Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Caye Caulker-Helpful Hints


In the words of Nancy Regan, just say no. Caye Caulker seems like the type of chill island that would turn a blind eye to pot smoking. During sunset there is even a guy who rides around on his bike advertising his “special brownies.”  My guess is that the island does not want to project a relaxed on drugs attitude and end up inundated with travelers who are there primarily to get baked. 

While we were waiting for the boat to San Pedro, two official looking guards escorted two twenty-something female backpackers into the waiting area. The girls looked a little off. One of the girls sat down, stood up, and immediately fell to the ground. The female guard laughed, shook her head, and helped the girl back on the bench. Fortunately we had a local sitting near us who got the skinny. The girls were caught smoking pot. Since Caye Caulker is so small, the girls were being transported to San Pedro to be prosecuted. They would have to spend a couple of nights in jail, pay a fine, and pay for all of the expenses incurred for their transportation to San Pedro. I’m guessing that something like that really puts a damper on your trip. 

Respect the island's rules, and don't ruin your trip, stick to the rum punch and lizard juice. 


I thought I calculated correctly, but as people on the island seemed genuinely concerned for the health of our pasty white skin, we applied and reapplied ample amounts of sunblock. This caused us to run out a few days before our trip ended. 

There is no shortage of sunblock on the island, but it comes at a premium. It’s expensive. 

What we found is that it was the most expensive on Front Street, the street that runs along the water. If however you go to Back Street, you will actually find that sunblock is a few dollars cheaper.


We get pretty addicted to fresh fruit juice when we travel in Latin American countries. We have a juicer at home, but it’s never the same. On the island, we found the stand-alone juice stands to be a better value than the juice at the cafes and restaurants. 

If you really need that glass of juice with your cafe/restaurant breakfast, then go for it, but if you are just addicted to fresh juice, then make your purchase at one of the stands.

At one particular juice place, there was the most polite, professional, little boy serving customers. 

Through the back door of the juice place, you could see the boy’s parent lounging in a hammock; parenting win.

You Might Become a Stalker

We had a nice chat with a guy on our initial boat ride to the island. 

He and his family were visiting his brother, who was a wind surfing instructor, currently living on Caye Caulker.

“See you around,” he said as we departed the boat. Little did he know.

That evening while we were seated at dinner, who shows up? Boat guy and his family. The next day while buying juice at a juice stand, who comes to buy juice? Boat guy and his family. On the boat to San Pedro, who is on the boat ? Yup, boat guy and his family. It started to become a running joke with comments like,


It’s a small island so you are bound to run into the same people. You probably want to keep to your best behavior and not piss anyone off, because you will most likely run into them again. You may also want to choose your trysts carefully. You never know if that make out session will turn into a clinger, and now you have nowhere to hide.


Do not get your heart set on eating at a particular restaurant. I got my heart set on eating at a particular restaurant only to find that is was closed for an indeterminate amount of time. Apparently, the owners were having “legal issues.”

Island restaurants don’t operate on a normal schedule. 

Most take off/are closed at least one day per week. Sometimes this is a set scheduled day, sometimes it’s random, sometimes they are closed for several days. It became a running joke during the week, because it seemed like every evening we had a particular restaurant in mind to eat at, and almost every time, that restaurant was closed.  Just stay open and flexible. There are plenty of places on the island to eat. When you start to have a conversation with someone on Caye Caulker the questions tend to be, 

-Where are you from? 

-How long are staying on the island? 

-Where have you eaten? 

-Where else in the world have you been? 

Anyone who has been on the island for more than a day will excitedly tell you their favorite place to eat, so if you are unsure where to go, just ask. 

I hope you find these hints helpful, and I hope you get a chance to visit Caye Caulker 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Second Breakfast on Caye Caulker

Whenever we go on a trip, I try to find out the quintessential food item to get in that particular destination. I also try to find the best place to get said food item. For Caye Caulker, the food item was a fryjack. The popular place to get one, Errolyn’s House of Fryjacks.

Errolyn’s is a happening place. There isn’t a lot of seating. 

Most people get their fryjacks to go, but we were lucky enough to snag a couple of stools at the counter. It was a great spot for people watching. It was fun seeing all of the enthusiastic visitors ordering and receiving their fryjacks.

What is a fryjack? 

It’s a light bread that is fried and then stuffed with fillings. At Errolyn’s you can have your fryjack filled with anything from chicken, to beans, to bacon, in any combination you wish. Since we were there for breakfast (they are only open for breakfast and lunch), we both got a fryjack filled with eggs, beans, and cheese.

It’s difficult to describe the bread. 

The closest thing I can think of is that it’s sort of like a Taco Bell chulupa, but thinner, lighter, less greasy, and a thousand times better.

Fryjacks are fantastic. 

It saddens me to known that they are so far away and I can’t just wake up on a Saturday morning to get one. I would be forever grateful to anyone who wanted to open up a fryjack food truck near me.

If you are at Errolyn’s, I recommend adding the green sauce to your fryjack. 

I don’t know exactly what the green sauce was, but it made my fryjack even better. Try the green stuff, it’s delicious! 

We enjoyed our fryjacks so much, we almost ordered a second, but I didn’t want to spoil our appetites for our second breakfast, so we figured we would come back to Errolyn’s on another day. Sadly that day was Monday, the one day during the week Errolyn’s is closed, of course.

Everyone who recommended Errolyn’s House of Fryjacks, also recommended going next door to the Sea Choice Juice Bar for a fresh squeezed juice, so we made that our second stop. 

We kept things simple and got orange juice. The bottle was huge. More than enough for two of us, and it only cost $2.50. Our fryjacks were only $1.50 a piece, so two people could easily enjoy a breakfast for $5.50.

As nice as the juice was, we still wanted a damn fine cup of coffee, and what goes best with coffee…donuts of course, so we headed to Ice and Beans.

There was a bit of discussion regarding whether or not this was the best coffee view we have had so far. Shannon felt that a stop we made in Costa Rica was still the best view, 

View in Costa Rica 

but my vote was for Ice and Beans. 

The building is characteristically Caribbean with its bright blue paint color and white trim.

I got a caramel iced coffee, and Shannon got the specially- blended- for- that- day, iced mocha.  We also got an order of the freshly made mini-donuts. The donuts come in either cinnamon-sugar, or chocolate. We got the cinnamon-sugar. As our coffees were being made, we watched one of the café workers drop our donuts into the fryer, and then drop them into the cinnamon-sugar. 

So fresh. 

We took our caffeine and mini-donuts, and settled onto two stools on the café’s back deck. The coffees were perfectly blended, and the donuts were hot, light, and delicious. They reminded me of churros in donut form. Sharing one order was more than enough to get our donut fix.

The view at Ice and Beans was incredible. 

Oh, if only I could sit and have coffee there every day. I could see myself writing as the palm trees swayed overhead, and the vibrant, blue waters sparkled before me.

There was a couple sitting below us at the picnic table. 

They were soon joined by another couple that they did not know. The couples began to converse, mostly about their travels. I had to restrain myself from shouting questions at them over the railing. I was giddy as they traded information about their favorite destinations.

Also while sitting at Ice and Beans, we watched several  forlorn backpackers take what looked like a slow death march past the café. They were heading to the water taxi dock, towards their impending departure from the island.

Our forlorn walk to take the water taxi home
We sipped our coffees slowly, wanting to soak up every ounce of island life, enjoying the fact that we had nowhere we had to be and nothing we had to do. 

First breakfast allowed us to try something new, and second breakfast allowed us to completely unwind.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Terry's Grill-Caye Caulker

For our first night on an island that is known for going slow, we ended up at a restaurant that takes that motto seriously, Terry’s Grill.

There are several grill restaurants on Caye Caulker. The idea is that you sit down, pick what you want, and your food is then grilled up to order. No pre-done chicken, or fish sitting under a heat lamp; just simple, fresh, tasty grub. As I was doing my research, I read about three grill restaurants that seemed to be in a bit of a competition with one another, Terry’s, Rose’s, and Fran’s. We managed to hit two out three, Terry’s being the first.

We plopped down at one of the outdoor picnic tables at Terry’s, which is located near the quiet beach at the back of the island.

Terry’s is as island casual as it gets.

This being our first night, we had to try the island’s most well-known drink (besides Belikin beer of course), rum punch. 

Now if you think this is something like Hawaiian Punch with a splash of rum in it, you would be mistaken. The punch in the rum punch is a delightful mix of fresh fruit juice.

We sipped our drinks and waited, and waited, and waited some more. This is not a restaurant to go to if you are in a hurry. You’re on a small island, I’m not sure where you would have to be, so the waiting shouldn’t be an issue. It was still an issue for some people however, who got up and left. Maybe they were just super hungry?

We passed the time by talking about all of our various adventures to date, ranking things like our favorite meals, best ice cream, coolest beach, etc… and then dreaming about the places we want to go in the future. I also did a bit of eavesdropping.

A group of girls sat at a table behind us. From their conversation, I gathered they had just met that night, presumably at a hostel or other accommodation. One of the girls was a one-upper. When one girl talked about swimming with sting rays, One-Upper of course swam with sharks, without a cage. When one girl talked about going bungee jumping, One-Upper of course bungee jumped off of the highest bungee in the world. On and on it went.  I could already imagine the other girls congregating in the hostel that night, formulating a plan to ditch One-Upper for the rest of their time on the island. I assumed this would be quite difficult given the island’s small size.

Our food eventually made its way to our table.

I ordered the jerk chicken. 

Terry himself came over and explained his process, which included first smoking, then grilling the chicken, hence the wait. Terry takes his cooking seriously. He doesn’t like to rush things, in his exact words,

“It’s gotta be right!”

Shannon got the BBQ pork ribs. 

All of the dishes that evening came with the same sides, coleslaw and rice. I’m not a big fan of coleslaw, so for me to say it’s good is a compliment. Both sides were tasty.

The food is good, but I think the best part of Terry’s Grill, is Terry. When he wasn’t flipping chicken on the grill, or wrangling his four year old son, he was roaming around conversing with guests. Part grill master, part comedian, and part philosopher, make sure you get a chance to chat with Terry. He will happily share his views on everything from parenting, to entrepreneurship, to properly grilling chicken.

I’m so glad we ended up eating at Terry’s Grill on our first night. It was like being thrown into the deep end of go slow island life. We left with our tummies satisfied, our bodies relaxed, and our minds filled with new memories. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Is Caye Caulker Right for You?

After a satisfying dinner, we slowly walk back to Oasi. On our way  we pass through the now familiar part of our evening stroll. A few lights shine down through the palm trees, creating interesting shadows that spread out across the dirt road. There is something magical about those shadows. We love it here. We are sure a lot of other people would love it here too, but we admit that Caye Caulker probably isn’t for everyone.

In my upcoming posts I will gush love for the Belize island that is Caye Caulker. It was exactly the kind of place that we like, but I didn’t want to be deceptive. What we like isn’t what everyone likes, and for your sake, as well as the island’s sake, I thought I would discuss some of the realistic aspects of the island.  


It is a common misconception that just because Caye Caulker is an island, it contains vast, sprawling beaches of white sand. There isn’t much beach on Caye Caulker. There are a few small, sandy, beachy spots, 

but if you think you will be spending your days building castles on white fluffy sand, you may be disappointed.

There are lots of picturesque docks stretching out into the blue water. 

Many hotels and restaurants do their best to create cool waterfront hang out spots.

If all else fails, you can always go and hang out on the dock at The Split (really you should just do that anyway).

Things to do

We once took a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina with a bunch of other couples. One of the couples found the Outer Banks so boring, they packed up their stuff in the middle of the week, and left.

Caye Caulker’s motto is, Go Slow. 

You won’t find an amusement park or a ton of fancy, flashy entertainment. Watching the sunrise and sunset is a legitimate activity. 

There are plenty of tours available, especially for scuba divers and snorkelers. 

Of course plain old swimming is also fun. 

Windsurfing is also popular. 

Our days pretty much consisted of sauntering to town for breakfast, then taking a walk. Afternoons consisted of reading, followed by a swim in the pool at Oasi. In the evening, we headed back to town to catch the sunset, and then enjoyed a leisurely dinner. Not having to run around or feel pressured to make sure that we saw this thing or did that thing was pure bliss (not that we don’t enjoy those types of trips too).

If you like taking it easy and having a laid back time, Caye Caulker is great. If you are someone who requires a lot of stimulation and entertainment, or have children who require that, you might get bored.

It's a Real Place

Caye Caulker is a real place. This is an island where people live and work. One day while heading back to Oasi, we found ourselves walking with the kids going home from school.

This isn’t an island that exists specifically to cater to high maintenance tourists. It isn’t an all- inclusive resort where everything is pristine and people are clamoring to bring you drinks in pineapples (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

There is beautiful scenery with blue skies, and bluer waters. Palm trees sway in the breeze. Bright, colorful flowers abound. 

This is Caye Caulker.

This is also Caye Cauker. 

There are some run down looking spots. There are vacant lots. There is trash laying around in various places. I just want to be realistic because I can see people criticizing this lovely little island for not being completely perfect. If you like completely perfect when you go on a trip, that’s cool, but you might want to think twice before visiting Caye Caulker.  

There it is. I laid it out as best I could. Caye Caulker was definitely a place that was right for us, but you must decide if it is a place that is right for you.