Caye Caulker

One of Belize’s biggest attractions is its barrier reef which offers wonderful snorkelling and diving. The launching spot for these underwater activities are the cayes (pronounced ‘keys’), islands off the coast of northern Belize.

Caye Caulker is the preference of most backpackers so I headed there for my last few days in Belize.

CC’s motto is ‘Go Slow’ and it’s not difficult to live by this mantra. The island is free of cars, only golf carts scoot people around the sandy roads. The island is quite sparse, with only some palm trees scattered around the coastline. Colourful bars blare Caribbean rhythms and offer tropical drink specials.

All the usual island tours are on offer: boat tours, snorkelling, diving and fishing.

I had an incredible snorkelling experience where I was fortunate enough to see sharks, turtles, rays, manatees, huge schools of fish and beautiful coral.

On my tour, we stopped at several locations: the coral gardens, Hol Chan marine reserve, shark and ray ally, a shipwreck and a couple of others.

At our very first stop we met two male manatees, apparently hanging out for a female. Just as we were leaving, a female did come along!

At shark and ray alley, we saw many nurse sharks, rays and huge fish. We also saw a leatherback turtle!

The coral gardens were fun to explore. We cruised through incredible formations of all shapes, sizes and colours. Our guides pointed out the different varieties.

At the shipwreck, we were also treated to interesting coral formations and cheeky fish cruising around.

Our last stop, the marine reserve was probably my highlight. This is where we saw sharks, rays, a green sea turtle plus lots of big fish. The turtle was feeding on sea grass while two fish cleaned it’s shell.

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While I was on the island, if happened to be Belize’s Independence Day (21st September). This was cause for a crazy party. On The eve of the holiday, the Main Street was closed off, huge speakers were set up and people drank and danced until early morning. On the actual day, there was a small parade with decorated golf carts, dancers and as always plenty of music and drinking. It was a cool thing to watch.

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The rest of my time on Caye Caulker was spent chilling in a hammock, swimming at the Split (a divide between the north and south islands), doing rooftop yoga and HiiT workouts by the water.

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I did enjoy my time in Belize but I’m super ready to get into Mexico. That’s where I’m heading next, crossing my first water border!

See you in the land of tequila, tacos and chihuahuas!

Mel

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