Belize Coast

08th June 2011

From the cool Guatemala highlands we flew to hot, humid Belize on the Caribbean. Once a British colony (and a haven for English pirates), Belize is a primarily English speaking country. The Maya were the first inhabitants and together with an interesting mix of Creoles (African/European), Mestizos (Spanish/Maya) and Garifuna (African/Caribbean) plus a few Chinese, Indians and Mennonites make it quite a different country to the rest of Central America.
We spent a night in Belize City [1] before catching the water taxi to Caye Caulker [2], a super laid back island 3 blocks wide and 3 kilometres long with sandy streets and only a few cars.
Belize has the world´s second largest barrier reef dotted with some 200 islands or cays. We took a 3 day trip on the 40 foot gaff rigged, traditional Belizean wooden sailing boat, Ragga King, heading south from Caye Caulker to Placencia [5], reggae music blaring. There were 11 of us tourists, plus 2 crew on board. Patrick, the skipper, was an expert spear fisherman while the first mate and cook Shane kept us amused with his antics and singing. Sailing between islands through aqua blue water, we stopped every couple of hours to snorkel on shallow patches of reef. Under water was a different world – beautiful corals and fish we´ve not seen before. We were thrilled to see a manatee glide by. The first night we pitched our tents on the deserted Rendezvous Caye [3] a tiny sand patch with 5 coconut trees, the second night on sandy Tobacco Caye [4]. Dinner was the fish caught each day washed down with a few rum punches whilst sitting around a campfire.

Belize City harbour

Mennonites come to town

Caye Caulker

Sandy streets on Caye Caulker

Food cart on the beach

Typical wooden house

The Lazy Lizard bar at sunset

Hand feeding the frigate birds

Frigate birds hang around where fish are being cleaned

One of the locals riding along the wharf


Manatee comes up for a breath of air

Manatee feeding on the sea grass

Large heron

Small stingray

We joined the Ragga King for a 3 day trip along the reef

It wasn´t long before the first fish was hauled in

Lighthouse on an isolated island

Rendezvous Island, our first night stop


Sitting around the campfire with rum punches


Captain Patrick speared a bunch of fish for dinner

Tobacco Caye, our second night stop

Green sea turtle comes for a feed every afternoon

Shane up the mast

Snorkelling on the reef

Resting on a sand bar

Conc is a popular with the islanders

The relaxed Placencia at the end of our trip