I’ve spent the last week hanging out on Caye Caulker island in Belize. This was a ‘dream destination’ for me, I’ve wanted to come for years and finally, I’ve made it. I got the water taxi over from Belize City for $19BZD (£6.10) and arrived on a hot and sunny day. Sadly the rest of the week didn’t pan out like that. In fact, it’s rained on 6/9 days.
I really love it here though. It feels safe, it’s a good size and the people are really friendly. While I’ve been here I’ve been doing my PADI scuba diving certification with Frenchies Diving, the cheapest (fact) and best (opinion) dive school on the island. And they’ve got a boat called Victoria, so you know they’re doing something right. I’ve also been hanging out in my hostel Dirty McNasty’s to seek cover from the torrential rainstorms and when the sun’s out I’ve been down to the Lazy Lizard to sup a few Belikin beers.
I’d definitely recommend coming to Caye Caulker in Belize, and it’s one of the few places where I can honestly say I’ll definitely be back. There’s so much I want to do here, but the rain is messing with my plans. Ah well, you can’t have everything.
A few things to know about Caye Caulker before you plan your trip
There are only 1600 residents on Caye Caulker.
“Everybody knows everybody and you can’t get away with shit.”
– My Rastafarian hostel guide.
He definitely had a touch of resentment in his voice that made me think, maybe he’d got his fingers caught in too many pies. I’m not one to judge.
A whole lobster is just $20BZD (£6.50). The lobster season starts from June 15t for 9 months to give the poor guys a chance to procreate, and if you find them and eat them when it’s off season you’re in big trouble.
You need to be a PADI certified diver before you can scuba dive in the Blue Hole. It’s $400BZD (£130) and you get to see three dive sites while you’re out there. The Blue Hole is a deep abyss that makes you feel teensy, tiny in the scale of the world. There are huge sharks swimming around and the even bigger stalactites and stalagmites that have been there for hundreds of years. You might think I’m crazy but I decided not to do it. The weather was just too bad and I didn’t want to be out on a boat for 12 hours.
The island is only 4 miles long and 0.15 to 1.2 miles wide. It’s easy to cover everything there is to see within a week.
There isn’t a main beach on Caye Caulker but everyone hangs out at The Split – the spot where a hurricane in 1961 caused the island to break in half – there’s a pub there called the Lazy Lizard pumping out some tunes, and beer.
Some people would just see a tree, but others, the more creative ones, see a potential Spongebob Squarepants. You have to have a photo of this guy if you’re visiting Caye Caulker. Them’s the rules.
The sunsets in Caye Caulker are beautiful. But when the sun has disappeared, that’s when the fun really begins. Until about 11pm when everything shuts up, apart from the one club on the island, Voodoo. I went there and it was like someone’s front room, with creepy guys, but you might like it.
Caye Caulker has three main streets: Front Street, Middle Street and Back Street. They all run north to south and definitely make things easy when you’re trying to explain where things are. The best sunsets are from the Back Street and there are a few sunset lounges there, but most of the action is on the Front Street.