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Paradise Found: Caye Caulker, Belize

Posted by cybertoad on 04/13/2011 in belize, images, photography, re-caps, travel |

I am already thinking of our summer vacation – 2 months away!! Ack!

It will be my 3rd, Kenny’s 2nd and our friends’ 1st trip to this little tropical paradise called Caye Caulker.

From Wikipedia:

Caye Caulker is a small limestone coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea measuring about 5 miles (north to south) by less than 1 mile (east to west). The town on the island is known by the name Caye Caulker Village. Caye Caulker is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) north-northeast of Belize City, and is accessible by high-speed water taxi or small plane. In recent years the island has become a popular destination for backpackers and other tourists. There are over 30 tiny hotels, and a number of restaurants and shops.

You’ll have to go by air, land and sea to get there – 2 1/2 hours flight time from Houston then either 30 minutes in a taxi from Belize City to the water terminal + 45 minutes in a water taxi to the island OR a short 15 minutes in a small island hopper plane.

As you can see from the description above, it is not the fanciest place – you won’t find all-inclusive resorts or even hotels that rate any stars, yacht clubs, crazy dance club scene or even beaches to lay out on – but you will find comfortable lodgings, hammocks swinging under palm trees, friendly, smiling genuine people, amazing snorkeling and diving, good simple affordable food, great seafood and yummy rum. You will truly be forced to simply relax and enjoy the island breezes (although free WiFi is found across the entire tiny island so if you can upload your photos to Flickr and make them jealous). Expected attire is sunglasses, a bathing suit, a sundress or sarong over the bathing suit or t-shirt for guys and bare feet (flip flops if you feel compelled to wear shoes). You wear anything else and you are overdressed – trust me. It’s hot during the day but not stifling and the summer nights bring cool strong winds from summer storms brewing further out.

I visited the island first with Christine in 2009 when we shot a destination wedding on the island (photography can provide some neat travel benefits). I then took Kenny last year because I knew he’d fall in love with the rum and relaxed atmosphere. He did and we are going back again this July to celebrate his 40th with some friends.

Here are some highlights from past trips…

Sea Turtle
Isn't it amazing how she blends in?

Rays
Among the Sea Grass

Nurse Sharks
Nurse Sharks

Sunset sail around the island
Sunset Cruise

Turquoise Waters
It was really this color in person!

Tranquility
Conch on the Beach

And a slideshow from 2009 & 2010:

4 Comments

  • Syd says:

    Wow. Amazing. I want to go. 😀

  • cybertoad says:

    Syd – you are more than welcome to join us! We are actually trying to convince more friends to join us over the 4th of July holiday. 😎

  • dahlia says:

    Hello fellow HTowner! Can you tell me when you stayed? We want to go to somewhere between clean accomodations with a good deal minus roach motel. thanks for the post! PS: Any dive shop recs? we really want to do the blue hole.

  • cybertoad says:

    Hello Dahlia – welcome to my blog, thanks for reading!

    We stayed at Seaside Cabanas and highly recommend it! We are returning for our 3rd stay there in July. Just wrote them a glowing review (http://travel.yahoo.com/p-hotel-4061476-seaside_cabanas-i;_ylt=AvCMjY1C97UF_mrhyx0sC_L3HGoL). They are one of the more expensive hotels though, ranging from $100 – $170/night depending on the room you get (Cabins are pricier) and when you go (Christmas & Easter are peak prices). They are worth the price though.

    I have not stayed anywhere else but from what I hear, there really aren’t any bad places. It’s a small island and the pride themselves on making tourists welcome so I don’t think you could go wrong. There is even a hostel that looks pretty decent.

    As for dive shops, we don’t dive, we just snorkel but I can recommend Raggamuffin Tours – they use sailboats instead of motorboats & have great staff. Seems like they only offer snorkeling tours though. I know for a fact thought if you stay at Seaside Cabanas, they can help setup the dive trips for you and seems like guests have been happy with their plans.

    A great resource is this Caye Caulker site – their message boards are relatively active with locals and tourists who can answer all of your questions about Caye Caulker! Happy traveling! (when do you plan on going?)

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