From Playa, we met up with our tour group that we will be heading to Belize and Guatemala with. Straight to the border by bus, passport stamps, two more public buses and an hour long ferry – at last, Caye Caulker. In terms of places I have been, it comes as close to heaven as it gets. Crystal clear Caribbean seas, balmy weather, friendly locals, cheap and amazing seafood – this small island has it all. The first night the lot of us were exhausted from the long sweaty journey, so the lot of us had a lobster dinner (each cost less than $10 USD for lobster plus two sides and rum punch) and enjoyed a few beers before heading to bed.
The next day was amazing – woke up for a sailing trip leaving in the morning and taking us to several reefs and snorkelling spots. We sunbaked, swam with sharks (2 metre long nurse sharks) and stingrays, listened to the captains reggae tunes blaring from and binged on rum punch and ceviche. The party continued on to the evening when we reached the shores – straight to the Split for sunset beers and flips off the pier. We went to a couple more bars before ending the evening at the most popular local club for a dance.
The next day – we headed to the Split for morning sunbakes but two of us were meeting up with a few others to see the Blue Hole, which is one of the things I came to see in Central America. You can only dive or fly over it – it’s a protected part of the reef in Belize. Their reef is the second longest reef in the world but the longest living reef. Coming from someone who is a terrible flier – it was the best thing I have ever done. Absolutely stunning views from our five seater plane that took off from a runway that was probably only 5x the size of my driveway! It was exhilarating and so amazing to see such untouched beauty from above. Well worth the slightly steep price tag.
When Kate and I returned to the Split after the flight we shared a couple of photos and excitedly downed some more beers with the rest of the crew. We all headed back to the hotel to shower before dinner and headed out for our last late night in paradise.
The next morning we begrudgingly packed our bags and caught a mid morning ferry to the bus terminal in Belize city (somewhere I would not recommend going!) to head over to San Ignacio on a 4ish hour public bus to stay at an eco-lodge in the jungle (which sounded exciting at the time…)
- Raggamuffin tours are fantastic for snorkelling adventures – highly recommend. Fun, friendly crew but still professional and showed us all the marine life we could possibly want to see!
- For most tours (including but not limited to the Blue Hole flight) again shop around and try negotiating. You also need a minimum but most places will take your name and wait to see if other solo travellers come in and you can make up a group. You can always get below the average price advertised.
- Wise words from our tour guide – “do not play with the pet if you do not want it to follow you home” basically just meaning that the local boys are super friendly and tend to take any attention from foreign girls the wrong way! Everyone on the island was absolutely lovely but I understood what he meant by the time we left CC!
- Clubs close around 1ish so if you want to carry on stock up at the supermarket during the day!
- The split, or the Lazy Lizard bar, is the best place to hang out during the day. Sun-drenched, drinking, plenty of activities (paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling etc) available right there! Also a great place to mingle and the best for sunset beers.
- If you are a seafood fan and come from a country where lobster is super expensive (listen up Aussies!) have it here. You can get a whole fresh lobster meal and rum punch for under $10 USD!
- There is an animal shelter on the Main Street where you can buy food for the local shelter pets or take a dog for a walk around the island of you’re feeling charitable! We took a peek in one day but all the dogs were out and about already.