When were you at your best, in a place that you felt the most alive?

For us, it was Caye Caulker.

The small island, just east of the mainland of Belize, 15 minutes by plane, and hour by boat, captured us willingly.

From the minute we stepped off the water taxi, on to the echoey clack of the worn wood pier, she has us.

The island’s motto is an invitation: Go Slow.

On Caye Caulker, you can.  The roads are paved with packed soft dirt and sand.  Most people get around by bike or golf cart.  The layout of the town runs in a parallel to the shore: an easily navigated grid of front, middle and back streets.

Caye Caulker, known also as “Cayo Hicaco” in Spanish, was once home to sailors, pirates and shipwrights.  Fishing was its earliest industry, and still plays a large part of the economic life of the island’s tourism infrastructure.

The island is home to close to 1,500 full-time residents.  It has become the “secret” hideaway to tourists from around the world, and a haven for sports lovers for the fishing, snorkeling, and diving, and foodies in search of Belize’s much-beloved conch ceviche, snapper, and crab claws.

The girls called it, “Caye Conker”, the mistake of a 5 year-old’s tongue twisting and the rapid succession of saying the name over and over while jumping up and down with joy.

Up next: our thanks and the details of our favorite places:

The Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel, the Arellanos, Rose’s, Habanero’s,  The Purple Passion Spa, Angler’s Abroad, the Rainbow, Heywood and Heidi Curry, Amor y Cafe, E-Z boy Tours, Chef-i-tan Ian Forte, Syd’s and Discovery Expeditions.

Kristin Fuhrmann Simmons