If you’re looking to unwind in gorgeous turquoise waters, swim inches away from marine wildlife and relax at an island oasis, go to Caye Caulker! After backpacking through Central America for two and a half weeks, Caye Caulker snorkeling was the perfect spot to rejuvenate and soak up a little island living.
Caye Caulker is a simple water taxi ride from Belize City. There are multiple companies that go to the Northern Cayes several times a day. You can buy round-trip tickets and easily hop around to the other islands including Ambergris Caye, home to Madonna’s “dream of San Pedro.” I used the San Pedro Belize Express and was happy with it. Another popular company is the Caye Caulker Water Taxi.
Before arriving in Belize City I actually departed from the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves outside a small town called San Ignacio. From the ATM Caves I took a $5 colectivo to Belize City and absolutely loved it! I sat on the public bus packed in between locals. With the windows down, the wind blew through my hair as I listened to music and stared at the beautiful countryside, reflecting on my travels.
The absolute highlight – Caye Caulker snorkeling was THE BEST of my entire life. Check out the video:
There are a lot of options for Caye Caulker snorkeling. Some of my friends were staying at Bella’s Backpackers and we booked our trip with Jacob who owns The Spearfishing Shack. Jacob was a great guide – informative, low-maintenance, fun and he did an awesome job making sure we saw a ton of wildlife. What I personally loved – the “Survivor” fan in me – were his spearfishing lessons.
When our Caye Caulker snorkeling trip was over, we were drinking Green Lizards at The Split (the island version of The Max from “Saved By the Bell”), soaking up the sun by day and drinking by night. Caye Caulker is truly a backpacker’s island paradise.
When I got off the water taxi, I had nothing booked. Right away a bunch of locals offered to drive me around in golf carts to find a place to stay. I was skeptical and opted to just walk around by myself. I felt like the golf cart drivers were probably pushing specific places in exchange for a commission. It turned out that a lot of the recommended hostels in Lonely Planet were completely booked. As I kept walking around with my huge backpack, one of the golf cart guys who originally tried getting my business found me again and I decided to let him help.
I told him I wanted my own room. For the last few nights of this trip, I really needed my own space and was tired of staying in dorms. He ended up finding me the perfect place – a cabana on stilts above the ground on an elderly man’s property. It was a extremely private with my own balcony, hammock and view of the ocean. The elderly man rents it out and it made the perfect home for me.
I arrived at Caye Caulker exhausted from having traveled all over Panama and Guatemala, but I left feeling rejuvenated. Whenever I travel, there’s something about tropical destinations and warm sandy beaches that revitalize me. I think that is why when I plan my trips I often choose to end them at beach locations. I heard a lot of buzz about Caye Caulker snorkeling in turquoise waters with sharks, manatees, turtles and stingrays so I had high expectations.
Caye Caulker exceeded them.
I’ve snorkeled in places around the world like the Great Barrier Reef and Thailand, but Caye Caulker snorkeling was the most stunning.