Tag Archives: chetumal

Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, Belize.

I arrived in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye ¬†after about an hour and a half boat ride from Chetumal. The boat ride was quite straight forward just a little noisey as the taxi ferries aren’t built for comfort just to serve a purpose.

We disembarked the boat and waited for the Immigration and Customs offices to open. A large laid back black guy came out who was security and told us to relax, chill out, have a cold beer as you are now in Belize ! Everybody checked in quickly and with the minimal amount of fuss, i don’t think they were too bothered with the formalities, just wanted to get everybody on their way and close the office again.

International arrivals at San Pedro water terminal –

San Pedro Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Ambergris Caye

I stayed on Ambergris Caye for about 5/6 days, there was lots of activities to do including snorkelling, diving, boat trips, fishing trips,etc,etc. There were a lot of Americans and Canadians there getting away from the harsh winters on the east coast, i guess a few had retired there too.

There was an older guy staying in my hostel, think he had one of the private rooms above my dorm, i use to see him every so often especially at mornings where he would be up having a coffee and a cigarette. One thing you learn when travelling around is never judge a book by its cover. He never looked that well and always had completely messed up hair and always wore the same old sweater in the morning, complete with cigarette and coughing fits it didn’t always make him that approachable !!

Anyway one morning we met in the kitchen and waited for the kettle to boil. I found out he lived in Montreal, Canada, and was escaping the harsh winter. This he had done for the last few years saying it was just hard to live through it all, year after year. Having talked some more i found out his daughter lived in Chiswick and he had visited Brighton and some other places on the coast in the past. More interestingly he owned a motor cruiser in Europe and had gone up and down the canals of France, Germany, Holland many times and normally spent 3-4 months a year doing this as he loved the history and culture of living by the riverside next to the old towns of Europe. Another interesting person met who you might normally have ignored because of pre-conceived ideas/thoughts.

Shoreline of Ambergris Caye –

Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye

Many boat piers come off the island due to it being very shallow –

Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye

After a few days i moved down to the neighbouring caye of Caye Caulker. A caye is basically a sandy island on top of a reef, there are many as Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world. Caye Caulker is known for its laid back attitude and its backpacker population where as Ambergris Caye is slightly more upmarket with more restaurants and bars. I stayed in a nice hostel in Caye Caulker called Yumas, well equipped with lots of outside seating, chairs, hammocks, loungers. The second night i actually had the dorm to myself so sometimes it pays to stay in a hostel as you pay for a bed in a dorm but get the privacey of your own room.

I only had three days on Caye Caulker and the last two were actually quite blustery as the east coast of the states had been hit by big storms, this normally meant that the tail end of it would end up in central America somewhere.

Caye Caulker beach front –

Ambergris Caye
Caye Caulker
Ambergris Caye
Caye Caulker

Last but not least, the beer of Belize Belikin –

Ambergris Caye
Belikin Beer

I wondered why they were always served with a serviette around the top until one day the barmen saw me looking at my new bottle of beer and explained to me. The bottles arrive by boat and because of the salt air you can sometimes get a little rust appear around were the metal bottle top is. Apparantly that is also how the craze of putting a slice of lemon or lime in your bottle started **. They would give you a slice with your bottle and you would wipe around the top of the bottle to get rid of any rust marks. Before long people just started to put their slice of citrous fruit in their drink and the likes of Sol made millions overnight !!

** This may or may not be true but bloke down the pub said.

SimonTheSailor

Chetumal to San Pedro, Belize

I left the coastal town of Tulum and the happy staff of Hostal Charlys (not) and boarded a bus to Chetumal. Chetumal is a town near the Mexico/Belize border where you can catch a ferry over to the islands of Belize, this is the normal Chetumal to San Pedro ferry route. I could have made a ferry the same day but decided to grab a night in Chetumal as you never know what happens when you decide to grab an extra night somewhere, meet an interesting person, meet a friendly local, find a great lively bar, anything can happen out of the blue.

OK, nothing much happened in Chetumal that night (and maybe it never does), i couldn’t even find a single bar to go and have a beer in, they were more like restaurants. There was however a little parade going on with lots of kids dancing and a few food stalls open down at the sea front which i think was the build up to a bigger event later in the week. A few places had been doing this and i think it was because of the build up to lent.

I left Chetumal after going through the Immagration procedures at the pier and jumped on the ferry taxi boat going to Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Immigration check point at Chetumal –

Chetumal to San Pedro
Chetumal Mexico
Chetumal to San Pedro
Chetumal Mexico

Mexico had been goid fun and i guess i only saw the touristy side of it but its probably a good destination to tour through in its own right. I enjoyed my stay in Valladolid which was an authentic local Mexican town, if they were all like that it would be a fun place to travel through.

Sometimes you just can’t help but take a photo of things, not sure what they were trying to achieve with this but maybe some sort of burger van ?!

Chetumal
Unknown Vehicle !

SimonTheSailor