Day 5 (March 8, 2014) Caye Caulker

Before   

  We’ll take the lodge private transfer to reach Mundo Maya airport in Flores on time to board in our flight to Belize City, which leaves at 8:30 AM.

Route for day 5

   All we have to do in Belize City is going to the Water taxi terminal from the airport and get one to Caye Caulker in a ride which takes less than one hour.

   The rest of the day is for walking by the island and enjoying the Caribbean environment there.

After

   At 5:45 AM we’re at the entrance of Jaguar Inn waiting for our transfer to the airport, which should be here at 6 AM. It is dawning and the sounds from the jungle are coming clear to us. It is wonderful. This video is just for listening:


   At 5:55 AM comes our car and at 7 AM we’re in the small airport. Although it is an international flight, it’s too soon and Tropic air desk – one of the four desks there- is closed. We’re taking our breakfast in the small coffee place on the corner where we’re told it’s still 30 minutes to open. At the other side of this hall there are two more desks: one for immigration and another one forFlores' airport passport control.

    The process is fat and it is understandable when knowing the plane is half full: 6 persons for a capacity of 12. When checking in we’re asked for paying 33 US$ per person as exit taxes that I thought were included in the flight rate, but it is obviously not. The receipt is shown in the immigration desk to get the exit stamp in the passport, then, in the passport control they check everything is correct to let us pass to the waiting hall, with just a few doors in a glass wall to the strip.

   The flight is scheduled to leave at 8:30 AM, but it is at this time when the Tropic Air plane arrives to the airport. Somehow, we can see how our baggage is taken to the plane immediately and some minutes later the three couples as passengers are out to walk down to the plane. We get in by a pull-down stairs. We quickly choose our seat by the window. We’re feeling like in a private flight. We can even see the pilots in front of us with all their systems.

Tropic Air planeInside a Tropic Air plane
















   This flight is spectacular: it is flying low so we can have incredible views from Lake Peten-Itza and the vast jungle until it lands just at the moment we can see the sea.

Flores Island in Lake Peten-Itza
Views from the jungleplane's shadow
















   The leaving from the plane and the airport is fast and easy too. We take the door labeled as “Taxis” to the street and find a man in a stand. We tell him we’re going to the water taxi terminal and he answers it is 25 US$ to be paid to the driver.

Harbour in Belize CityWater taxi terminal in Belize City
















   We notice soon the name of the taxi driver is Luis Perez and then we get in a Spanish conversation. He explains the most of Belizeans speak Spanish and some other curiosities of this country. When he asks me about the water taxi company we want to use I just answer it is a matter of time: the one for the next trip to Caye Caulker. He check the timetables he has In the car and takes us to San Pedro Belize Express terminal, where we pay 50 US$ by two tickets to Caye Caulker. I must pay attention to the rates as I’ve just been cheated: there is a fix exchange rate 1 US$ -> 2 BLZ$ and, as I couldn’t get local money, I’m paying everything with US dollars and I’m always getting the change in Belizean dollars. I’ve been taken in US dollars what is in Belizean dollars.

Belize City from sea
Small Island between Belizean cayes
Caye Caulker from sea

   Money stuff in this country is based on that, and when we just arrive to Cay Caulker at 10:30 AM, after a one hour trip, we’re offered taxi at the end of the pier. “Five Americans” we’re told as rate. As there are no cars or scooters in this island, taxis are golf carts. With the bicycles, they are all the vehicles in this place.

Water taxi quay in Caye CaulkerCaye Caulker taxis
















   Barefoot Beach Hotel is in front of the sea, as cannot be other way on this island. But it seems there are no beaches here and all the hotels have a pier going to the sea with hammocks and stairs to the warm water.

Hotel Barefoot BeachPier of hotel Barefoot Beach
















   We go out immediately to explore the island, get some lunch ad book the tour for tomorrow. We walk along Front Street and breathe the bohemian air of this island, with the wood houses painted with garish colors. In the horizontal streets one can see the sea at both ends, and the one we’re walking through is full of restaurants and tour agencies, with some supermarket, always ruled by Chinese people.

   When we reach the spot we came in from the boat, we go upstairs to the water taxi company office to get the tickets for Chetumal, in Mexico, for the day after tomorrow. We pay 45 US$ per person for them.

Supermarket in Caye CaulkerCaye Caulker street
















   We chose restaurant “Brisas del mar” for lunching. The offer is a free mojito for every lunch and we take it on the tables they have outside by the sea. The food takes some time but we have no rushes and the shrimps with cocoa I’m eating are delicious. I wanted locust, but it seems they’re out of season. We pay around 50 BZ$.

Restaurant "Brisas del mar"Front Street in Caye Caulker
















   We’ve checked we can talk in Spanish almost everywhere here, and we can do it again when choosing agency for tomorrow’s tour. It seems all of them has the similar policies and rates: the manatee tour needs a minimum of 4 people and, therefore, we end taking the half day tour for snorkeling on three spots of the barrier reef by 35 US$ per person. We’ll do this with Mario’s tours.

Mario's toursIguana in Caye Caulker
















   We spend the rest of the day relaxing in the hammocks at hotel and enjoying the sea breeze.

Relaxing at hotel Barefoot BeachOur room at hotel Barefoot Beach