybe the grocery) there was no avoiding them. I left the island with around 100 painful bites and a lot of cortisone cream – which luckily I packed just in case. Add that with the leg gashes from part one of our trip and I was one ATTRACTIVE bride by this point. For better or for worse, right?
After four nights in Caye Caulker, we hit the water taxi and headed out towards our next and final stop, Ambergris Caye. Stay tuned for part three for that one. This is getting long.