Day 7: San Ignacio to Caye Caulker via Belize City

Belize City Travel Blog

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Main street of Caye Caulker; quiet in the early morning.

This morning we were up by 7am to check out of the Trek Stop and take the local bus to Belize City. We had a quick breakfast of cereal, settled our account, and were on our way. The bus was packed. It was a 3 hour ride to go only 60 miles because the bus stops frequently. In comparison it took only an hour to get to the Trek stop from Belize City when the guide from Maya Walk picked us up on Sunday. But we chose the bus this time because it is only $6BZ per person.

We enjoyed a homeade tamale wrapped in a banana leaf instead of corn husk at the bus stop in Belmopan. Belmopan is the capitol of Belize. It used to be Belize City, but after the last big hurricane in the 60s the capital was moved to the country's interior.

Finally in Belize city we took a taxi to the water taxi station and stored our bags in a locker at the station while we toured the city on foot.

Ambiance at Syd's.
Belize city is very run down. There is a stinky trashed canal in the middle of the city. Overall the city is just a industrialized version of the rural poverty we'd seen in the Cayo district. We went to the museum of Belize but it was closed on weekends so we just walked down to the lighthouse and took in the sight of the ocean.

We had a late lunch at DIT's, which was another recommendation from my guidebook. I have to say the Moon guidebook has turned out to be a wise investment. It has not steered us wrong yet. DIT's served up fantastic rice and beans with stewed chicken and the single best coconut pie I have ever had. This was not coconut cream pie- no, this was all coconut pie. So delicious and rich.

We took the 1:30pm water taxi to Caye Caulker and thus began the second chapter of our Belize trip: ocean experience.

The Tropics Hotel. Don't be fooled by the beautiful looks of the outside.
Caye Caulker is a small fishing village that most tourists sidestep as they choose to stay in San Pedro on Amberius Caye. San Pedro is much more touristy and expensive. Caye Caulker is a combination of the same ramshackle houses seen in the rest of Belize and low cost relaxed vibe bars and restaurants with sand floors and swing and hammock chairs. Fresh fruit drinks too. Jon and I found it funny to be in a place where the liquor flows so cheap and freely yet we don't drink much.

We got off the water taxi and made our way to our hotel- The Tropics Hotel. The office was bright and cherry but the room was extremely disappointing. Run down, matresses way past their prime to the point of painful, leaking ceiling in the bathroom and a general mildew smell.

Welcome to Caye Caulker
Worse we were told there were no more rooms to choose from and no refunds.Gah. Avoid this place like the plague if you come here!!!

It was a bright sunny day though so we didn't let the hotel situation get us down. We are in paradise!

We walked most of the island. History of the island and details on the island's geological features can be found here:

It was so nice to relax. We went swimming off the end of the pier across from our hotel. The only nice thing about our hotel is that it is directly across the street from the ocean. And that it's only $30US/night.

We window shopped on the way to dinner.

There are a lot of stray dogs here as in the Cayo district of Belize but at least these are much healthier. They are apparently fed by the tourists and have meat on their bones- no ribs showing. We stopped for appetizers- Conch fritters- an island speciality. I didn't care for them much but you've got to try everything at least once right? Dinner was at Syd's restaurant- another guidebook recommendation. Saturday is BBQ night all over the island. The restaurants all bring out the grills and cook up some great BBQ. We had BBQ chicken quarters that were served with coleslaw, potatoes, baked beans and plantain. All this for $4 US. Gotta love Belize prices. We sat outside by the fountain at Syd's and it was great.

After dinner, Jon was feeling pretty tired so he went to bed. I walked around, dropped in on a PUP rally (the PUP is the party in power of the goverment right now and very corrupt. The party running against them in the upcoming election is the UDP and for the sake of all Belizians I hope they win). The PUP folks were giving out free liquor and t-shirts. I also got hit on a lot - common if you are a female walking alone. I fed some of the stray dogs and listened to the happy reggae music before finally going to bed.

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Main street of Caye Caulker; quiet…
Main street of Caye Caulker; quie…
Ambiance at Syds.
Ambiance at Syd's.
The Tropics Hotel. Dont be fooled…
The Tropics Hotel. Don't be foole…
Welcome to Caye Caulker
Welcome to Caye Caulker
Belize City
photo by: travelman727