Hurricane Earl in Belize, What a Nightmare: Pictures from Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and San Ignacio


Yesterday morning, after a night of light rain in my hammock deep in the Chiquibul Forest National Reserve, the rangers radioed in to HQ for the day and we got a startling message.

chiquibul map


It was like being hit in the face with a bucket of cold water.  A storm was coming.  And that’s all we knew.

We packed up our tents, gear, the entire camp on the hill face sliding down to the Raspaculo River, packed into two boats and made our way to the truck near the Chalillo Dam.  Flash flooding in this area is a SERIOUS risk and the rain forest branches/tree crack and fall on normal days.

Our vehicle by the Chalillo Dam being loaded. The boat was dragged about 20 feet higher in case of flooding.
Our vehicle by the Chalillo Dam being loaded. The boat was dragged about 20 feet higher in case of flooding.

The weather was grey…but still…we had no signals on our phones, no radio.  We had no idea what was coming our way.

Hurricane Earl.  Just after mid-day, I was in San Ignacio town in the west of Belize.  Finding out that a probable hurricane Cat One storm was headed to Belize and that all flights and boats to the Cayes were cancelled.

He hit before midnight just north of Belize City…thank god he organized late.  If a Category One can do this…

What a night for everyone in Belize.  Especially Coastal area like the North Cayes and Belize City.  San Ignacio is dealing with her own issues.  After SERIOUS rainfall, wind and power loss early this morning, this town on the Macal River is watching the river swell…consuming the market area and moving higher…

Here are the pictures taken just an hour ago.  The lower bridge is completely submerged.

EarlinSI (4)

A view down to the market.  Totally underwater.EarlinSI (3)

The Visitors Center and bus terminal area under water.

EarlinSI (1)

You can see the statue a few days ago.


A bit earlier in the day, a view from the Hawksworth Bridge.


Information on Caye Caulker has been spotty.  No electricity yet.  These photos were taken today around the tiny island.

The Lazy Lizard.

lazy lizard


lazy lizard2

And another shot of the beach front.


And Ambergris Caye – Ben Popik of Truck Stop and Island Films took these amazing drone pictures.  The Palapa Bar as it stood a few days ago…with the brand new second floor decking.

palapa bar before

And now.
ben2 ben3 ben4

There is a GO FUND ME Page to help with donations.

View of docks in town.


And photos from Nook Restaurant’s Erin right downtown.

13918636_10153673118252201_222599543_o 13918428_10153673118182201_998577547_o Oh the beach.

From Karen Canul in mid-town.  The old Tacklebox stands alone.  Ironic?  The owner of the dock and the owner of Tacklebox are fighting in court about who owns the bar/restaurant.

Now there is little dock left.


Before the same view.

tacklebox before

And from Instagrammer John Romero – this shot of Ramon’s Beach – without a dock or dive shop at all.


Absolutely devastating.

This dock and building now gone.


This slide now gone at Caribbean Villas.


This palapa and yoga studio/dock is now gone at Ak’Bol Restreat.

palapa at akbol resort

Over and out for now.  I am planning to fly back to San Pedro late tomorrow afternoon.  We have power in San Ignacio.  San Pedro is still without.  Will update as I get more news.  Keep your eyes on Facebook – my page, the San Pedro Sun’s page and Ambergris Today.

Please check Bob Hawkin’s blog for updates and lots of pictures of Tres Cocos, Ambergris Caye.

  • Billizer

    Thanks, Rebecca for the pictures. Worth a thousand words. A reported stated the eye passed over Belize City…I am sure the City has experienced flooding. Be careful, mi amiga.

    • sanpedroscoop

      Thanks…I plan to fly. The bus situation tomorrow will be horrible i imagine. We shall see.

      • Billizer

        Bring a strong stomach…San Pedro is a real mess!!

  • Jeanne

    I’m hanging on your every word! I’m so sorry for the devastation! Praying for everyone!

  • Susan

    Thank you for such good reporting and before and after photos! Stay safe. PS how were the birds?

    • sanpedroscoop

      Great. Safe I hope.

  • Tasha Gruber

    This is my mom’s dock. She borrowed a friend’s phone to quickly text and tell me she was okay but that’s all I’ve heard from her today. Assuming her dock and business are gone with the rest. So gut wrenching.

    • Tasha Gruber

      Well here it is….completely gone. Good thing she towed her boats away to storage. Business hasn’t even started yet 😣

  • Amy Knox

    The Palapa bar is out of court and is fully owned by a person. I know that they will rebuild and will open as soon as possible. They were planning to open the restaurant this weekend, but those plans have since changed.

  • FJL

    Rebecca you know everyone… I can’t imagine what the feelings are there but I know I am so sorry for so many wonderful people I have met over my many visits and my condolences are truly from the heart. I’ve followed Robert’s blog and keep linking to more. San Pedro will bounce back, I’m sure.

  • Leah June Nelson

    Glad you’re safe! So devastating.

  • Just horrible. I am so sad for the island and all of Belize. I can’t believe this was just a category 1 hurricane. We went through Rina there, and it was just a blip. Must not have hit nearly as close. I figured this would be more of the same…but no. Tragic for so many. Safe travels home, Rebecca, and so sorry your adventure got evacuated. 🙁

  • Ariana

    i would love to see an aerial view of cayo if anyone has one. to really see how big the macal has gotten.

  • Mike

    we are due to arrive at Casa BajaMar on Ambergric Cay next Sunday. Can any one tell me what is the condition of our rental property?

    • sanpedroscoop

      I do not know for sure but the dock is probably damaged and I’m sure they are cleaning up now. I hope you can get in touch with the property managers. We need visitors now more than ever!

  • Gretchen

    I was a nervous wreck when I knew Earl was heading that way. Checked The Scoop first thing this morning and just started sobbing. My heart breaks for everyone

  • K.C. Hicks

    Rebecca, good you are alive and well. The news reports in the USA all say the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm and minimal damage, Thanks for the real scoop. I have faith in the people though that they will repair and rebuild. Godspeed)))))KCX

  • mike

    anyone have more pictures?

    • sanpedroscoop

      I just posted some more north…will work on more today.