Once we were done with Bacalar we packed our bags and headed to Caye Caulker, Belize.The journey down was far from straightforward though. Our bus was due to leave at 8am from the Marlin Espadas office in Bacalar, so we arrived at 7.35am to make sure we were in plenty of time.
8am came and went and so did 9am, still no bus. At 9.30 someone finally opened the Marlin Espadas office, only to tell us we’d missed the bus…
After a heated exchange, he became aware that we couldn’t have missed the bus, so he chucked us in a taxi and sent us to the Belizean border where we met up with the elusive bus.
Everything was pretty smooth from there on, the border was easy to navigate and when we arrived in Belize City we hopped on a 45-minute water taxi to Caye Caulker.
When we arrived, oh my, it was paradise. Imagine those tedious documentaries on BBC Two about paradise and you’re almost halfway there.
We checked into our hotel, which was amazingly situated on the waterfront and began to explore the island.
After 20 minutes of brisk walking, we’d made a perfect loop of the island which is made up of shack-like buildings, divided by sand ‘roads’.
There are no cars in Caye Caulker, the main method of transport is Golf Buggies, which personifies the islands ‘go slow’ motto.
Although it might seem like a good idea to rent a Golf Buggy, it isn’t. Firstly it’s very pricey, and secondly, would you ever hire a golf buggy at home? No, because they’re fundamentally shit vehicles. So don’t do that, just walk.
The island has somewhat of a party vibe to it, being made up mostly of wealthy suburban American kids on ‘vacation’, so the bar scene is great.
Apart from that, there’s plenty of activities to do around the island. The stunning ‘Blue Hole’, swimming with Sharks and feeding Crocodiles (not exactly my thing!).
From a backpacking perspective, it isn’t exactly cheap and your money won’t go too far. We had a kitchen in our accommodation, but an average food shop of say £15 at home cost us double there.
Anyway, we still had amazing fun and the highlight was meeting two Australians and a particularly peculiar South African. We met in a really cool bar called ‘The ‘Sip n Dip’ which had outdoor seating situated in the sea! Rubber rings, swings and benches were plonked right in the sea, it puts the beer gardens in your local ‘spoons to shame.
After that, we headed to the Sports Bar and entered a pub quiz. In a homage to our newly acquired South African friend we called ourselves Blake’s Bitches and romped to second place. All down to Blake’s obscure knowledge, which saw us have $20 deducted from our bill. Happy days!
When we left, we were sad to say goodbye to the people and the island, but more than ready to move on after 3 nights. If you’re thinking of avoiding Caye Caulker, don’t! Just make sure you budget a little more for your stay than other Central American destinations.
Caye Caulker Alayna Ocean Views @ Popeyes Beach Resort | Double private room, pool and kitchen: £14.50 P/P Per Night
Snorkelling trip to Sting Ray Alley: £90
By all means, be more adventurous than us and go do all the sights, but I’d recommend just going slow, lounging in the sun and sipping rum from coconuts.
Bacalar: Belize City bus | Marlin Espadas – £20 P/P
Water Taxi: Belize City – Caye Caulker return – £25
Sports Bar: 2 x chicken wings, gravy cheese and chips: £10 P/P
Grocery Shopping: £60 for 3 nights, roughly 6 meals. (VERY EXPENSIVE)
Daily Budget-Excluding Accommodation