1 week: Caye Caulker → Placencia → Punta Gorda
27.07.2015 - 03.08.2015
If you are in Guatemala and have time, I would definitely recommend taking a detour through Belize! A detour through Belize connects you to two different parts of Guatemala that are worth seeing (Tikal and Rio Dulce) and offers you a taste of a different culture (the culture in Belize stands out from other countries in Central America because it has a strong Caribbean influence). We went from north to south of Belize, starting from Guatemala's Tikal (Flores).
The bus from Guatemala took us straight to the dock in Belize City, where we hopped on a boat to Caye Caulker, along with tons of other tourists and Church groups. Caye Caulker is a nice place to chill out, but to be honest I was a little underwhelmed and ready to move on after a few days.
DO: Go diving and snorkeling. Find Terry's and eat there! Amazing jerk chicken and fresh barricuda. Hang out at the split.
GO: Take a day trip (or overnight) to other nearby cayes. We went to San Pedro to chill for a day - it's a bit more touristy/developed than Caye Caulker.
Tip: Don't go for beaches - there aren't any.
Nice spot to chill out, with a bit more beach to enjoy than Caye Caulker. To get here you need to take a bus to Independencia and a taxi to the water taxi, which will finally take you there.
from Punta Gorda, you can take boat transportation back to Guatemala.
Tip #1: check the timing/schedule of the boat!! Some days provide service, others don't - so plan ahead!
Tip #2: unless anything has changed, the transportation back to Guatemala is incredibly unofficial. The boat is tiny, the captain's priority is the condensed milk he is transporting, and you will get soaked. It may not seem like it, but you will survive - but consider yourself warned!
Tip #3: you will have to get your passport stamped in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, but don't stay for longer than that - find a water taxi to Livingston, where you can start your Rio Dulce adventure.
the bus station in Belize City is CRAZY. Seats are first come first serve, so things are cutthroat - you need to be prepared to push and be pushed. Everyone waits in some poor semblance of a line in the waiting area until the bus pulls up. The attendant unlocks the gate and then it is a mad rush for the bus. If you don't get on it you will have to wait and try your luck for the next one. We missed out on two buses because people squeezed us out. Needless to say it is a pain in the butt, especially with cumbersome backpacks.