Caye Caulker, Belize: Pause Cat Sanctuary

Jun 25, 2014

Pause Hostel: Caye Caulker, Belize "Where Animal Lovers Stay"


Caye Caulker has lots of budget options available varying in price and amenities. For the average backpacker looking to stay in a dorm (the cheapest options) there are a few hostels and shared rooms at a few hotels but so far, it would appear the cheapest on the island is the Pause Cat Sanctuary at about $10US per person. Now before you haul off and book a night at the Cat Sanctuary, let me tell you a little about the place...

The Dorms...


The first thing a backpacker usually asks when considering a place – aside from the price – is usually “how are the beds?” Luckily for us, we arrived the day after new mattresses arrived so the beds were excellent. New or not, they are decent mattresses with clean sheets although the pillows were very flat. Almost like sleeping on a folded piece of foam but it didn’t bother me that much. Anyway, the dorms have 5 bunk beds and get a little stuffy as there aren’t any fans in the room currently, but the breeze moving over the island is usually enough to cool things down at night. We did have one very still and humid night where we could barely sleep at all but that night was followed by a cold front that cooled the whole island down for about 2 days. The sleeping that night was fantastic. Tired of sweating in our sleep on the occasional breezeless night, we ended up purchasing a fan that someone else we met on the island agreed to buy from us when we left. The fan makes a huge difference when sleeping. Currently there are no mosquito screens on the building so some mosquito spray before bead or a net for your bunk is a necessity but the charming and delightful owner was having screens installed. We used some bug-spray and a few of the mosquito coils sold at any grocery store on the island and found it much easier to sleep.


The Kitchen...


Next on the backpackers mind is usually the kitchen. Can you store food, refrigerate and prepare a decent cheap meal? Yes, you can do all of these things. Mind you when we arrived you could do none of these things so we got to work on connecting the oven, un-boxing and connecting the fridge and rebuilding a counter/cabinet. The kitchen now, however, is pretty decent. You’re welcome future guests.


The restrooms... (no picture)

What about the bathrooms and showers you ask? Well, at the time of writing this there are two toilets and two showers. When the place is at full capacity, it’s just enough for the guests but the septic system can’t handle that much water usage so be prepared for a somewhat smelly bathroom area at times. Another bathroom is under construction (we couldn’t finish building it before we left) but it will lessen the strain on the other septic which should improve things considerably. Both bathrooms and showers were fairly clean but the showers are cold water only. That shouldn’t be an issue for most given the temperature on the island but some guests do want a warm shower from time to time so take that into consideration.




Overall, Pause get’s my stamp of approval as a good budget option. Madi, the owner, is a wonderful person who has lived a very interesting and inspiring life. She keeps the grounds very clean and is always up for a chat. There's a nice dock to relax on with some decent swimming right out front although it is somewhat shallow. Madi also rents her kayaks for donation only (don't be cheap here folks) so take advantage and see the island a little more on your own. I suggest sunrise kayaking and/or sunset kayaking.

When considering Pause, keep in mind that you are staying at a Cat Sanctuary. This is NOT a party hostel. In fact, it’s far from being one. It’s a Cat Sanctuary first, someone’s home second, and a "rustic" hostel third. Don’t let my review deter you unless you plan to party all night or hate cats. Roam on!










Written by Teague O’Connell
Teague is a Workforce Management / Operational Leadership expert and PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with a passion for travel, adventure and the magnificent journey that is, life.

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Category: Accommodations

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Posted by KC on how many cats were there? I think I would prefer mosquitos over cats.
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