Sunday, May 12, 2013


This year since Nick actually had a spring break from school (that hasn't happened, well...ever), we knew we wanted to take advantage of his time off and do something fun. Back in November, my dad and older brother Aaron went to Belize and discovered Caye Caulker, a little gem of an island just off the coast of Belize City. He loved it so much that he thought it would be fun to take us back there with my little brother Scott. It was such a unique experience and we loved every minute of it! 
It was quite a feat trying to fly standby out of Phoenix, so we ended up driving to Salt Lake City and catching the last two seats on the plane (literally) to Atlanta.
We had a few hours to hang out in Atlanta and we found Captain Don's plane. Had to document a picture of his "office"
Once we got to Belize City, we took a taxi to the waterfront and then spent about 45 minutes on this:
And once we got there, it didn't take me long to realize that I was way overdressed for the heat and humidity. On the plus side though, the views of the water were amazing! 
This is main street on Caye Caulker. Yep. No pavement--just dirt. No cars allowed either--just golf carts. It was awesome! We loved how laid back the lifestyle was there. The island itself is only a few miles long and only about 2,000 people live there. It takes simplicity to a whole new level. Definitely not for people who can't stand dusty feet.
We stayed at a fun little local hotel that was right on the main street. As soon as we got there we couldn't wait to get to the beach. 
This is the main beach on Caye Caulker, also referred to as "The Split." There's basically a bar and some waterfront where the island splits into some marshland. So simple and definitely not glamorous, but that's what was so unique about it. 
The water was a-mazing and calm enough for some paddle boarding
It was the perfect place to just do nothing. 
And along with doing absolutely nothing, our timing worked out perfectly to celebrate Nick's birthday on the island! So after a great day on the beach we had a yummy birthday dinner and then went to the outdoor cinema for a movie. Overall, it was an awesome way for Nick to turn 28! 
The next day, my dad scheduled a diving tour for us out on the reef. Belize is known for the Great Blue Hole, however, we weren't really up to spending 6 hours on a boat round trip to get there. So instead we did an "exploratory" dive since this was Nick's first time going scuba diving. Unfortunately, I didn't have an underwater still camera with me, but Scott got lots of footage on his GoPro that I'm sure will turn into a video at some point. 
The exploratory dive I had been on several years ago took us about 20ft. down. Our first dive in Belize was about 20-25 feet, but on our second dive the guide took us down about 60 feet! Definitely not what we were expecting, but we saw some amazing coral and sea life. I'm pretty sure we would have never gotten away with that type of 'exploratory dive' in the States ;). 
Nick getting ready to take his first dive off the boat
The sun in Belize was MUCH stronger than what I am used to in Arizona. It took me like three weeks to get rid of my sunburn line from that Scuba suit... and that's even with sunscreen!
The next day was a little overcast so we decided to take our own bike tour of the island. There aren't too many places to go since it's such a small place, but we had a great time exploring. 
We got lunch from the Budgetman who is a legend on Caye Caulker for his good food. Traditional island food has LOTS of flavor. Luckily none of us got sick from any of the street food we ate. Haha. 
This is Fran, who made our other favorite version of street food. 
And Nick also loved that he could get "real" Coke at all of the convenience stores. The kind where you even return the glass bottles so they can re-use them!

Some of our other favorites:
This street was just outside our hotel. Need a sign for your store? Just paint it! Need to repair some potholes? Just throw some rocks over it! Haha. 
It never ceased to amaze me how simple the island life was there, and yet how happy everyone was, too. 
Who needs a $300 stroller anyway? I loved the ingenuity of this one. 
Caye Caulker is also famous for its lobster. We were there just after the lobster season had ended, but these stacks of lobster traps were everywhere. They look so cool, but if you get to close you might want to die from the smell. 
Also, there are dogs EVERYWHERE on the island. I'm convinced that they gravitated towards us because we love dogs anyway. Some are stray dogs and some have owners, but it was hilarious to see them literally everywhere we went on the island (even in stores and bars!).
Nightlife on the island mostly consists of sports bars and karaoke clubs, and since none of us were too fond of those options, we spent our last night on the island at the outdoor cinema. 
It was such a fun setup and of course was perfect weather. However, I don't recommend watching The Impossible (about the 2004 tsunami) when you're on a little 5-mile-long island in the middle of nowhere. Haha. Despite the circumstances though, it was a great show and we had a fun night. 
We had a few hours on our last morning before we had to catch the water taxi back to Belize City, so we got a yummy breakfast at a little cafe on main street. Can't beat the view! 
We can't wait to come back to Caye Caulker at some point in the future. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an easy and care-free Caribbean getaway. It's about the same distance as Mexico, but everyone speaks English and the even accept the U.S. Dollar, too. The island itself is really safe and the people are incredibly nice. 
We think it's quite fitting that the motto of the island is "Go Slow." If there's ever a place where you can just escape the rat race of life for a few days (or forever if you really want), Caye Caulker is the place! 


Linnea said...

What a neat neat place! Looks like so much fun.