Caye Caulker, Belize will fit the image that most people have of a tropical island: warm water, sandy beaches, cold beer, pretty girls and boys, and unpaved streets. This small island, with about 1,000 residents, is a 25-minute water taxi from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Most water taxis stop here on their way from Belize City to San Pedro. We think it’s a great place for hanging out, eating well and playing in the water. It is definitely more laid-back than San Pedro.
We didn’t plan to dive on this trip, and it was a good thing, because it was pretty windy and the visibility was not very good. Some shops even posted signs saying “No trips, today”. Each morning, we found our way to the best coffee on the island at the Caribbean Colors Cafe (great coffee – Hint: the owner doesn’t buy Belize coffee and you shouldn’t either).
Around noon it was time for the first beer of the day at the Lazy Lizard bar. This happening spot is someone’s gold mine on “the split” which divides Caye Caulker north and south. The water is relatively safe for a swim, but the young, the Euro and the beautiful come here to see and be seen – and to compare tats, dreads and piercings. In about an hour at the bar, I heard Spanish, English, Russian, French, German, Italian and Norwegian.
Spots up and down the main front street offer rasta vegetables, rasta crafts, rasta music, grilled shrimp kebabs, roast pig and a variety of snorkel, scuba and deep-sea or fly fishing trips. The population appears to be a happy? mix of Caribes, Rastas, Hispanics and gringos of various nationalities.
While we were there, the steady 15 – 20 mph winds made it a fine place to learn to wind surf or kite board.
We found two places that we liked, Seaside Cabañas and Caye Caulker Condos. The first was comfortable and stylish, while the second offered clean, modern rooms with kitchenettes and balconies. I would recommend either place.
We liked the Rainbow Grill for lunch with it’s great over-the-water location and killer fish sandwiches. For dinners, it was Sandros Piccola Cucina. Outstanding pasta, interesting specials and a damn fine selection of Italian wines.
Caye Caulker is the perfect place for two days or two weeks. Someday, I will return to visit the reefs.