Belize it or not: Caye Caulker for every budget
The sound of the waves and the seagulls. The wind stroking your cheek softly and the sun warming your skin. The relaxt vibe, the you-don’t-have-to-do-anything-today atmosphere. Caye Caulker in Belize felt like coming home. A lot of people think that this island is a really expensive destination in Central America, but you can spend whatever you want, right?
The easiest way to reach the island of Caye Caulker is by boat from Belize City. In about forty minutes you will arrive in paradise. It’s hard to negotiate about the price, because there are only two boat companies that offer a return ticket, both for 25 American Dollars (December 2015).
Enjoy the sunset (free)
On the west side of the island you can enjoy the amazing view of the sun reaching the horizon and the sky turning more and more red and orange. There are some restaurants here where you can order a drink, but at the pier near Sea Dreams Hotel you can enjoy the wonderful sunset, completely for free. It’s one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in Central America!
Walking with the dogs (free)
I was really excited to see the animal shelter on Caye Caulker. Obviously I wasn’t excited about the amount of dogs that needs this shelter, but walking with the dogs is a fun way to explore the island and do something good for the animals. Each dog has its own character and they are all so happy if someone wants to walk and cuddle with them!
Sunbathing at The Split (free)
A lot of people don’t know that Caye Caulker doesn’t have a natural beach where you can sunbathe – although they were trying to create a beach when I was there. On a sunny day most people go to The Split. This split was created by a hurricane in 1961 and split the island in two pieces. On the pier at The Lazy Lizard you can sunbathe for free and occasionally jump in the water.
Yoga at sunset (by donation)
For as far as I know there is one place where you can join yoga classes on Caye Caulker. But that okay, because it’s a really nice place! The class gathers at Little Blue Gift Shop in the main street, but the class will be held on the rooftop of a nearby hotel, at sunset. The instructor will take care of yoga mats. The lesson is for free, but it would be nice to make a little donation.
Enjoy live music (free, although they will appreciate it if you order some food or drinks)
There are A LOT of restaurants on Caye Caulker. Almost every evening you can find some live music somewhere, from rock to reggae. You don’t have to pay for listening to the music, but the restaurant will appreciate it if you order some food or drinks. Unless you want to dance in the streets (also a really nice thing to do sometimes).
Kayak and stand up paddle boarding (about 8-10 dollar per hour)
You will have the best time on the island, but it’s also really nice to spend some time in and on the water. There are several places where you can reny kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Some kayaks even have a glass bottom! You can paddle for example to the other part of the island and explore the mangroves. They say some crocodiles even live here…
Snorkeling at Hol An Marine Reserve (about 60-70 dollar for a day tour)
This was actually the main reason for me to come to this island: snorkeling at Hol An Marine Reserve. You will definitely cry when you’re paying for the tour and it was a little bit above our budget, but it was totally worth it! My sister and I booked a snorkel trip at Star Tours. Normally they will leave with a minimum of four people, but they made an exception and we left with only three people. I literally felt like a fish in the water and I enjoyed every minute between the tropical fish and the different species of rays.
One of the best stops is Shark Ray, where you can snorkel between the reef sharks. My heartbeat raised by the second when I jumped in the water and saw the huge animals swimming around me. But after a while I thought the big fish with the even bigger eyes were more frightening than the sharks. The highlight of the day was spotting a giant sea turtle. No one noticed that the turtle was swimming among the people, except for me. I yelled to my sister, who was already back on the boat, that she had to come back and for a while I was swimming next to this beautiful animal. It was truly a magical moment.
Accommodation on Caye Caulker
I think it’s better to find a place to sleep when you arrive, because a lot of accommodations are not on booking sites like Hostelworld or Booking. The first night my sister and I slept in Bella’s Backpackers. It was okay, but not that great. We paid 50 Belize Dollars (that’s like 25 euros) for two dorm beds. The next day we moved to a private room for two persons in Jeremiah’s Inn for…. 55 Belize Dollars! So if you have a travel buddy I would definitely recommend to go to Jeremiah’s Inn if you want a budget-friendly and good place to sleep! This accommodation is at the main street, not far from Raggamuffin Tours.
Although I had a lot of work to finish, the island of Caye Caulker was the perfect place to completely unwind in my spare time. Have you ever been to Caye Caulker and do you have more budget-friendly tips? Please let me know!