Caye Caulker is one of those places that it’s very difficult to explain. At least in terms of a description that would do this wonderful little island, it’s due justice. Visiting the island about a year ago, I’ll admit, it was a great trip and I truly enjoyed our time here. However, anyone who is familiar with the country of Belize has heard the descriptions of the three top places. San Pedro….Caye Caulker….and Placencia. Most will describe San Pedro as active, vibrant, lots of tourist and tons of things to do. Placencia is a quiet little fishing village in the southern part of the country, much slower, quiet and peaceful. I have heard many times that Caye Caulker is the “little sister” to San Pedro. The same awesome beach atmosphere, beach bars, and fishing, just on a smaller scale, much less developed and definitely less tourist. Their motto is “Go Slow” and it definitely is appropriate for this little piece of paradise.
The streets are sandy, the people are amazing and the feeling of family is everywhere. Children play in the parks, ride their bikes, play on the beach and the local soccer field is the highlight of the evening. A sense of small town from 3o years ago. Backpackers stroll the street, tourist lay in beach hammocks and music flows softly from the local beach bars. How can you not fall in love with this place? I did all over again!!
With it’s development and tourist attraction being a few years behind San Pedro, the prices reflect this reality. Food seems to be a little cheaper, hotels are less expensive and grocery prices are more reasonable. I wonder with the obvious influx of development and expansion, how fast will it grow? New development can be seen in the heart of the village, as well as rumors of a large resort being built across the infamous “split” on the north side of the island. This property seems to be selling quickly, as rumors of the resort lead people to believe this may be a good long-term investment.
Anyone who has visited Caye Caulker is familiar with “the split”. The awesome area between the developed southern part of the island and the northern undeveloped area. A great bar and restaurant with one of the most famous swimming areas in the country. Suffering substantial damage, new seawalls are in and covered palapas and seating areas for the beachside restaurant will soon be reopened.
As for places to eat……you will not go hungry! Tons of choices with street-side taco stands, fry jacks, chicken, beans and rice can be found on every street. Middle street has some great dine-in restaurants that are definitely worth trying. The Happy Lobster serves fresh seafood and daily fish specials at great prices. Aunties Take Out has some great lunch choices under $5 US. By early afternoon, the small stands as you head near the split are open with tons of choices……great coffee shops, donuts, ice-cream and sandwiches. There are also several beach restaurants along the water for lunch and dinner. Again…..you won’t go hungry, or break the travel budget!
When deciding to visit this little piece of paradise. you should be fine booking when you arrive. We found lots of vacancies, so it just depends on your budget, and the area of town you want to stay in. If you are staying at a hostel, there are several in town, and a great one Yumas, just as you exit the water taxi on Front street.
When exiting the water taxi, to your left you will find a great beach front hotel and restaurant: Popeyes Beach Resort. Very nice with great views, pool, AC and Wifi… and most importantly pet-friendly!
So, as you plan your trip to this great little island…..be prepared to “slow down”, relax and soak up all the kindness and charm this place has to offer!
Todays Lesson In Belize……GO SLOW!