sailing the world's 2nd longest barrier reef
Caye Caulker is a dreamy little island about 45 minutes water taxi from the mainland, Belize. Main street permits no cars, just golf carts and bikes (and lots of pedestrians and dogs). When I went to Belize in late April/early May 2007, I had grand intentions of seeing Mayan ruins and maybe even trekking over to Guatemala; all of that evaporated once I set foot on the sandy streets of Caye Caulker
. Basically, my first couple days there consisted of kayaking the shore line, biking the island, and taking long, breeze fueled naps in my hammock just outside my door. Eventually I summoned enough strength to make two different snorkeling trips, one by power boat and one by sailboat. The barrier reef is amazing.
sunset view of the Lazy Lizard, best bar hands down
... I saw nurse sharks galore, huge rough tail stingrays, big old grouper, barracuda, tropical fish by the boat load, and even a manatee! And I discovered that I LOVE sailing - I'd like to take lessons soon for basic keel boat. I also met this guy called Chocolate (no lie), who single-handedly got manatee protection and reserves going in Belize. I had heard about him before my trip from my friend Rob and I sought him out by asking the locals where I could find him - in the end I met both him and his wife, he told me the story of his passion for protecting manatees, and told me about the challenges he was facing today. I wish I had thought to take a photo with him, but I think one day I'll be back.
All in all, it was a laid back little escape (only 5 days), but totally worth it. The people that travel to Caye Caulker tend to be independent, chill types and I met so many cool people in a very short span. Good times!
*Oh, and one thing I didn't mention is that I bought my ticket the day before leaving. I didn't even have time enough to grab a lonely planet guide!