I have read most people going thru ship or private tour operator for Belize excursions. Is Belize and the surrounding Cayas "easy" to explore on your own?? I know there is not much to see in Belize City, so I wanted to see rest of islands i.e. Caya Caulker or Ambergie. I read that water taxis are available at the ship and for $10 - $15 dollars, they can take you to the various Cayas. Has anyone done this and can you offer any tips. How often do the taxis run and are they readily available like in NYC where you just stand out in the oncoming traffic (ocean) and shout??? Do you need to arrange a roundtrip fare with the taxi???
I heard Caya Caulker is awesome. Is there a nice beach with snorkeling, beach chairs, food/bar area available and open to the public or do you need to enter a resort area. If resort, please list and advise any fee.
If I am visiting an island for the first time, I always sign up for a ship sponsored
shore excursion such as a short overview tour of the port. And then after the
tour, once I have my bearings for the island, explore what I want to see more in
depth. It all depends on how much time you have in port. I really believe that
if you are not familiar with the island, you are better off with at least a short
tour to get an idea of the lay of the land so to speak. Usually these overview tours
are short 1 1/2 to 2 hours, often called city tours or island tours. Look those over
and choose one of those. You should have some time left over in port to do
a little exploring on your own after the tour. Obviously, take the tour in the morning
so you can have the rest of the time in port to look around.
In any event, depending on what you want to see, it is always best to go with the
ship sponsored tour-- you need not worry about missing the ship- they will wait
for you if you are late from a ship sponsored tour. But if you are on your own, and
you run late due to a taxi breaking down, or get lost, then you have a problem! The
ship will not wait for you!
Many things to do or not do.
walk the sandy streets - no cars - rent a golf cart or bicycles.
rent snorkeling gear and swim the split. $5US all day rental mask snorkel and fins.
$5US all day beach chair rental. includes use of clean washroom at Costa Maya.
relax, enjoy the breeze, swim, explore the small island of Caye Caulker. Eat lobster lunch or fresh caught snapper at one of the islands local restaurants. No inflated prices. Caye Caulker is wonderful. www.gocayecaulker.com
Prior to going to Belize we knew we wanted to go to Caye Caulker. We checked out the water taxi schedule and figured the departure schedule from Belize City and back did not allow enough time to enjoy everything. We did a private tour with Coral Breeze. They picked us up at the Tourist Village where the tender boats drop you off and brought us back to the same location. Their tour did snorkeling, lunch, shopping, sightseeing, beach-bumming, and swimming all around Caye Caulker. It was a great 5 hour tour. We saw the water taxi boats loaded with people and it was not covered. And the sun was hot in Belize. Their boat is fully covered and very fast and comfortable. Their tour was relaxing, educational, and fun. It was an all around great day. We didn't have to find the water taxi and pay attention to that schedule. We were on a nice boat with tour guides who knew the "lay of the land". We had time to do whatever we wanted or keep the comfort of being around the group. Missing the ship is always in the back of your mind, but we didn't let it rule our day. We were back to the village with enough time to visit the shops before heading back to the ship.
Great tour and a nice lasting impression of Belize.
Their website is www.coralbreezelimited.com
Belize is a place that is not good to go out on your own. There is not much to see most places. I would go with a ship tour or book a private one. We went with Reggies Cave Tubbing when we went and it was great. He was about $20 cheaper than the ship per person. I would find out as much as possible about were you want to go before heading out on your own.