I was actually planning a trip to Mexico for my daughter and I, when it occurred to me to check ticket prices to Belize. It would be fun to enter Mexico from Belize by sea, right? (the true story)
I used my favorite airline search engine, Kayak, to find some one-way tickets, and that particular day in August 2016, they were $137.00 with United Airlines. This was a great price, and I happened to have 2 – $75 vouchers from United (see why here), which brought our ticket cost down to $62 each, a deal I couldn’t pass up.
I quickly whipped out my debit card, and with no hesitation, I purchased the tickets.
Eight days later, we were on a plane from Panama City, Florida to Belize City, Belize.
This was our first trip to Belize, and there were several places on the mainland and in the cayes that we wanted to visit.
However, with limited time, we solely focused on the island vibe.
Our plan was to visit a few islands, Caye Caulker and San Pedro, and then continue on to Xcalak, Mexico by sea.
Getting to Caye Caulker from the International Airport in Belize City requires either taking a water taxi or a short flight. I love the water, and even more, I love being on a boat, so the choice was easy.
To get to the water taxi terminal we had t take a car taxi from the airport.
The drive took about 20 minutes, and cost $50 BZ ($25 USD).
The road passed alongside a roughed-up waterway, and the taxi driver talked about the recent storm, Hurricane Earl.
Finally, we were dropped at the San Pedro – Belize Express Water Taxi Terminal, just as the 3 pm boat was boarding.
I quickly pulled out some cash and purchased 1 adult ticket and 1 child ticket for $30 BZ ($15 USD) and $20 BZ ($10 USD), respectfully.
We had just enough time to spare to use the bathroom and jump on the boat before we cruised off into the beautiful, blue Caribbean Sea.
From this terminal, water taxis leave at 8 am, 9 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm. See times on billboard below.
We grabbed some of the last seats near the front of the boat where there was no cover from the sun.
Luckily, it was a bit overcast, and there was a nice breeze as we cruised along. I didn’t notice the typical heat and humidity of the tropics. It was actually rather pleasant, and Bella absolutely loved the boat ride, smiling the whole way, naturally in her element.
There were about 30 people aboard, a good mix of tourists and locals. There was enough space under the seat to store our medium-sized backpack.
Looking back on Belize City, the old buildings were colorful, yet faded from the sun, and every inch of coastline was being put to use.
The boat ride took about 45 minutes, and along the way, we dropped off a package at a random, one-house island.
Notice the guys waiting on the pier to the right of the house in the photo below.
As soon as we pulled up to deliver the package, the guys jumped on and off board within seconds. It was quite funny really, to think about how most people receive their mail versus how the owners of this house receive theirs.
Bella said the men reminded her of pirates – lol.
We knew we had arrived in Caye Caulker when we saw the palm trees blowing in the tropical wind and the next set of passengers waiting for us to arrive.
As we started off walking with our packs on our back, a young man asked if we needed a taxi. We both agreed it would not only be fun, but we could go directly to our hostel without any ‘I just arrived and I’m lost’ queries, and most importantly, we could save valuable daytime.
Mostly, we were greeted by friendly locals and the weather was just lovely our entire trip. I recommend always using the Belizean currency (BZ) because prices can get confusing if you forget your street savvy skills just for a minute.
In all, this beautiful tropical island, with crystal clear water and beautiful beaches offers the slow and casual lifestyle that relaxes the stresses of fast-paced schedules.
Walk the sandy lanes of the small town and find little shops and lots of bargains. Small cafes offer delicious local meals and there are plenty of souvenirs. Tours of the Barrier Reef are offered, click here for more information. You may even want to rent a golf cart, and take your own sightseeing tour of the island.
It’s a great getaway experience!!
Recommended Guide Book For Belize: Lonely Planet Belize (Travel Guide)