Thursday, May 15, 2014

Belize - Part 3

Day 12 - 15: Caye Caulker - April 1 - 4, 2014

On Tuesday, April 1 we boarded the van with Fast Eddy and began an epic travel day to Caye Caulker, a 4 mile long by 0.5 mile wide island in the Caribbean Sea where all the streets and restaurant floors are made of sand and shoes are optional.

Shortly after leaving Hopkins we stopped at Marie Sharps Hot Sauce Factory to watch the Belizean favorite being produced and do some shopping.

From there we made it about 1.5 hours down the highway and we suddenly encountered car issues.  A blown out tire and no spare!  We spent the next hour drinking beer on the side of the highway while we waited for  Fast Eddy's friend to bring us a new tire.

We made it to Belize City in time to catch the 3pm water taxi and after a full day of travel, we arrived at our hotel, the Ocean Pearl, in Caye Caulker at around 4:30pm.

We finished off the night watching the sun set at "The Split", a bar next to a canal of water that cuts through the middle of the island, followed by a great dinner at "Enjoy Bar", where we were greatly amused by the crab wandering around under our table on the sandy restaurant floor.

On our first full day at Caye Caulker we went out on a Snorkeling Trip.  We boarded a sail boat "Reggae Princess" with Raggamuffin Tours and set out towards the Barrier Reef.

Our first stop was Shark and Ray Alley where we snorkelled with huge groups of Nurse Sharks, Eagle Rays, Sting Rays and some turtles.

The next stop was the Hol Chan Marine Reserve with all its colorful fish and sea life and, after a tasty lunch on the boat, our final stop was the Coral Gardens where we saw lots of sea fans, more fish and lots of coral. It was like swimming in an aquarium! 

After the snorkel trip we headed back to "The Split" for sunset drinks (6 beers = $10!) and had dinner and dessert shots at Bambooze Bar.

Our third day at Caye Caulker was a lazy island day. We slept in and went for a leisurely breakfast at  Paradiso Cafe and spent the day reading in hammocks and swimming near the Split in the afternoon.

Once again it was back to the Split for sunset cocktails followed by a delicious dinner of fresh caught seafood at Roses and we finished of the night with some drinks and dancing at I and I Reggea Night Club.

Our last day on Caye Caulker was also the last day of our G Adventures tour. We once again had a relaxing day that started with a lazy breakfast at a coffee shop overlooking the main street in town.

We spent the morning wandering around the island and went back to the Split for some snorkeling in the afternoon.

 That night we had a BBQ feast at Wish Willy's  with our group to celebrate a great trip and say our goodbyes.

Day 16 - 23: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - April 5 - 12, 2014

On Saturday April 5 we got back on the Water Taxi and headed over to another island, Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye is 25 miles long and 1 mile wide and is significantly larger that Caye Caulker, with 10,000 people living in the town of San Pedro. We arrived in San Pedro in the late morning and met up with Alvin, the caretaker of the condo we were renting, and he showed us around the town so we could do some grocery shopping.

Alvin then took us by boat to tour Condo at the Diamond Reef Condos which are right on the beach and are nicely appointed with everything you need to be comfortable, including a small pool and kayaks to use. We spent the afternoon  laying around on the beach reading and swimming and enjoyed a shrimp BBQ for dinner.

The next two days were more of the same, lots of down time for reading and relaxing.  We did a bit of exploring as well with a 3 mile walk down the beach to a little store to get ice cream and a trip over to the resort next door for Happy Hour at a beach bar.

The wind was pretty high for the first couple of days and there were Jelly Fish in the area so swimming and kayaking were out. Luckily we had the pool to cool off in and  we were more than content to spend the days relaxing.

On Tuesday we got  up early and headed into town with Alvin to visit the fruit and vegetable market. We were at the market at 6:30am and a lot of the goods were already gone! But we still managed to find a haul of fresh produce to bring back with us.

 After shopping we went out for breakfast in San Pedro, had an iced coffee on the beach and headed back to the condo.  That afternoon the wind had let up and the Jelly Fish had left so we decided to head out for a paddle.

We kayaked out to an area called the "Mexican Rocks" which is part of the barrier reef. We tied up our kayaks to a permanent Buoy and snorkelled around the area. There were tonnes of fish, rays, sharks, coral and sea life all over the rocks. It was excellent!

After about 90 min of snorkeling we'd had our fill and climbed back into the kayaks to head back to the condo where we finished off the night with Charcoal BBQ Chicken and Belikin Beers.

The next day we had another relaxing morning, followed by a walk on the beach and another afternoon of kayaking and snorkeling at Mexican Rocks. That night we went for a walk to the lagoon behind our condo and watched the sun set from an observation tower on the shores of the lagoon.

Thursday was our last full day on Ambergris Caye so we thought we'd checkout a different part of the island. Alvin took us by boat up to the Northern end of the island to Tranquility Bay.

Tranquility Bay is an area where the Barrier Reef joins up with the beach so you can snorkel on the reef right from the beach. It was very cool to see all the fish and coral in water that was only 4 or 5 feet deep.

After a couple hours of swimming and snorkeling we went to the Tranquility Bay Resort and had a sea side lunch at their restaurant, "The Aquarium". That afternoon we enjoyed a swim in the pool and another sunset at the Observation tower.

On Friday we packed up and headed back to San Pedro to catch the water taxi. We had a fabulous Lunch at "Licks" before catching the boat and then headed back to Belize City. Once in Belize City Mike and I did some shopping and packing for our flight the next day and we finished off our last night in Belize with Karaoke night, a bucket of Belikins and a Creole shrimp dinner at the Calypso Seafood House.

Saturday morning saw us up at 6am for a an 18 hour day of traveling bringing us back home and ending our Belizean adventure.

Click Here for Trip Report Part 1

Click Here for Trip Report Part 2

Click Here for Full Photo Album

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