Everywhere on Caye Caulker there are signs with the island’s slogan, ‘Go Slow’.
As I write this, lazing in a hammock on the beach with the sun beating down on me, I can’t help but think they’ve got the right idea.
I’ve already fallen head over heels for this bright, vibrant little island. It’s so small that you can walk the entire length in just two hours and it is the perfect antidote to the touristy Yucatan. Most of the larger hotels and resorts are on neighbouring Ambergris Caye so the majority of people here are Belizeans visiting for the weekend or backpackers hunting for a bargain.
Our hostel, Bella’s Backpacker’s, is just a road back from the beach. It’s run like a big house and we spend the evenings relaxing in the communal living room/kitchen area. Last night at dinner, our table consisted of people from Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Austria and Sweden. We’re learning a lot about other cultures!
After the storms in Mexico, we’ve been making the most of relaxing on the Split, where the island was torn by a hurricane in 1961 and which now divides the mangrove island from the main island. On a sunny day, tourists and locals alike flock to the Split to sunbathe and snorkel. On our first dip down we spotted manta rays, barracuda and star fish and we’re looking forward to a snorkelling tour of the barrier reef tomorrow.
An absolute highlight so far has been experiencing Caribbean (or, specifically, Garifuna) culture. The island’s ‘night club’, a small sandy floored shack, was the scene of some unbelievable Punta dance moves last night. Turns out, westerners simply can’t shake their booties Garifuna style…not that it stopped us trying!
The food is also on another level of delicious. We tried barracuda steak on the first night and a whole lobster with rice and beans for just £7 last night. Jerk chicken from a grill on the beach earlier and we’re heading out to try some coconut curry tonight.
Hoping to stay here until Friday when we are planning to get on to an island hopping sailing tour down to Placencia.