Caye Caulker, Belize

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Go slow is the Caye Caulker motto; it means chill out, take it easy, and I loved it!  As a traveler I’m always rushing around; planning while I’m doing things, making reservations, finding out where to go and what to do. “Go slow” was just what I needed to hear. I went to the island thinking I would dive, or fly the Blue hole. I didn’t,  but it’s still there waiting for me.  You don’t have to go very far or do very much, to really enjoy Caye Caulker.

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It’s an island so there are only two ways to get there, by plane or by boat. We took the Belize water taxi.  From Belize city for $18usd. Money is easy in Belize as one usd$ is two dollars, in Belize dollars. When we left the island we rode the ferry to Chetumal, Mexico. That trip was $55usd and a longer journey. When you leave Belize you will pay an exit fee of $20 usd it is free to enter. If you enter from Chetumal port you will pay a $25 usd entry fee, however the rule is unless you plan to stay less than 10 days. I just paid the money because I will be in mexico for at least a year, the stamp is good for five months. At this point in my journeys I have five different currencies in my pocket.

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We stayed at a cat rescue on the island. I suggest you pick a different hostel as this one was very smelly, but the cats were cool. The hostel had a dock and free kayaks for guests, I spent a lot of time out kayaking the bay. Also book ahead of time, when the island is busy you may find yourself put out. There were quite a few hostels but most were higher in price. Belize is on the expensive end of Central America. It’s unique because English is the main language. However I found it hard to understand most people due to the heavy accent. Along with the span-glish, or the English Spanish mix.

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There is no shortage of things to do on Caye Caulker. There’s a sea-horse garden and it’s free. You can go see the Tarpoon fish also for free. Or  hand feed these meter long fish for $5 belize dollars, the pelicans will fight you for the bait though. We took the kayaks over and kayaked with these huge fish, when I first saw them I thought they were sharks! My friend did her Padi open water dive course, it was cheaper than Utila. The cost was $400usd and having another dive partner is priceless! There are lots of bars and the Spit is definitely where the party is. The sunset is broadcast over a loud-speaker from the that large beach area, and you can swim with tropical schools of fish. The Spit separates the island in two and was caused by a hurricane.Lobster is a main dish here and for about $35 belize dollars you get your pick and it’s grilled up fresh. Served with traditional sweet rice, beans and coleslaw.

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One day I booked into a snorkel thinking it would be cool, it was pricey at $85 Belize dollars. Luckily it was outrageously awesome. We saw so many fish, and they swam along with us! Our guide took us out to the reef and we started where the conch shells are left. He clapped the shells together and the fish came like moths to a flame. The fish get the left over bait when the shells are cleaned, so the clinking of shells draws them in. At one point a huge Morrey eel came and swam along with me, I have only ever seen them in their hidey-holes! Shark-ray alley however, really took the cake. Our guide said “we feed the sharks off the left side of the boat so hop off on the right and swim to the other side.” After all my experiences on this trip I was just like “ok Jacs now your going to have to just jump into shark infested water.”  I have found that when you look your worst fear in the face, it dissipates into curiosity. First one in the water and still alive! I did have a few times during this snorkel where I was too close to the wild life. The main problem was that they were to close to me! How do you swim away from a stingray when it is directly beneath you in 12 feet of water? Awesome experience though!

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I was able to see a lot of the marine life right of the dock at the hostel too. There were so many different fish, and a small eagle ray! One morning a guy hauled up his traps and I was mesmerized as he cleaned and gutted a hundred lobsters. All in all I definitely would recommend Caye Caulker, there’s plenty of public space to steal away in and lots to do and see. While I can’t say I’ll be back, the Blue hole is still calling to me. Go slow friends!

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