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The best source of information on the islands is online. Operated by Marty Casado, AmbergrisCaye.com (www.ambergriscaye.com) is the number one source, with thousands of pages of information on San Pedro, and to a lesser extent on Caye Caulker. The Belize Tourism Board has updated its website (www.travelbelize.org) with more information on the cayes and atolls. The Taco Girl blog (www.tacogirl.com) has timely information on happenings on the island, though some of it is a little commercial. Caye Caulker's official Belize Tourist Industry Association (BTIA) website is www.gocayecaulker.com. Belize First (www.belizefirst.com) has information and extensive free downloads on the islands. The San Pedro Sun (www.sanpedrosun.com) newspaper publishes a free weekly tabloid-size visitor newspaper, the San Pedro Sun Visitor Guide. Ambergris Today (www.ambergristoday.com) is an online weekly newspaper for San Pedro.
It's difficult to recommend itineraries on the cayes, because what you do and where you go depends greatly on the island where you're staying. If you're on a remote caye or atoll, your activities and itineraries are defined partly by your interests (whether it's diving, fishing, or just lazing in a hammock), and by the lodge's daily schedule (or lack of one). Your basic itinerary might go like this: dive, eat, sleep, and dive.
On the other hand, if you're on Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker, you can set your itinerary around a wide choice of daily island activities, day trips to the mainland, snorkeling or diving on the Barrier Reef, and day trips to the atolls.
If You Have 5 Days on Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker
Spend your first full day getting to know the island. On Ambergris Caye, rent a golf cart or bike and explore the north and south ends of the caye. Have a beach picnic or enjoy one of the many good restaurants. If you're on Caulker, which is much smaller, you can explore on foot, or, if you prefer, on a bike or in a golf cart. On your second day on either caye, take a boat trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark-Ray Alley for snorkeling, and spend the rest of the day on the beach or just hanging out in San Pedro town or Caulker village. On your third day, take a full-day dive or snorkel trip to Lighthouse Reef, with stops at the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye. On your fourth day, if you're not planning to spend a few days on the mainland this trip, take a tour to the Lamanai Mayan ruins, which includes an exciting boat ride up the New River; or, for some pampering, take one of the combined day trips to Maruba Spa and the Altun Ha Mayan site. If you do plan a mainland stay, then use Day 4 to try windsurfing on Caye Caulker, bonefishing in the flats, or sea or lagoon kayaking. On your final day, take a relaxing daylong catamaran snorkeling trip with a beach barbecue.
If You Have 5 Days on a Remote Caye or Atoll
On arrival, take off your shoes, take a deep breath, grab a cold drink, and relax. This is what the islands are all about, with the cooling trade winds in your hair and no decisions to make except whether you want the grilled fish or the lobster for dinner. If you're on a dive package, you typically do two to three dives a day, weather permitting. On a fishing package you'll be out on the flats or the reef all day every day. If you're not tied to a package, get up early and watch the sunrise on your first full day. Then spend the day exploring the island: go swimming, spend some time beachcombing, or snorkel off the shore. On your second day, take a dive or snorkel trip to the nearest atoll. On the third day, hire a guide and try your hand at fishing for bonefish or permit on the flats. On your fourth day, take a catamaran sail along the Barrier Reef, with stops for snorkeling and a barbecue on a deserted beach. On your final day, go kayaking around the island and relax on the beach.
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