As the only english speaking country in central america, Belize is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations largely due its coral reef system. While mainland Belize offers jungles, mayan ruins, and cultural adventures, it is the islands of Belize, and the beautiful turquoise waters that attracts snorkelers, scuba divers, and anyone looking for a unique getaway!
Caye Caulker is one of the smaller islands, located about 37 kms from Belize city by boat. While it is a very popular tourist destination, it is smaller and less busy than its largest and most popular island Ambergris Caye, which gives you the perfect opportunity to meet the locals and embrace the local Caribbean culture. This tiny island is only about 8kms north to south, and 1.6kms east to west, and because of its small size there are no vehicles on the island, only golf carts. Not long after arriving to Caye Caulker it’s hard not to embrace the laid back, relaxed lifestyle influenced by the local Creole and Rastafarian cultures. With signs everywhere reminding you that "no shoes, no shirt = no problems" and locals telling you to "go slow, man" anytime they see you walking a little too fast, you will quickly adopt this slow beach lifestyle.
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is the main attraction for anyone wanting an incredible snorkelling experience. You will have the opportunity to view the amazing coral reefs, nurse sharks, turtles, stingrays, dolphins, moray eels, snappers, barracudas, and numerous species of fish. While there are many tour companies on the island offering day trips out to the reserve, one of the best options is Reef Friendly Tours, a company that takes pride in their commitment to protecting and sustaining the Reserve. Many of the tour companies will feed and bait the sharks and fish to come near their boats, this is something Reef Friendly Tours refuses to do! They have a no feed, no touch, no harass, and no plastic policy on their tours. Captain Amado does everything in his power to reduce his impact on the reef, including encouraging guests to bring reusable water bottles, suggesting limits to the amount of sunscreen applied, and he providing an amazing lunch offering unlimited Rum Punch (a staple in Belize) all served in reusable containers, so nothing is thrown out. He also tries to minimize fuel usage by using the sails on his boat as often as possible. A day out with Captain Amado on his sail boat, exploring the beauty of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve will be an incredible experience that you can feel good about!