We flew into Belize City, then took a 45-minute ferry ride out to the island. The ferry then continues on to Caulker's more developed companion island, Caye Ambergris. Another option is to take an 8-minute flight from Belize City. However, we couldn't do this because we arrived in Belize City after sunset and the last flight leaves well before dark, since there are no lights on Caulker's tiny runway.
We booked five nights at a place called OASI, a collection of four apartments owned by a friendly Italian lady named Luciana and her husband. While the location was on the far side of the island from the central town area, it came with free bikes and nothing was more than ten minutes away. The apartment was perfect for us!
Caye Caulker consists of three major sand roads: Front Street, Middle Street and Back Street. It's a really laid back island, full of small colorful beach shacks. There are really no large sand beaches on the island, but there is a local hangout called "The Split" where people gather to swim , drink beers and watch the sunset. For us, it was the perfect vibe - not too developed but plenty of activities to keep us busy. Here are some photos we took around the island:
We saw a couple of spectacular sunsets on Caye Caulker. Our favorite place to watch them was the little bar at The Split. In Belize they say "If you haven't been to The Split, you haven't been to Caye Caulker".
We spent the afternoon of our first full day snorkeling. Our guide brought us to three different spots and pointed out several varieties of coral and local fish. One stop was Shark Ray Alley, where we swam with stingrays and nurse-sharks. The guides jump in the water and feed them bits of conch and fish so there were swarms of rays and sharks thrashing around in the shallow water. While it was cool to see the animals up close, I didn't like the idea of the sharks associating food with people.
One of the most famous dives in this area is the Blue Hole, a perfectly round abyss in the middle of a coral shoal, which drops straight down 450 feet. On the way down, you can supposedly see caves along the side walls full of stalagmites. If you're lucky, you can also see hammerhead sharks swimming in the middle of the pit. So badass.
Sadly, we missed out on the Blue Hole for a few reasons:
- We discovered that a worthwhile dive in the Blue Hole requires a descent to about 40 meters, which was a bit beyond our comfort level as novice divers.
- It was about a 2.5 hour boat ride each way through rough seas.
- It was wicked expensive - too much money to spend when the weather conditions for diving there were less than ideal.
For all these reasons, we decided to back burner the Blue Hole until we get some more diving experience under our belts. Here's an aerial photo of the Blue Hole that we found online:
We found a tasty seafood spot near Front Street called Roses Grill. The menu is simple - you choose your seafood from the ice tray out front and they throw it on the grill for you. We couldn't decide so we tried a little bit of everything!