I’d heard that Ambergris Caye is expensive, and that Caye Caulker is laid back, but if you want to experience the Belize lifestyle at its unrushed best – head south!
Crossing into Belize from Guatemala, we took a local bus south to the small coastal town of Dangriga, arriving on a very sleepy Sunday afternoon, when the stores were closed, and just a few people ventured onto the hot streets. Heavy rain had swollen Stann Creek, and its muddy waters swept out into the ocean, turning the sea a milky coffee brown for several hundred yards offshore. At the Riverside Cafe, we negotiated passage to Tobacco Caye, a small, 5-acre island that sounded like it offered the perfect mix of laid-back R&R, and easy snorkeling access to Belize’s famed barrier reef.
A half hour’s boat ride from Dangriga, we reached Tobacco Caye. There are actually 6 different places to stay on the 5-acre island. We had heard that Paradise Lodge was a good place to stay, but in Dangriga we heard good reports of Tobacco Caye Lodge, and specifically that they served the tastiest meals!
Our bungalow was set just a few yards back from the water, with views out to the reef and beyond. It was clean, comfortable, and had a hammock and a couple of chairs on the front porch – perfect for watching the ocean, or kicking back and reading a good book!
And for dinner the first night? Fresh local lobster served in the tail! That’s when we knew for sure we’d made the right choice! We stayed 3 days, snorkeling right off the beach in the channel out through the reef, eating great food, chatting with other guests and the friendly locals, and hanging on that front porch with a good book! And on our last night, we were treated to some impromptu Garifuna drumming – with rythhyms that harkened right back to Africa!