YOU better Belize it.


The Belize jokes come thick and fast, and the cliche t-shirts sell just as quickly.

While I may have resisted the Belize offerings, I have succumbed to a Guatever t-shirt in Guatemala - honestly, how could I resist?

The "Guat's Up?" tops were almost as tempting.

But, where was I? Oh yeah - blissing in Belize.

Caye Caulker's got that chill vibe of Byron Bay before it became so touristy.

I imagine it's similar across the Caribbean but a little more sleepy than, say Jamaica.

Everyone speaks English and they take US dollars in all stores - one US is the equivalent of two Belize dollars.

The British colony is still struggling with identity, with Guatemala and Mexico still fighting in the courts over territory.

There's only 2000 people living on the island, though that can double with tourists in peak seasons.

The locals - who will happily strike up a conversation with anyone - get around on bikes or golf buggies.

But the real attraction of Caye Caulker is in the stunning turquoise Caribbean surrounding the island.

Diving the Blue Hole - a 40m cave in the middle of the ocean - is one of the main attractions though three-tank dives can set you back between $US300-350.

If you're not a diver, you can always fly over it to get a bird's eye view of its magnificence for a cool $US190.

But there are plenty of opportunities to dive or snorkel with the wildlife beneath the surface of the tempting waters nearby.

It's a little more expensive and further away, but ask to go to the reef where fishing has been prohibited for 30 years rather than the closer one where fishing has only been banned for seven years.

And make sure your operator doesn't feed the fish.

Caye Caulker in Belize is on the Caribbean Sea. A chilled island with easy access to incredible reefs.
Caye Caulker in Belize is on the Caribbean Sea. A chilled island with easy access to incredible reefs. Rae Wilson

Shark and Ray Alley is amazing, if a little daunting, as you jump in with a dozen or more sharks hanging around below the boat.

Coral Garden has some great fish schools and Hol Chan's resident turtles and eagle rays are beautiful creatures to observe.

Just remember not to get in the turtles' way as they duck up to breath.

When you get back to shore, dash over to the Lazy Lizard for happy hour and catch the sun setting.

Drink a delicious cocktail while standing at a bar in the pretty Caribbean waters.