IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
- Belize is the only country in Central America that’s first language is English. They are predominently Catholic too.
- For every 1 US dollar is 2 BZE dollars. 50 US Dollars = 100 BZE. Make sure you communicate with someone when they charge you if it is BZE or US, because they won’t correct you if you give them 15 US when it was really only 15 BZE ($ 7 US)
- Caye Caulker is very safe, and locals are very friendly.
- It is common for the power on the island to go out. Make sure you always have cash on you to be prepared. ATM or cards will not work without power.
- Do your research on sand fleas — wear baby oil.
WHEN TO GO
If you’re planning to take a trip to Belize, you want to go during their dry season. This is between December and April. We wen’t in January and had great weather. Before we left, the forecast stated it would rain each day. We had morning showers and night showers. Around 10am each day was when the sun came out and stayed for the rest of the day. Don’t let the forecast fool you, you will get plenty of sun!
Wet Season: this season is between the months of April and November. Tourism falls 50% during this time, and accommodation rates also drop to half price. If you’re on a budget, choose in-between these months.
If you’re looking for nice weather, go during the dry season. If you’re looking for a cheap get away with adventures like seeing the mayan ruins and scuba diving, go during the wet season.
Airfare: A roundtrip ticket if planned in advance from Philadelphia (my hometown) to Belize City is only 550 dollars. Look at March 2017, and you will see these prices. I use the app KAYAK. It shows you a calendar with dates highlighted in green for cheaper prices and red dates that you’ll want to avoid!
**FLIGHT ATTENDANTS – my friend successfully used a buddy pass from PHL to BZE for $400, so bring your non FA friends!
- Air Distance: from Philadelphia to Belize City, it is only a 6 hour trip which is pretty darn close!
Arriving in Belize – Cab/Ferry to Caye Caulker
- Tell your cab driver you want to take the ferry to Caye Caulker. They will drive you to the dock and it will cost you $35 US Dollars or $70 BZE.
- When you arrive to the dock, they will take your luggage and give you a number to identify your luggage. Then you will go to the office and buy your ticket for the ferry which is $30 BZE or $15 US.
- The ferry is VERY little, you will be jammed packed together with at least 20 other people. Don’t sit in the back by the engines because of the fumes. Try to get a seat in the middle and avoid the sides, unless you want a window view.
- The ferry ride is 45 minutes to Caye Caulker.
- Another option is to fly. It is $150 US for a roundtrip ticket on a jet that fits around 10 people. One passenger has to sit co pilot. It’s a 20 minute flight and would be a cool way to see the entire island.
Arriving in Caye Caulker
When you arrive, there will be golf carts awaiting your arrival to take you wherever you’re staying. It is $2.50 US or $5 BZE per person.
- You will have to wait for them to unload your luggage, and then give them your number in exchange for your luggage.
WHERE TO STAY IN CAYE CAULKER
The island is very tiny. You can walk the entire island within 25 minutes.
When you get off the ferry, you will be in the middle of the island. Facing land, anything to your left side is where less people stay. Towards your right side is where most of the restaurants, hostels, and bars are.
We stayed on the left side and liked our location because we were very secluded from the rest of the island. To be fair, there aren’t many people on the island, and everyone you see, you will see at least twice during your stay. We continued to run into the same people over and over again.
***** Don’t stay on the beach! Our place was right on the beach, and it was beautiful! BUT….SAND FLEAS!!!!! Sand fleas seriously almost ruined the trip for me. If you stay on the beach, you are more likely to bring the fleas into your room, and then they will be sleeping with you and biting you through out the entire night. I woke up one morning with bites everywhere, so so itchy!
Sand fleas come out when it rains, or when the ground is damp. They also like cool, wet things. Bug spray really doesn’t work. ** Use BABY OIL, they can’t bite you if you have it on. WEAR IT RELIGIOUSLY!!!
I booked through AIRBNB and regret it. I love airbnb but originally I booked our place for 3 nights, and was charged $110 a night. We decided to stay two more nights and instead of going through AIRBNB, I just went to the manager of our place. I was then only charged $78 per night. That’s a big difference especially when you’re on a budget.
We stayed at Playa Asuncion Anchorage Resort.
If I did it again, I would stay more inland, and use the hostelworld app, or just walk into places and ask if they had vacancy. It’s a place you can do that, and not have any issues. But also it depends on who you’re with. I was with my sister and girlfriend, and they said no to the hostel idea because they never stayed in one and didn’t want to start there. Hostels you can usually get your own private room for $30 or $50 US per person (sharing with who ever you’re with).. and it’s just as nice as getting a place on airbnb.
so you arrived successfully in Caye Caulker and you’re all settled into your room, now what?
The best way to meet a fun group of people when you’re in a different country is by doing excursions. Doing them sooner than later is better because then you’ll have friends to go out with later that night, or the next day. We met a ton of people! I miss my Austin Texas people, my frenchies, and my beautiful hawaiians who lived above us! All such amazing individuals.
We payed $70 US to do a snorkeling excursion with Amado! He’s great, and took care of me when we were swimming with sharks. He owns Reef Friendly Tours (click to go to his page). Him and his crew were great, and all very friendly. They take you to three spots to snorkel, then feed you, and give you rum punch which gets you wasted so be careful. It was a shit show after we left.
If you have a GoPro — bring it!! This is one place you don’t want to forget to bring it. I didn’t bring mine because I packed last minute and didn’t think I would need it… it would have been awesome to film the sharks under water and the sea turtles! Ugh, still hurts.
There are a ton of excursionsa s you’re walking around.. you will see many places that offer them. So check them out, do your research, and go have fun!
If you’re looking for a bar to hang out by during the day — go to The Lazy Lizard, Margarita Mikes, or Sip n Dip Beach Bar.
meh, gonna be honest and say the night life wasn’t really night life. It’s just people getting off the beach and their excursions and heading to the bar for the remainder of the night. Three places to go are The Sports Bar, The Reggae Bar, and The Black Spade. Really, if you find people to hang out with at a hostel or on the beach, you’re better off doing that.
PS- Locals can be aggressive and touchy, so don’t be too nice to them where they feel like they have a chance.
I’m a foodie, and really believe food can make or break a trip. I was very impressed with the food in Caye Caulker. I didn’t have one bad meal there. I don’t even have favorites because every breakfast, lunch, and dinner was amazing.
**Try the ice coffee at Amor y Cafe. Best ice coffee I ever had.
WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY
- I would have checked out the city of San Pedro which is on the island of Ambergris Caye. The population is much higher than Caye Caulker, more fast pace, and more things to do. There is a ferry from Caye Caulker to San Pedro even if you would like to go for just the day.
- I would have rented a car and traveled to Guatemala and Honduras, checked out the Mayan Ruins and traveled to the Roatan Islands.
BELIZE CITY AIRPORT
— Give yourself 2.5 hours to get there before your departure flight back home. You don’t want to go anywhere less than 2 hours because the lines build up and it will take much longer to go through security. Make sure you eat before you enter, there isn’t much of a selection inside the airport. The wifi also sucks!
- Before you leave the US make sure you have 100 US dollars cash. Break up your cash into 10s and 5s. Use that money when you arrive to Belize for your cab, ferry, golf cart ride, and food. When you get to the island, ask where the ATM is (only one on the island) and take out $500 BZE which is $250 US… that should last you for a little.
- If you’re planning a trip to Caye Caulker for 5 nights — Save $1300 dollars. That will cover your airfare, transportation, accommodations, food, and excursions.
Hope this helps all you future travelers! Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
For my future travels — follow me here or my instagram roxxy__balboa