For our latest trip, my family and I decided on a long weekend in Belize. While we have thoroughly enjoyed our previous experiences in Placencia, we opted for a change in tempo this time. After a little research, Caye Caulker became the new destination point. We liked that it was still somewhat off the beaten path, but a little more “lively” than the calm & relaxing beaches of our prior trips. Caye Caulker is well known for their many hostels and very popular with backpackers. We selected for a small boutique called Iguana Reef Inn – located on the west coast of the island.
The flight from Houston to Belize City is a breeze at 2 hours 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the runway in Caye Caulker has been closed and under construction for almost a year, which meant we needed to take a water taxi to the island. (20-25 minute cab ride to the port, then 45 minutes on the water taxi.)
The Island: Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is a small island south of Ambergris Caye. The island is only 4-5 miles long and separated by a narrow waterway called “The Split”. The part of the island north of The Split is mostly uninhabited, but is slowly seeing some development. Something we really appreciated about the island is there are almost no cars. Primary modes of transportation are walking, bicycling or golf carts.
We spent most of our time exploring the island- walking up and down the two main streets. It is very easy to explore and not get lost at all. All the restaurants, inns and tour guide companies are located on the part of the island south of The Split. At the Split, you’ll find a very lively bar- no matter what time it is!
We did one full day snorkeling tour, which took us to 6 different sites. The most popular snorkel site is Hol Chan Marine Reserve, but we also swam with a manatee, explored Shark Ray Alley (snorkeling just a couple feet away from nurse sharks and large sting rays) and several other great areas full of marine life. It was one of my favorite snorkeling excursions. =)
We always enjoy experiencing delicious food during our travels. Since our hotel did not have its own restaurant, we ventured out for nearly every meal. Some of our favorite restaurants were:
- Hibiscus by Habanero’s Restaurant: great for a nice dinner with the family
- Rose’s Grill: serving only whatever fresh catch available for the day- which meant diners who came later or in large groups missed out on some of the options
- Belizean Flavas: the stairs to this restaurant are nearly hidden behind the giant grill (btw, 2 rum punches are served for each guest at dinner)
- Bambooze: located on Front Street, we enjoyed a delicious lunch here
- Rainbow Grill: lovely restaurant right on the water
- Barefoot Caribe Bar & Grill: one of our favorites for breakfast =)
- Lazy Lizard: famous bar at The Split – my husband and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails & people-watching
There were several recommendations we received from the locals, but did not get a chance to visit. Next time, we will make a point to stop by Wish Willy’s, Chef Juan’s and Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen
This trip to Caye Caulker was much needed for myself and my family. It was a great combination of relaxation and adventures.
Can’t wait to go back! Happy travels, y’all!!