We landed in Caye Caulker (pronounced “Key Caulker”) and life seemed to slow down just a bit. The weather was beautiful and the town and the beaches were beautiful. We stayed near an area called “the split” with a beach nearby that was perfect for the kids. We basically just enjoyed the ocean and watched the sunset for a few days. Maddy and I took turns exploring the island on morning runs and walks while the kids did school and chilled out as was their request after decently fast travel around Guatemala.
Once we were sufficiently relaxed we took the kids snorkeling, visiting shark and ray alley as well as the Caye Caulker marine reserve. We took a sailboat into the lagoon, it was nice to putz around without a motor. Once we anchored we saw tons of nurse sharks and sting rays, apparently this spot was well known as a fish cleaning station for fishermen who would dump the fish guts in the ocean attracting sharks. So whenever boats approach the nurse sharks and rays are attracted to the sound of boat motors. The kids were a bit apprehensive at first, seeing 6-8 black sharks swimming around our boat, but we convinced them that they were totally harmless. We swam with the sharks for a while before heading to the coral sanctuary, where there were less sharks. We swam around there for at least 30 minutes with the kids looking at fish and coral, they did great!
On our way back to the shore, the boat captain spotted two Manatees, a rarity for them in the lagoon this time of year. We were able to swim with them for a few minutes. They were very graceful but looked like their tails were chewed up by boat propellers.
For sunset one night we visited a hotel that offered pelican feeding, they brought out fish to feed the pelicans and they swarmed around like crazy, most of them very approachable. They gave you fish and then the pelicans would snatch them out of your hands. They also fed sting rays in the water, the kids were brave enough to wade into the water and let the rays brush past them. A nice distraction for the kids so Mom and Dad could enjoy a beverage and watch the sun go down.
One of the last days we spent the afternoon at Coco Resort a boat ride from the wharf across the split a water way that separates Caye Caulker in two and was formed when a hurricane struck the island many years ago. The kids played around on inner tubes and had fun on the beach. Maddy explored some of the island with Caroline. We stayed until sunset but the bugs came out so we got out of dodge.