Less than 2 kilometers west of the barrier reef, this 8 km long island hosts 1,300 people in a tiny town with more than 50 hotels.
The native language is english but it is a different english than what we are used to listen to, when they speak to each other it is almost as if they were speaking another language. Only when they are speaking to you the people bother to speak clear.
I think 95% of the people I saw lives off of tourism whether it is selling tours, food crafts, transportation or accomodation. Before the tourism boom in the 70´s this was just a fishermen village but now, people come from all over the world and the main attraction is the snorkeling and scuba diving in the Measoamerican Barrier Reef System which is the second largest reef in the world, right behind the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
All the streets are made of sand and there are no sidewalks. The only transportation method inside the island is using a Golf Cart, a Bicycle or walking. I think this is one of the best things in Caye Caulker because it helps it stay like a kind of “magic” town stuck in time.
At first, in the 1960´s only a bunch of hippies used to come to the island to chill out and exchange ideas with the locals but right now you can easily spot the difference… I´ve seen quite a few loud tourists who only want to get drunk and go sailing with a local to the nearest coral reef. It is not the majority and hey, everyone can do what they please but I don´t think this is the idea you should have when coming to Caye Caulker.
In general I am very pleased with this island. It is quiet, the sunset is at 6 and the dawn is at 530. I get up everyday at 6 am to feed the cats, then I do some Yoga (in which I suck and use youtube to guide me) in my own terrace and then start working on hostel chores. Today I started working on building a door I promised to finish before I leave here.
I only eat fruits, vegetables and nuts partly because I want to have a healthy lifestyle but mainly because the food here is so expensive! A can of 250 gr of beans is 3 USD!
After that I take the bike the hostel lets me borrow and then go to the split, which es the most famous spot inside the island. It is where the Lazy Lizard bar is located and most tourists gather there to have a beer and meet other people. The view is fantastic and you can almost taste the salty water when you see the ocean.
There is a craft market in the main street. There is a lot of restaurants in the main street. There is a lot of tour services in the main street. There is a lot of hotels in the main street. In fact, there is a lot of everything in the main street 🙂
Every house here is built with wood. The only buildings I´ve seen built with concrete are some hotels. Of course there are social status in Caye Caulker and there is also houses not so nice, there are poor neighborhoods also…
In the town area, every 50 meters you can see a privately owned dock, I think there are more docks than boats in the island hehe.
Thanks for the lond read, I hope you got to taste what it is biking through this little magic town in the caribbean.
Here´s a happy wild Iguana for your patience.