Monday, April 20, 2015

Caye Caulker with babies and toddlers

*pictures stolen from my sister's instagram :)

We just got back from a few days in Caye Caulker with my family, and it was so, so good.  This is my second trip to Caye Caulker with babies in tow, and I'm convinced it is the best beach in Belize for babies.  Adults, too, actually.

What makes Caye Caulker special is the area known as the split.  The water here is extremely shallow-- it starts at about 6 inches deep- and the waves are buffered by the reef that surrounds the caye.  Combine this with bathtub warm water, and you have the perfect baby swimming spot.  The girls could have stayed in the water all day.

The lee side of the island doesn't have a nice big cleared area to swim in, but you can find some relatively seaweed free spots if you look around the docks.  This side of the island is blocked from the wind, so there are virtually no waves.  Palm trees grow right to the water's edge, so I was able to sit in a shady part of the water while the girls played.

This time around I think we hit on a pretty good combo of transportation and accommodation.  Last time we took the water taxi from Belize City to the Caye, which is cheaper but takes a few hours.  It was pretty draining. This time we drove to the municipal airport, parked there, and took a literally 10 minute flight to the island.  I was afraid the babies would be scared of the loud engines-- some of the planes are very small and can be loud-- but Lu was so relaxed she fell asleep.  Miss M alternated between looking out of the window and waving to other passengers. Flying from the municipal airport is significantly cheaper than from the international airport-- about half as expensive.   So much better then wrestling a toddler on a speedboat for 45 minutes!  (My fellow Belizean blogger Laurie has Tropic Air discount codes on her flights to Belize page, email her for a 10% off code.  Maya Air also flies the same route, and is a bit cheaper.)

We stayed at Costa Maya, right near the split, and it took us about a minute to walk down to the swimming area each morning.   I wanted a place with a little kitchen and this hotel was great-- clean and quiet, with nice big modern rooms.  I would definitely stay here again.  We've stayed in nice places farther down the island, but it is such a production to haul babies and gear to the water that we hardly ended up swimming-- which rather defeats the purpose of going to the beach. This time I could leave everything in the hotel room, not worry about extra diapers or even towels, and hop back and forth easily.   There are a couple of similarly priced hotels right next to Costa Maya that we also looked at,  Barefoot Caribe (looked nice but right across from a rather noisy restaurant) and Blue Wave guest house (no kitchenette).

Next time we go I'd love to hit the slow season in September and October.  Prices are a lot cheaper and there are way less tourists.  We will be back!

I'm linking to everything for those who are interested, these are my own opinions-- no one asked me to review or is compensating me :) 
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