Many travelers planning a Belize vacation might come across a medley of suggestions on what to do and where to go when surfing the Internet. More often than not, the idyllic isle of Caye Caulker will pop up as a must-do, in accompaniment to its flashier neighbor, Ambergris Caye. But what makes Caye Caulker so special? The six-mile-long island may be eminent for its sandy beaches and warm waters, but that’s not the only reason travelers can’t seem to board the boat back home. Something on this tiny island seems to wrap an unshakable bind around people’s hearts. Fittingly, the cause actually lies in the heart of Caye Caulker. That is, it’s people.
A tightly-woven tapestry of cultures
Strolling barefoot through the island, you’ll notice it’s hard to pinpoint one exact overarching culture calling Caye Caulker home. A mosaic of faces swims up into view when walking into grocery stores, stepping into restaurants, or visiting the various gift shops. Here, you won’t be out of place saying ‘hello’ in Spanish, Creole, or just plain English. Many times, the island residents will be more than happy to share with you their heritage and history. A characteristic that is shared across the entirety of Belize. This refined multiculturalism is rarely seen across other nearby countries, a fact Belize understands is a privilege.
Warmth & Welcome
Apart from being made up of unique identities, the people of Caye Caulker welcome travelers with such gusto, there is no such thing as outsiders here. Just by walking down the street, you may find yourself gaining a new anecdote to tell after befriending a stranger. Many local artists and residents hang around people-watching on the sandy sidewalks, bidding hello to newcomers. It’s not an unusual occurrence to see them gently reminding hurried passersby to follow the island motto and “Go slow.” Most understand that it may be your first time visiting the island, and take that into consideration by suggesting great breakfast options – like Ice and Beans Cafe – or the best places to catch the sunset (the Split.)
Friendly Locals Aren’t Just Human
As if befriending humans wasn’t enough, the small island of Caye Caulker is teeming with furry friends. Many of these cute pups – and kitties – have owners, but the island sort of adopts them as their own. You’ll often see them playing around on the sand, walking alongside travelers, and generally sniffing around the Split. Caye Caulker also has its own humane society, where they host free clinic services. Committed to creating a healthy and safe animal population, the Caye Caulker Humane Society encourages both locals and travelers alike to help in any way they can. The love for animals is evident in the way the island residents take great care of their four-legged neighbors, and it would be remiss not to mention that the same hospitality is extended to everyone who steps foot on the island as well.