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Caye Caulker Forest and Marine Reserve

Sharon and I especially wanted to explore the Caye Caulker Forest and Marine Reserve. Getting there took three attempts.

Not until our last full day on the island was the sea smooth enough to get there. In 1961 Hurricane Hattie had divided the south and north ends of the island. We were in the village on the south end, but the reserve is on the north end.

We needed a guide with a boat to get there. Irene Miller at our B&B recommended an expat naturalist from Oregon named Ellen McRae. Ellen and her son Morgan finally took us there on the morning of November 29 in his little motorboat.

A Spiny-tailed Iguana in the Reserve

A Spiny-tailed Iguana in the Reserve

One Spider was Quite Busy

One Spider was Quite Busy

I Had Given Up on Finding a Souvenir of Belize Until Sharon Found This Shell for Me

I Had Given Up on Finding a Souvenir of Belize Until Sharon Found This Shell for Me

Ellen Called This Common Bird, a Great-Tailed Grackle

Ellen Called This Common Bird, a Great-Tailed Grackle, "Mr. Personality"

As we prepared to leave the forest we spotted Ambergris Caye from the shore. Much more developed than laid-back Caye Caulker, this is Belize’s largest island and attracts the most tourists. The island’s only town, San Pedro, has four or five times the population of Caye Caulker. Even from this distance it looks far too developed for my taste.

San Pedro on Ambergris Caye from Caye Caulker's Marine and Forest Reserve

San Pedro on Ambergris Caye from Caye Caulker's Marine and Forest Reserve

Instead of playing tourist, we explored Caye Caulker as fully as we could. Nature, rather than big buildings, is what gives me kicks.

via Caye Caulker Forest and Marine Reserve.