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Where to stay in Caye Caulker, Belize? Yuma’s House or Bella’s?

So you are going to Caye Caulker but you don’t know where to stay? Depending on your wallet size and travel style, there are countless accommodation alternatives on this sleepy island. If you are backpacking (traveling on a budget), there are two great hostels to choose from – Yuma’s and Bella’s. Decide which hostel is right for you.

Yuma’s House (Formerly Tina’s Backpacker’s Hostel)

Less than two years ago, Suzanne was living in New York City and desperately wanted a life changing opportunity, when a chance to own her own beachfront hostel practically fell right at her feet. It only took her a day to strike a deal with Tina (owner of Tina’s Backpacker’s Hostel) and she was on her way to starting a whole new life in the Caribbean. She bought, renovated and renamed Tina’s, changing its name to Yuma’s House in honour of her young son Yuma, who currently enjoys his new life near the water.

Suzanne – Owner of Yuma’s House, Caye Caulker

Yuma’s in a nutshell: Yuma’s is a quiet, artsy hostel conveniently located right on the beach between Caye Caulker’s two water-taxi docks. Without a doubt, the new owner Suzanne runs a very tight ship. A 24-hr no visitor policy and a quiet time period starting at 11pm are strictly enforced. For this reason Yuma’s is a very popular choice for divers in need of a solid night’s sleep before a long day on the water. Although Yuma’s receives guests of all ages, it will definitely appeal more to the relaxation seeker than to the booze thirsty party seeker. It is the perfect place to catch up on your long list of unanswered emails, complete a blog post, read the book you vowed to start at the beginning of your trip, or just lounge in one of the hammocks while listening to the waves which practically run into the front-yard garden.

View from the front garden at Yuma’s House

There are 5 private rooms and 6 dorm rooms that are very basic and clean. Four of the five private rooms come with a double bed while one private has two single beds. All private rooms come with a fan but unlike dorm rooms, there are no in-room lockers. Privates ($28.50 USD/night), Dorms ($12.50 USD/night).

Dorm room at Yuma’s

Safety at Yuma’s House: As mentioned, Yuma’s maintains a strict no-visitor policy and every night a security guard stays on the property to ensure that only paid guests enter the gates. Suzanne says that the no-visitor policy helps visitors to relax and trust that their belongings are safe from theft.

Facilities: Two clean kitchens equipped with pots, pans, cutlery and basic ingredients for cooking. In the front yard a barbecue grill overlooking the ocean can be used by guests upon request. There is FREE Wifi available but it can be quite slow when many people use it at the same time (hint: Skype has been blocked on Caye Caulker but some internet cafes on the island still manage to offer the service). In front of the hostel there is a private dock with two hammocks that swing peacefully over the blue water. Don’t forget to use the outdoor shower to wash off the sand before entering your room.

Communal Kitchen at Yuma’s

What I liked: The hostel was very clean, quiet, right on the beach, and very close to the water-taxi docks. I was confident that my bags where safe when I left the hostel. Feels more like a relaxed guest house than a typical hostel.

Bella’s Hostel Crocodile Street, Caye Caulker

Bella’s in a nutshell: Located at the end of Crocodile Street in Caye Caulker, Bella’s is the ‘party hostel’ on the island. Unlike Yuma’s, Bella’s literally has an open door policy – anyone can walk right into the big open gates. Many of the predominantly young guests say that they feel comfortable (‘right at home’) and they tend to get along well with Jeff (the owner of Bella’s) since he too is young and very laid back. Although Bella’s is a family run business, it is undeniably a social hostel where guests hang out, eat, drink, smoke, and party together well into the wee hours of the morning. If your sleep is in anyway affected by noise – Bella’s isn’t for you.

Bella’s Hostel – Caye Caulker

Safety at Bella’s: There is no security guard on site at Bella’s. Guests and non-guests alike come and go as they please. In the night when the music starts and the party gets going, it is common to see people from other hostels and locals from the island dropping by to take part in the festivities. Although private cabins have locks, dorms are basically left open and unguarded. Personally, I did not feel secure that my valuables were safe when I left the hostel.

Communal Kitchen at Bella’s Hostel, Caye Caulker

Facilities: Like Yuma’s, Bella’s also has two communal kitchens and a charcoal bbq grill that can be used by all guests. At night, the kitchen area also doubles as an overflow room for drinkers and conversationalists from the adjacent common room. Wifi is available but I was told that there is a $5 BZD charge to get the Wifi password for the first time. Bicycles and canoes (yep canoes) are also available at no charge.

FREE canoes at Bella’s

Dorm rooms in the downstairs section of the hostel are $7.50USD/night while dorms upstairs are $10USD/night. There is far less privacy in the downstairs dorm which is more of a chaotic open concept common area with a kitchen, television and beds than an actual dorm room. Private cabins start at $15 USD per person per night.

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  1. This is an excellent post Joel – really useful for would be traveller's to the region. Great piece.

    Enjoying following your travels, all the best. JP

  2. Thanks JP – I'm happy that you found the post useful. Thanks for following.

  3. I would stay at both of these wonderful locations! I think I want to go to Belize just to stay there! lol Wonderful Post!

  4. Thank you for this post!! Jetting to Belize in a week and wasnt sure where to go.

    • Dina have fun in Belize. You will have a lot of fun. You will notice that everything moves at a nice slow caribbean pace. Be sure to check out ‘the split’ for a drink.

  5. Hi. Is there any way to contact someone who is staying at Bella’s right now? Is there a telephone there or something?

    • Sorry for the late response. I somehow missed this comment. I am not sure about a contact number. But I am sure there is some way of finding it on google. Good luck.

  6. While I have not stayed at Yuma’s, my friends did recently while I was staying at another hostel nearby. One of them became very intoxicated and left our group with a random guy on the street, allegedly going back to Yuma’s.

    We all went to Yuma’s to make sure she was there and were told to “get the f*ck off the property” by their security guard. Despite our pleas to tell us if she had arrived or not. We explained that we were afraid our friend was not back at the hostel and were scared for her safety. We were standing inside the gate and the security guard shoved me to the ground with absolutely no provocation as I turned to leave before telling the two women with me to “go to hell.”

    He refused to say if our friend had arrived back.

    She was assaulted that night and showed up at another hostel crying and shaking at 4am.

    A place whose own employees do not care about the safety of their guests is not a place I would recommend to anybody under any circumstances. There are many other options in the same price range around the island.

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