• rose

Updated: Sep 6

Caye Caulker, Belize

The rumours are true; Belize is beautiful. The beaches are stunning. The people are ridiculously friendly. The seafood is delicious. We truly can’t complain about anything. The hot weather was a relief, especially after a few rainy and humid days in Flores, Guatemala. We arrived in Caye Caulker on a Thursday, and we only had less than 24 hours to explore before our three day sailing trip. Thankfully Caye Caulker is a relatively small island, and we were able to explore most of it on foot and by bicycle. You can’t help but feel relaxed and smile as you meet friendly locals along the street. The bakery there is reason enough to visit; Devon had to go back for seconds! We ate freshly caught lobster, tried conch fritters, and indulged in their cocktail specialty, the "panty ripper"... With coconut rum and pineapple juice, of course! We were sad we didn’t have more time on Caye Caulker, but we had organized a three day sailing trip that departed the next day.

The last three days feel like a blur. We sailed with sixteen other people from all over the world, visited private islands, snorkeled the second largest reef system in the world, and ate ceviche and fish that we caught off the boat...it was paradise. Some highlights for me include snorkelling with two meter rays, a nurse shark, a sea turtle, and seeing our guide use a spear gun to catch fish! Dolphins swam up right next to our boat as well. The birds were quite amazing too. I wish I knew all the different types! Devon caught a barracuda which was prepared for dinner one night.

We were sad to leave the boat, but now we are in a small city called Hopkins, which is almost as beautiful. We are going to relax here and then we will make our way up towards Cancun, Mexico for a friend’s wedding next week!

  • devon

Caye Caulker to Dangriga, Belize

We made an impromptu decision to blow our budget and sign up for a three day sailing trip going from Caye Caulker, south, to Dangriga, Belize. After indulging on baked goods, we walked to the waterfront where we would meet our fellow sailors and crew. We rationalized the sailing trip as the best way to see and live Belize, and it wasn’t going to be cheap for us to hangout on Caye Caulker and Ambergris, as we would be doing day trips otherwise.

The sailing trip was incredible. It was without a doubt the right choice. Everything about the trip was great. The people were awesome, the fishing was superb (I hooked a 25 pound Barracuda which we ate that night), we spearfished, camped on beautiful remote cayes, ate fresh conch ceviche, and drank lots of tropical rum punch in the evenings. 10/10 I would do it again. After becoming partially mute in Guatemala because my Spanish isn’t good enough to carry on any meaningful conversation, it was a relief to converse with others in English. The snorkeling was a highlight for us; we snorkeled with HUGE rays, nurse sharks, and amongst beautiful reefs. We are avid snorkelers, so for us this was a main draw to do the tour. Three days of chilling in the sun, eating good food, and seeing first hand the beauty of the tropical caribbean water; you would have to be some kind of special to not enjoy this trip.

  • devon

Flores, Guatemala to Caye Caulker, Belize

After three weeks in Guatemala, at the end of rainy season, some sunshine and beach time is welcome. The last few weeks have been spent navigating muddy streets, off and on rain storms, mosquitoes, blackflies, and outrageously humid conditions. Don’t get me wrong, Guatemala has been a worthwhile experience, but we are ready for a change (and Rose can’t donate anymore blood to the insect populations of Guatemala).

We stepped off the ground in Flores, Guatemala, at 5:00AM, and the next time we would plant our feet on the ground we would be in Belize - our second country in Central America!

The border crossing between Guatemala and Belize is easy to navigate. You can't cross with fruits, veggies, or nuts, so be aware of that if you have a phobia of travelling without food on hand at all times, like Rose....

Immediately after crossing the border, it is evident that Belize is a more wealthy country. It is marginal evident at first, but as you get closer to Belize City it is clearly evident. Peoples lawns are mowed (also, people have lawns), homes are taken care of, the streets are well signed, and road rules are similar to “Western” countries. The final destination of our bus was the marina where the ferry boats take you to Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. The ferry terminal is modern looking and organized. Also, the ferry boats are new, well kept, and have life saving equipment onboard (which is a luxury that is generally overlooked in Western countries). Not to mention, nearly everyone on the boat is white and around middle age or older; my first impressions of Belize was that this is clearly going to be a different experience from Guatemala.

A quick boat trip (45 minutes) to Caye Caulker, and it was time to get into beach mode! Thirty degrees (celsius), beautiful tropical water, and palm trees - time to whip out the sunny’s and throw on the swimsuit! In anticipation of the sunshine in Belize, we had bought sunscreen in Guatemala, which is a necessity for me to survive in direct sunlight, but it cost us $27 CAD for 500ml. A ridiculously expensive price for sunscreen. To put this in perspective, our accomodation cost us less for a night in the touristy town of Flores, Guatemala. To add insult to injury, we also had to buy contact lense solution which cost nearly the same per milliliter. That being said, this was the only time that I felt like we were being blatantly ripped off, and it was buy a supermarket, not a shady tour operator or street vender. This really says a lot for the people in Guatemala. There is normally always room for negotiation with street vendors and tour operators, but we never felt like people were trying to scam us, which isn’t the case for many countries you travel, so kudos to the people of Guatemala for honourably dealing with, often naive and vulnerable tourists.

We were delighted with Caye Caulker from the moment we stepped off the boat. This may be partly a result of where we were coming from, but it is also just a chilled out, beautiful place to put your feet up. Also, and most importantly for us, our laundry would actually dry here. After trying to dry out our clothing and shoes for the last few days in 100% humidity, everything had developed a shall we say “travelly” odour…

We had about 10 hours to spend on Caye Caulker, before we would disembark on a three day sailing trip down to Dangriga, so we had to make the most of it! Caye Caulker is small so we walked to the split (where the Caye was “split” by a hurricane in 2007), where we spent the afternoon bobbing in the beautiful tropical water. This had a slightly “all-inclusive” feel, which we aren’t partial to, but in this instance felt very enjoyable. Later we rented bikes and cruised the Caye, and then went to Maggie's which is an AMAZING locally run restaurant that does seafood. An incredible dinner of conch fritters and a local lobster dish was indescribably delicious. The following morning, we went to the local bakery and loaded up on baked goods. All of them were also AMAZING. It leaves me wondering whether I’m just incredibly happy to be eating something other than tortillas for every meal, or if the local food on Caye Caulker is all tear jerkingly incredible…