Belize Travel Guides for Backpackers

Backpackers Guide to Caye Caulker, Belize

Despite the islands famous ‘go slow’ pace, this small Caribbean island of Belize is quickly becoming a top tourist destination. A slice of tranquility contrasting the hustle and bustle of Central America; no cars, no traffic, just authentic island life.   Things to do in Caye Caulker, Belize: An absolute must do is go snorkelling with some of the most incredible and diverse marine life; including Sea Turtles, Sting Rays, Octopus, Manatees, Sharks and the cast of Finding Dory! Recommend ‘Anda de Wata’ Snorkel shop (little purple shack). At $65 its one of the cheaper options and includes lunch, Shark Ray Alley, other marine animals and includes underwater photos! Also check out the famous Great Blue Hole, where you can either Scuba Dive, Snorkel or even take a helicopter ride over it. Take a Kayak around the island Drink rum out of a coconut with the locals Have your hair braided Eat your body weight in Lobster Take a boat to San Pedro Island Have a beach massage and relax! Check out the street markets, selling home made jewelry out of shells, beads etc Join the Reggae vibe and drink a few rum and cokes at I&I Reggae Bar, (on the southern side of the island). Really cool bar with swings hanging from the ceiling to sit, cool lights, intimate dance floor and a rooftop.   Best Places to Eat: Everywhere you walk down the main street, restaurants and locals will be grilling whole fresh Lobster for a cheap $25/30. You can’t leave without getting one! Most restaurants will offer cheap local rum drinks. Halfway between the boat docks and the split along the main street, there is a small table and chair set up, where a local lady grills great tasting food and included free, that’s right, free unlimited rum drinks! La Cubana restaurant, located opposite the ‘Belize Express’ ferry dock. This place is always packed from breakfast through to dinner, good food, good price. Virtually opposite you’ll find The Art’s café. Here you can find great bagels and good food in a quirky artsy setting. The cinnamon toast is a must get! Blue restaurant opposite the ‘Anda de Wata’ Snorkel shop (purple building), excellent breakfast and always have great special offers for dinner! Another great option is the Rainbow Grill and Bar. Perfect location, good food and stunning scenery with the ocean as your backdrop! Calling all chocolate lovers! At some point, take a moment to visit this little blue shop. Rich, locally made chocolates- the Belgian truffles are a must! If you’re looking for some sweet drinks check out Ice and Beans. Fresh coffee; including caramel lattes and mochas! Fruit smoothies and donuts. Also, if you’re lucky, there’s an old Caribbean man who rides around the island some mornings and sells banana bread- definitely grab a slice…or two!  Must see Beaches: The Split Here you will see the literal split of Caye Caulker island, resulting in two islands and oh yes two beaches! You will find loads of […]

Bucket List Destinations: A Travel Guide to San Pedro, Belize

Every time I mention San Pedro, Belize to one of my friends, I seem to always get the same blank and deadpanned face staring back at me, followed by the question, “where’s Belize?” To which I always respond with a really long-winded anecdote about it being a beautiful little paradise in Central America and how it is unbelizeable that they hadn’t heard of it before. Although Belize is half the size of New York, it is home to some of the best adventures I have ever been on. Located on the island of Ambergris Caye, San Pedro is the up-and-coming town to visit and stay in whilst exploring the country. Boasting tropical climates year-round, a rich Mayan history situated in the middle of the jungle, and the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, Belize is the perfect destination for any traveler. Where to stay in San Pedro There are a million different resorts in and around San Pedro, however, I like to stay close to my backpacker roots whenever possible. As far as I found, there is one lone hostel on the entire island, however, that seems to be all it needs. With a rating of 8.8 over 545 reviews on Hostelworld, the Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant exceeded my expectations as far as hostels go and at $16USD per night, the prices are hard to beat. Each bunk bed has a curtain for privacy, the air conditioning was a welcome relief from the outside heat, and the location is ideal as it is directly on the beach. On top of that, the Wi-Fi was never an issue and the staff was wonderful. Best places to grab a bite to eat Hurricane’s Ceviche Bar and Grill Due to San Pedro being the top tourist destination in Belize, it is covered with a plethora of restaurants to try. You can never go wrong with the infamous ceviche from Hurricanes. Coupled with a craft cocktail and the covered outdoor seating area with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane’s is not likely to disappoint. Stop for lunch or quench your thirst with one of their iconic tropical cocktails, take a seat and enjoy the sunset. Eat like a local at Kevin and Owie’s As I was walking by Kevin and Owie’s for the first time, the aroma drew me over and I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the entire operation. Comprised of a grill and a couple of picnic benches, Kevin and Owie’s isn’t like a typical restaurant. However, that is precisely the reason the food is so delicious. Opening for lunch every day and closing each night once they have run out of food, Kevin and Owie’s is a Belizean local secret. They are located right on Coconut Drive, just down the road from Marina’s Store. It is $5USD for a heaping plate of mouth-watering food. Because they are a little roadside food stop, Kevin and Owie’s is a bit tricky to find but entirely worth the effort. Adventures: […]

Belize: A little piece of heaven in Caye Caulker

Travelling to paradise Just off the coast of Belize is a small slice of heaven otherwise known as Caye Caulker. It is in some ways a strange place, a piece of the Caribbean seemingly transplanted to Central America. Fitting when Belize itself  is an English imposter in a Spanish land. The island can be reached by speedboat from either Belize City or Chetumal in Mexico. It takes around 45 minutes from Belize City and costs BZ$45, the trip from Chetumal is longer and costs BZ$130. Whilst the speedboat journey itself is fairly uncomfortable, with a relentless vibration that leaves you with a seriously numb bum, it all becomes worth it when you arrive on this tiny sand island surrounded by turquoise seas.  There are no roads here and no cars either, if walking with your bags to your hotel is too much of a struggle you can hop in a golf buggy waiting to pick up tourists off the boat, the rest of the time walking or cycling will get you anywhere you need to go. Go Slow: Island Time The Belizean motto is “go slow” and they certainly take that to heart in Caye Caulker. Walk anywhere faster than a dawdle and you’re likely to be told to “go slow man” by a smiling local. After all what’s the rush? Everywhere you look there are beautiful vistas of sparkling blue seas, white sand beaches and slowly waving palm trees. Even the graffiti is pretty here, with a fetching manatee in a rasta hat enjoining passersby to, you guessed it, go slow. The place to be The main street follows the beaches up from the ferry landing with restaurants, shops and market stalls all the way up to the split, where a narrow channel cuts the island into two. Locals like to say that the split was the result of Hurricane Hattie that destroyed much of Belize City in 1961, however it is actually a hand dredged channel to allow boats to pass through. The split is a popular place to sunbathe during the day with a handy bar called Lizard’s landing where you can grab an ice-cold bottle of the local Belikin beer for a few dollars. You can also jump right off the decking and into the crystal clear waters for a spot of snorkeling, or even swim right across to the other side if you’re feeling particularly energetic. Although sometimes there can be a fairly strong current in the channel so be careful if swimming across. This is also the perfect place to watch the sunset, with uninterrupted views of the sun going down over the ocean. The sunset draws the crowds but if you can drag yourself out of bed the sunrise is definitely worth watching. Find a patch of beach on the jetty side of the island and you’ll probably have the place to yourself bar the odd fisherman and the seabirds.   Local Attractions You can hire a bike to explore the island but on-land […]
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