Everything they say about Caye Caulker is true. The sand is white, the water is crystalised blue, the food is zestily caribbean, Rastas are sleazy as all hell, and it’s a paradise on earth.
I fell in love with Caye Caulker, a tiny island off the coast of Belize, as soon as I stepped off the boat. Tired from my hectic bus journey, feeling that squeaky sand melt over my toes, as Bridget and I dragged our weary bodies the whole 100m from the dock to our hostel, instantly put my soul at ease.
We had booked our 4 nights on the island at Yuma’s House, a chilled as fuck guest house right on the beach, and I was more than a little pleased to not only be reunited with a friendly face from home, but to also have a private room for the next week. Hosteling is an important component of solo travel, but to have a few nights of privacy, without the glory of listening to strangers snoring, talking, bonking or just being downright inconsiderate was blissful.
Yuma’s isn’t a party hostel. If you want that, there’s the infamous Dirty McNasty’s for all your debaucherous pleasure. But Bridget and I were wanting to make the party offsite, and then be able to comatose ourselves sufficiently without a doof doof beat in earshot.
The island itself is tiny and it’s more than possible to walk or ride a bike around the whole thing in a couple of hours (though in the heat of the day, as we decided to do, it’s not recommended). It’s also a feast for the eyes, with homes and businesses coloured the boldest of hues, from pops of lemon tart yellow to calming shades of teal and mint green.
There’s not a whole lot to do on the island, and that’s exactly why you come here. Mornings are best spent with a leisurely coffee at Ice & Beans, followed by a fry jack (pretty much a stuffed, deep fried piece of dough…the food here is delicious but definitely not healthy) from Estella’s.
From there, the only place to be all day is working on your melanin levels at the Spit. It’s the true Caye Caulker Go Slow motto in action. Take your indulgence (and health) to the next level and grab a take-away margarita or a potato twizzler from Margarita Mikes for maximum lounging satisfaction.
If you do seek a little more adventure in your day, there are a multitude of snorkelling and diving options to choose from. Sitting on the Belize Barrier Reef, the marine life is abundant. You’re also only a short boat ride from the Blue Hole, a massive underwater sinkhole made famous by Jacques Cousteau and one of the best dive sights in the Caribbean. But more on that in my next post…
Highly recommended is to head to the west side of the island and watch the sunset, before making your way to Terry’s Grill for some incredibly fresh and cheap seafood. The menu changes daily depending on their catch, and you can also wash it down with some petrol thinner, I mean a potently strong mix of rum and pineapple (which was to become my drink of choice throughout my Central American adventure). The same can be said about Fran’s on the east side, which heaves with customers until closing time, quite possibly due to their bottomless cocktails.
Get acquainted with the locals and their Rasta beats at one of the many sports bars along the beachfront, where you can drink yourself into a stupor, though only until midnight when all the bars close, going to bed and preparing to do it all again tomorrow.
This is the Go Slow life at its finest.
Do/See: Sunbake at the Spit (accompanied by a drink from the Lazy Lizard)
Walk or cycle around the island
Snorkelling or diving tour
Watch the sunset from the west side
Eat/Drink: Coffee and smoothies from Ice & Beans
Fry Jacks from Estella’s
Ice Cream from Lighthouse Ice Cream Shoppe
Fran’s Grill, Terry’s Grill, Rainbow Grill…grills grills grills
Margaritas and fried delights from Margarita Mikes
Cocktails over the ocean at Mara’s Sip & Dip
Stay: Yuma’s House