I looked down at the crystal clear water that lapped at the dock.

A school of tiny fish swam by their silver scales shimmering in the bright sunlight. To my right, a young woman practised yoga.

On the shore, the white sand glittered like sugar. And the palm trees swayed in the warm breeze.

Nothing else moved.

I was standing on one of the docks scattered around Caye Caulker, a popular Belize island in the Caribbean. We’d arrived from Mexico the day before, keen to enjoy the Caye Caulker beach.

It was time to meet Andrew so I turned and headed back to our room. As I strolled along the path my nostrils were hit with the rank stench of marijuana.

It wasn’t the first time that day.

This is Caye Caulker, where it’s easier to buy weed and cheap rum than a barista made coffee. 

But Caye Caulker isn’t a wild party island like the kind you’ll find in Thailand. It’s more of a laid-back hippie hamlet where life rolls to a reggae beat and everyone calls you friend.

Scenes from Caye Caulker beach

Caye Caulker Belize

There aren’t any cars on Caye Caulker.

Instead, there are golf buggies to zip you around and if you’re feeling energetic you can hire a pushbike.

It’s likely the lazy island vibe will get under your skin though. And you won’t want to do anything more strenuous than lie on a hammock.

Sandy street in Caye Caulker

Sandy path

The Split

Magic happens at the Split – Unknown traveller

The Split is the area that separates the northern part of the island with the southern section. It was created when an existing channel was widened by Hurricane Hattie in 1961.

It’s the magnetic focal point of the island – everyone ends up here.  And once you arrive it’s impossible to drag yourself away.

This is where you come to have fun.

To play volleyball and horseshoe and feel the soft sand between your toes.

To swim, snorkel, relax and soak up the sun.

To watch the sunset while you sip on coconut rum.

Welcome to the Split sign

Colourful chairs at The Split Caye Caulker

Umbrellas and chairs add a splash of colour to The Split.

Playing beach games at The Split - Caye Caulker beach

Playing horseshoe at The Split – Caye Caulker beach

Bar and tables at The Split Caye Caulker

The Split – our favourite part of Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker Snorkelling Day Trip

One of the best days we had in Central America, was our snorkelling trip on the Belize barrier reef. It was high on Andrew’s list of things to do in Caye Caulker.

He wanted to swim with sharks.

We chose E-Z-Boy tours for our trip because the girl touting for customers was helpful and seemed genuine.

And she guaranteed we’d see sharks!

The tour made four stops, and a yummy lunch was provided along with delicious ceviche (marinated raw seafood) and all you can drink rum cocktails.

This isn’t a drunken party boat though drinks aren’t served until the return journey.

Dolphins joined us as we sailed out into the ocean. And everyone rushed to the side of the boat to watch them dance and play in the waves.

Then it was time for some manatee spotting.

We had no idea what a manatee was. But we’ve since learned they’re herbivorous marine mammals that are related to elephants!  If you’d like to know more about manatees you can click here.

They’re one of the most magnificent graceful creatures I’ve ever seen.

For Andrew swimming with sharks was a dream come true – even if they were harmless nurse sharks. They swam right up to us and we could see each individual whisker sticking out from the side of their face.

Who knew sharks have whiskers?

We were also thrilled to see giant stingrays gliding through the water, schools of fish, moray eels and stunning coral reefs.

On the sailing boat

Am I really going to swim with the sharks?

Dolphin swimming with boat in Caye Caulker

Hello buddy!

sharks in Belize

Who knew sharks have whiskers?

Caye Caulker snorkeling day tour deckhand

This lovely man was always there waiting with a strong arm to haul me back onto the boat.

Making conch ceviche on snorkeling tour

The captain making the freshest most delicious Conch Ceviche ever!

View from the Belize City ferry dock

The view from the Belize City ferry dock

Three nights wasn’t long enough on the island, and as it turned out we could have stayed another night.

To find out why click here and read about our time in dodgy Belize City.

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