It often come up in posts on Belize travel forums where people are planning their first visit to Ambergris Caye and want to know if they should take the water taxi or fly.
I think the plane is totally worth it and would ride them all day if I could 🙂 The view is fantastic and never the same twice. I almost always see rays and some kind of big fish if I watch carefully and I love the texture and color of the sky, land and water.
This answer below came as a result of a trip advisor answer by blackmoose in a thread titled to the following question: 1st trip to Belize. Water taxi or air? I liked what he had to say, he elaborated his answer and emailed it to me for tacogirl.com.
We just went through the same decision making process. I had settled on the ferry to get us there as yet another plane ride seemed excessive. But in the end we took the flight…here’s our reasoning.
1) I spoke with a Belizean resident on the plane from Miami. He recommended the flight due to the ferry operators sometimes trying to hustle visitors. I’m not sure if that is entirely true…but just the thought of having to haggle or deal with that kind of stuff got my guard up.
2) A quick 15 – 20 minute flight means that you can start your vacation on the island sooner. Taking a 90 minute ferry ride sounds fun but may get tedious. Plus the view from the plane is something that you won’t regret. The different colors of the Barrier Reef and the other islands is beautiful.
My 2 cents – I have not been hustled at the water taxi but prefer to fly when ever I can because it is so much easier and super fun. I chose the picture below to go with what blackmoose said about the view, it is spectacular.
Since I am on the topic of flying, I thought I would post a great airline review from one of my readers about how smooth her Philip Goldson Airport airport experience went and how Tropic Air got her to San Pedro Airport in record time.
I ran across this e-mail and I just had to share with you my experience arriving BZE on this visit. The flight arrived early (@ 10 am) and I was seated in the back of the plane. They opened both doors, so I was the first person off the plane (1st score!). I was the first person thru passport control (2nd score!). I got my bags almost immediately & breezed thru customs (3rd score!). Got to the Tropic counter at about 10:30 and checked in. They asked me if I wanted an earlier flight (instead of the 12:40 you booked me on) and I said, of course! I was able to get the 10:40 flight to SP and I was on the island by 11 am.
I think that must be a record!!
As I mentioned above I always recommend to people that flying to the island is the best option and if they want to get a boat ride in to plan a day trip to Caye Caulker. Water taxi is an easy option or if you prefer to do it as a tour, Seaduced does a great Caye Caulker Day sail.
In the case of our boat ride to Caye Caulker, Mary1220, Dennis and I were going to meet my cousin and her husband Rudy for her birthday back in January. They were on a cruise stop in Belize City, and we decided to meet in the middle. Caye Caulker island is about 20 miles north/northeast of Belize city and about 10 miles from San Pedro Town. It measures roughly 5 miles long and 1 mile wide.
The plan was they would catch a cab from the cruise ship dock to the water taxi terminal in Belize City and hop on the first boat heading to Caye Caulker, they ended up landing ahead of us by the San Pedro Belize Express. Dennis Mary1220and I opted for Caye Caulker Water taxi, I was glad because our boat ended up having bench seats.
We agreed to meet on the beach somewhere between the water taxi docks and the Lazy Lizard beach bar. It’s located at the area known as the split, which is a a cut made by by hurricane Hattie in 1961 that divided the island two. We did not have to go far, I spotted them as soon as we got off the boat. After introductions and catching up on the beach, we started walking for a bit.
I new Erin would like a golf cart taxi tour and had pitched the group when conveniently a 6 seat golf cart taxi drove by. Mary1220 recognized the driver and got Nick to do our tour. We went from one end to the other and around some back areas that we had never seen. He showed us some cool houses, several nesting birds, crocks and where the electric on the island stops and starts.
After our drive we had him drop us off at the Lazy Lizard. It’s a is a great place to enjoy cool drink and laze in the sun or under a palm tree if you are a shade girl like me. They have picnic tables, sell good reasonably priced food and cheap drinks including $5 rum and buckets of Belikin beer.
The remains of a concrete seawall a short distance from the bar are a great place for sunning and people watching. There is also a shallow swimming area by the pier. Some people opt to get an adventure in by swimming across the Split, there is a strong current there and boats often pass through so make sure to remain aware when you are swimming and snorkeling in this area.
We liked our golf cart taxi ride so much we decided on a round two. This time Nick took us to an off the beaten path place to feed the tarpons. There is a family a bit to the back of the island not too far from the split that will give you sardines for $5 BZ and let you feed the tarpons they have trained to hang around their dock. We had a lot of fun doing that and Rudy convinced me I had to give it a try. I am glad I did and that he got a good picture of it.
Erin and Rudy had to be back on the water taxi to Belize City by 3 pm to catch the boat to make their cruise ship tender on time – boo hoo. We headed down the beach to the water taxi dock, enjoying some of Erin’s birthday chocolate rum that we brought over from The Rum Cigar and Coffee Store here on the island. It was a quick trip but a great visit, hope you enjoyed your Birthday Erin and that you and Rudy had a good time in Belize.[divide style=”2″]
This is the official video of the Caye Caulker chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Explore the tropical island of Caye Caulker, situated within the Belize Barrier Reef.
Caye Caulker is 5 miles long, between 100 yards and 1 mile wide and car free. Only golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians (in flip-flops or barefoot) can be found on the island. Caye Caulker has managed to preserve its fishing village atmosphere while being one of the prime destinations in the region – popular with backpackers, divers, fishermen and eco-aware venturers looking for a truly responsible destination.
The video shows a day on Caye Caulker, from sunrise to sunset, from diving and snorkeling to kayaking and kite surfing in and around the second largest barrier reef in the world. From breakfast on a sundeck to the a sea food dinner so fresh, you could actually meet the fishermen while the drop of their catch.