Which one should I visit? Will there be more to do on San Pedro or Caye Caulker? Do I need to rent a golf cart or will I be fine walking everywhere/taking taxis? These are some of the many questions I asked myself when trying to decide which island to visit. Keep reading and I’ll tell you more about each and which was my favorite.
After Tikal, the plan was to head to one of the islands. I went back and forth, before booking, trying to decie which one to go to. In the end I chose San Pedro. I had heard it was a lot bigger than Caye Caulker and that there was more to do. Hannah, Hector, and I took the water taxi from Belize city, which takes about an hour, over to San Pedro. It was pretty busy at the port, but we did have time to get some ok Indian food right before leaving. The ride was a bit bumpy but nothing that would make me see the Indian food again!
When we got off the water taxi the first thing we needed to do was find a place to stay so we could drop our bags. We found a small place on the beach called Hotel Coastal Bay. We only stayed there one night and then moved to Amelia’s Guesthouse. Amelia’s Guesthouse was a few blocks over and had a bigger room with AC (even though it died in the middle of the night)! After dropping our bags, we set out to explore. First, we walked around looking at some of the shops and seeing what there was to do. We walked all the way to the cinema, it took about 25 minutes, to see if it was open (hoping to see something that evening) but it was closed.
The walk to the cinema was not a complete loss because we stopped at a Playa Bar and Grill on the beach for some fruit juice.
That night we found a small local ‘hole in the wall’ (I wish I could remember the name!) place for dinner. We tried many of the dishes they had to offer and everything was delicious. It was also so cheap compared to American prices. After eating, we walked around to some of the bars/restaurants to see what was going on. It wasn’t very busy and we decided to go back to the hotel so we could plan for the next day.
The next morning we took a taxi to ‘The Secret Beach’. Be careful when taking taxis! Our taxi driver ripped us off by changing the price half way through the journey! We spent the day at “The Secret Beach” playing in the clear water, eating lunch, and having (more!) fruit juice (it’s so refreshing).
That night we found dinner at a restaurant called Caramba a few blocks from the center. The food was great but the Oreo cheesecake for dessert was Amazing! I’m not even a huge fan of Oreo’s but this stuff was ‘perfection’ (friends anyone?).
A few months later while on the way to and from Tulum, Mexico, my faithful traveling partners and I stopped by Caye Caulker. We ended up having one full day (and a few half days) in Caye Caulker because I didn’t realize there were 2 water taxi companies that went to Chetumal, which was how we were getting to Tulum. They each service the island (at least when I was there) on alternate days.
We found Vista Del Mar Guesthouse when we got off the water taxi and booked ourselves for two nights there. Caye Caulker is very small, and everything is in walking distance. That night we ate at a Bambooze restaurant across the street. It was right on the beach! The benches for the tables were swings which sold me right away on going there! After that we walked to the end of the island before going to the hotel.
We shared the seafood platter and it was so big that there was food left over!
The next morning, after buying our water taxi tickets and eating breakfast at Amor y Cafe we decided to spend the day at Koko King beach. It is only a 2-minute water taxi ride over to the beach. Be aware: here you have to spend a certain amount at the beach for the taxi ride there and back to be free! We paid for the loungers, a hammock, food and drinks which was all more than what was needed to meet the minimum. They play loud music and have lots of (drinking) competitions (if that is your thing – not really ours) plus inflatable water toys (they were fun!).
Bathing suite (reversible) – Similar
The next morning, we were up early for the water taxi to Chetumal – a whole other story – coming soon!
On the way back from Mexico we stayed on Caye Caulker for another night. We stayed at the same place but ate dinner at Godfrey’s Seaside Grill. The food here was ok. I would recommend Bambooze over it!
Which did I like better?
Overall, I liked Caye Caulker better. Their Motto is ‘go slow’ and you really feel that on the island. I felt it was more laid back and less ‘party town’ then San Pedro. However, if you are looking for a place with an active nightlife I would say go to San Pedro, there are a lot more bars and restaurants to choose from. I went in the slow season (San Pedro – July, Caye Caulker – September) so things were a lot less crowded and slower on both islands compared to what I would think they would be in the high season. I believe the high (dry) season is November to around April.
Golf carts – They are all over the place in San Pedro! It was one of the things I didn’t really like. When I was walking down the street I always felt I may get run over by one. In comparison, I only saw the odd one here and there in Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is so small that it only takes about 15 mins to walk (slowly) from one end to the other.
Both islands seem to offer tours if that is something you are interested in. If I had had a couple more days at each I probably would have booked a tour. However, we just had a day or two and it was nice to take time to walk around the islands. We saw a lot of snorkeling, diving, and wildlife (sharks, stingrays, and manatee) tours. I even saw some caving (ATM), tubing and zip-lining tours where they take you back to the mainland to explore.
Neither island lacks for things to do and both are beautiful!
Make sure to check them out if you are in Belize!