Lobsterfest Caye Caulker 2012: A Very Different Feel From The Festival in San Pedro

Our little sister island of Caye Caulker hosts the original Lobsterfest in Belize.  Rather than spreading countless events over a full week and a big block party at the end like Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker goes big.  Three nights and two days of a HUGE all island blow-out.  Lots of locals, a nice chunk of Belize City, a smattering of tourists, this party is good times.

This is the one weekend of the year where Caye Caulker isn’t going so slow.  I heard from those who waited until the last minute that every hotel/hostel room on the island was booked for the weekend.

And there really is lobster everywhere.
First let me back up…I need to check into the hotel.  Just about 6 or 7 buildings south of the water taxi pier is Island Magic.  A pool is still not common place on Caye Caulker.  There are really just a handful and very nice to have.
Good bar, good pool, very friendly staff, ocean view, great location just a short walk off the most busy strip (if there is one in Caye Caulker), nice big clean rooms…
The only thing that could be an issue?  It is one of the more expensive hotels on the island.  But Caye Caulker has a wide range of hotels if you book early enough.
I headed out.  Every single restaurant on my walk to the festival is serving lobster.
I was glad to see that my favorite conch shell carver was still in business.  I have purchased many earrings here…and I feel like he has been trying to sell these conch breast charms for 6 years.  Maybe he just keeps making new ones.
I headed down to where all the tents were set up…
And there were about 20, each one grilling fresh lobsters.
Most simply prepared and I thought CHEAP.  When I stopped for one, your choice was Butter, Garlic, Creole or Curry.  We got whole lobsters grilled with the chosen sauce, rice & beans, cole slaw and plaintain for $25bzd.  ($12.50 USD)  And it was GOOD.
Yum, yum, yum.  This picture was still early in the morning…by noon the main drag was PACKED.
We headed down to the split where a huge beach party was going on.  Blasting reggae and dancehall music, tons of people in the water and at the bar, boats pulling in…a very fun crowd.
Kids were waiting in line to walk out on this long and totally unstable log over the water.

Even our area representative, Manuel Heredia and his wife were enjoying a beer at the Split.  I didn’t see him get up on the log though.

We watched these kids on the log until the sun went down and the DJ turned it up.  Endlessly entertaining…

We stayed at the split for many more hours enjoying the dance.  The generator stopped working for about 15 minutes and the whole island was without power.  Not so bad…still fun to sit around under the moon light and have some more beers.  But get this…the Lazy Lizard doesn’t serve when the power is out.  Their computer doesn’t work.  I’m not going to lie, I was stunned.  They lost a good part of their crowd.

The next day my goma (the local word for hangover) came on strong.  Something about a full day of beer that can leave you feeling…just…ick the next morning.

But there is no time for hanging around the room (though it was blissfully cool)…time to get out and find some breakfast.  Yesterday was a gorgeous day and kids were already setting up for a day at the beach.

I passed this very cool outside movie theater…not exactly sure how it works but fun idea.

This breakfast place was hopping…and the food delish.  Grilled cheese on THICK alcohol absorbant goodness.  A bit of hair of the dog doesn’t hurt either.

Back down to the festivities for a bit more lobsterfest before heading home…

Sunday was going to be even more crowded, the crowd from San Pedro was coming in droves.

So the question that everyone is going to ask:  How is Caye Caulker lobsterfest different from our one in San Pedro?  Very.  But Caye Caulker itself is very different from Ambergris Caye.  This lobsterfest feels more local and authentic, a bit less “corporate”, you feel like you are buying your lobsters from the fisherman direct.

This lobsterfest (like Caye Caulker itself) is smaller, cheaper and younger.  At the late night party at the Split, I think the average age was about 25.  And the average attendee?  Definitely Belizean.  And the music is LOUD.

It’s a fantastic festival.  My suggestion (and what I will do next year)?  Go for the day on Sunday.  Grab a table at the split.  As you can see below, the big speakers are set up for another day of music.  Or do the sail over from Ambergris Caye on one of the catamarans.  How fun would that be?

If you are a serious party person, a real night club person, Saturday is your night.  The main tent had DJs that played until 4am and I hear it was packed.  After a day of lobster, beers and the sun, that was too much for me.

As my water taxi took off for the return back to San Pedro, we passed the Coast Guard dropping some co-workers off.  I’m telling you…EVERYONE was at this party.

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