Bring cash! If there is one thing I have learnt in my travels is that often when crossing a border by land, you’ll have to pay an exit fee for your stamp. I always keep a few USD on me (a few $5, $10 & $20s) just for such an occasion. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this and it’s precisely how I met Naz and Taylah. I lent them a few bucks until we got to an ATM in Belize, crossing from Mexico. Some crossings may have an ATM but banks always charge a high withdrawal fee for the “convenience”, especially knowing that you are in a pinch.
Once in Belize, I recommend skipping Belize City and heading straight to Caye Caulker or San Pedro. Belize City is a bit dodgy with a lot of a gang related crime which is concentrated to the south side. If you have to or chose to stay the night there are a couple of places along Regent St. by the water which are quite nice and are close to the ferries. There’s also a nice bar with buckets of beer; good for happy hour! ?
This is where my story begins, after a night of drinking and a boat ride to Caye Caulker. I’m enjoying a coffee at Amor Y Cafe. There’s a main road on Caye Caulker, there you’ll find everything you need, places to stay, eat, drink, wifi, etc… Ultimately, a place to relax and forget about that idiot in the BMW that cut you off last week, that politician who continues to put his foot in his mouth or that you forgot to pack your toothbrush.
One thing to note is I noticed that a lot of restaurants and cafes take turns with their days off. For instance, Amor Y Cafe is closed on Mondays but 20m away Crepe Dream is open. A nice couple owns it from Calgary who opened it up a couple of years ago. They have free refills on coffee, which is always a nice perk (pun intended) for a guy like me. Towards the Split (part of the island) is a restaurant called Enjoy. A group of us met up there one night and had some delicious curries and jerked chicken. It’s definitely worth going to. If you are into lobster, you are in luck, as it seems like every other place has BBQ’d lobster.
On Caye Caulker (and San Pedro) one comes to snorkel or dive the corals and if you’re lucky, the Blue Hole. A visit to the Blue Hole typically hinges on one thing, the weather. If it’s too windy they don’t go. If weather does not permit, you can however, fly over to see it but they won’t just fly you alone unless you pay for every seat on the plane. Same with the scuba diving, if the boat is not full, they don’t go (even if they are one person short). As typically a solo traveller I find it’s useful to seek out like minded individuals and form a travel party that way.
There’s a lovely lady at the dock when you first get off the ferry. She seems quite knowledgeable and willing to help with it all. Perhaps have a chat with her once you get off and get the lowdown on the trips. They are a bit pricey but it’s a good day out on the water.
Caye Caulker is great for a few nights but could prove a bit boring if stretched out any further. I never made it to San Pedro but I hear it’s similar to Caye Caulker, if perhaps a little more developed.
Now I’m on a bus to Flores, Guatemala. You can hop on a mini bus for about $25USD at the same terminal as where the ferry drops you off. It’s a “quick” 5 hours with yet another exit fee of $20 USD as you cross into Guatemala!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Spencer D. Edwards

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