Panama Canal Stories and Tips

Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Cauker Photo, Panama Canal, Panama

Belize has one of the largest barrier reefs on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. This is why we decided to visit Caye Cauker when we entered the Port of Belize City. Because Belize is surrounded by a reef, you are tendered to Belize City. The ship is docked about 25 miles out to sea. The ride is about 20 to 25 minutes long. The cruise line had an excursion that ran $89 each way to go to Caye Cauker. This $89 only included a boat ride directly from the ship. We thought it was too expensive. I went online and did a search on Caye Cauker and found out a water taxi that ran from Belize City to Caye Cauker for about $17 round-trip.

We disembarked from the ship and had a 3-block walk to the water taxi. Judging by the people at the dock, we were in for an adventure. It was Easter week, and everyone on the island is headed to Caye Cauker. We were pushed onto the taxi with about 100 other people. We were the only Americans on the boat, and we hoped we were headed to the right destination. The ride is about 50 minutes long. It was very uncomfortable. Most seats did not have cushions. After this long, bumpy ride, we finally made it to Caye Cauker.

This small island has no cars. The only way to get around is by foot or golf cart. We were planning on renting a golf cart, but because of the holiday, all carts were rented. We asked one of the locals where the best beach was. It was at the far end of the island. We were planning on sitting by the water and maybe doing some snorkeling. I guess I did not do my research too well, because there is not much of a beach, and the only way to see any sea life is to take a snorkeling trip. Because of our limited time, we were unable to take an excursion.

We then headed back into town to have a drink. The sandy streets are lined with small shops, a few restaurants, and small hotels or cottages. This place is not for the pampered: NO air-conditioning, concierge or room service, bellhop, or spa. This place is a very low-key island. I guess it might be what Key West was over 50 years ago. We found a watering hole and had a few as we watched the crystal-clear water out at the horizon. It is time for us to head back to the ship.

The ride back was even worse than on the way out. This time, the water taxi was filled with tourists headed back to Belize City. It took forever for the crew to load all the luggage on the boat. Again, we were jammed in like sardines. I’m not sure if I would recommend anyone doing this for just 1 day. It might be worth the $89 excursion to get to the Cayes faster, and definitely more comfortable.

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