Caye Caulker is an island off Belize’s mainland. It’s just a mile inside Belize’s Barrier Reef (the world’s second largest) and a must visit destination if you are going to Belize. In comparison to its closest neighbour San Pedro it’s much smaller, (5 miles/ 8 km long and 0.15-1.2 miles/ 0.25-2 km wide). So what are the best things to do in Caye Caulker Belize? It’s so small, surely you can only spend a couple of days there. Well I am going to tell you different!
Arriving in Caye Caulker Belize
Firstly, getting to the island. It only takes about 45 minutes from the mainland Belize City via water taxi. Even if you arrive by plane, it’s just 20 minutes in a taxi to the water taxi station. So in less than an hour an a half you are chilling out on this beautiful island. (Check out transport times and costs below).
After a smooth (or bumpy) journey on the boat, it was a windy day when I arrived! You dock on a small jetty and walk down to collect your bags. There are palms trees swaying and a few bars along the front. Already you start to feel that this is going to be an awesome place to spend a couple of days or maybe more.
Caye Caulker’s motto is ‘Go Slow’.
Caye Caulker’s motto is ‘Go Slow’. See how many signs you can spot! You notice this by the transport, it’s either bikes (which have no gears and are pretty rustic) or the other more random option which is tourists the popular golf buggy. Who’d have thought that so many people would be driving around the island on these. They do look pretty cool though. Comfy seats, shade from the sun and big wheels to drive over those bumpy roads!
At first you might think what is there to do on such a chilled and relaxed island? Well believe it or not it’s really easy to spend more than a couple of days here as there is so much to do. It’s easy to see how a couple of days can turn into a week on the island.
18 Awesome Things to do in Caye Caulker Belize
1. Snorkelling the clear waters – it’s awesome
- There are many tour companies (13+) that do either full or half day options out to the reefs.
- Visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker Marine Reserve or even book yourself a Manatee tour.
- Full day tours include lunch/fruit/drinks/water and half day includes fruit/water.
- Cost* – Full day $65 USD/$130 BZ or Half day $35 USD/$70 BZ or Manatee tour (full day) $85 USD/$170 BZ.
Follow Becky the Traveller for my experience with the best company, coming soon!
2. Diving the world’s second largest barrier reef
- Fancy going a bit deeper than snorkelling, well this is the option for you. Again with many dive shops on the island you have plenty to choose from. I spent a full day with ‘Blue Sea Diving’, visiting Lighthouse Reef Atoll which includes Belize’s famous Blue Hole.
- Tours start early in the morning around 5.30am but it’s totally worth it.
Follow Becky the Traveller for my full diving post…coming soon.
3. Hire a bike and go explore
- Want to explore a bit more of the island? Jump on a bike. Cycle to the Split (this is where the island literally splits in two by a body of water).
- Or head in the opposite direction towards the airfield, mini reserve and wait for it…. the largest conch wall in the world. Come on that’s worth a look! It’s also a cool way as you create your own mini breeze when you cycle.
- Cost* – $5 BZ for an hour or $15 BZ all day. (I chose this option, although there’s probably not a full day’s worth of cycling it’s nice to have).
Becky’s Tip – For those not experienced with bikes without brakes, to stop or slow down, you simply pedal backwards. I wish I knew this before my poor sandals got a tough time!!
4. Take a scenic flight over the Blue Hole
Thanks to Rus Margolin for this photo. Check him out @Travel2Unlimited
- I was so tempted to do this flight but it was a little out of my price range. Plus I have to leave something to do for next time!
- You also need a minimum of 3 people, not always easy to find (especially moving into low season).
- Cost* – $200 USD/$400 BZ per person.
5. Treat yourself to A Yummy snack and iced coffee
- Pop into ‘Crepes & Dreams’ to visit Chris and Cassie, they are open 7am-1pm for a range of breakfast options and treats. You can enjoy a delicious crêpe, nutella and banana is my recommendation. Yummy!
6. Go out for dinner
- Try out some of the many amazing restaurants on the islands.
- Something traditional at ‘Wish Willy’ – you feel like you are at a home BBQ.
- ‘Roy’s’ restaurant you can try the very pesky Lion fish which has now become a huge problem in Belize due to being introduced to an environment with few natural predators.
7. Top up on your vitamins with some fresh juice
- There are a couple of little shops on the island that will keep you juiced up all day long. They do mixes or fruits in a smoothie or you can buy a bottle of your favourite – orange, pineapple, mango, watermelon to pop in your fridge. All for $5 BZ.
8. Visit Seahorse Ranch Reserve
- A local hotelier at Iguana Reef Inn, created a mini marine reserve right outside his hotel. There are numerous seahorses (very mini ones), an eel, Queen Angel and French Angel fish that visit and live there. Eric the owner is lovely, you’ll probably see him around sunset chatting with guests.
- This is also a popular spot for the Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigatebirds so you’ll definitely see these guys here.
9. Watch the sunset
- Maybe an obvious thing to do but no harm in reminding you. I missed it the first night as was in a bar on the opposite side of the island!
- There are a couple of good spots, either Seahorse Ranch Reserve by Iguana Reef Inn or you can take a boat to the North of the island to Koko King and there’s a great view there.
- And you can buy a beer to enjoy the view!
10. Visit the Split …. the what!
- This is where the island has been split in two by a hurricane, mother nature at it’s strongest. (You might hear rumours whilst you are there that this was man made – I will let you decide when you see it!)
- Have a drink at the Lazy lizard, go for a swim or simply chill out and relax – isn’t that what travelling is all about.
*Book your Belize flights now: Skyscanner
11. try a new hairstyle – get your hair Braided
- One for the ladies or gents if you have long hair. For a hassle free time on the island they can sort your hair disasters out.
- Afer sea water, boat trips and various snorkelling gear mine was a big tangled mess. I was then transformed into a thing or beauty, well not quite, it was me but hey you know what I mean.
Becky’s Tip – Remember to put sun cream where your hair parting is. Yes I did burn my head and yes it did hurt 🙁
12. Go shopping
- Visit the many gift shops and stalls on the island, selling pretty bags, hammocks, jewellery and much more. They also polish the conch shells which look amazing when they have finished.
- Most of the shops close for a couple of hours around 12-2pm (it’s pretty hot so you’ll probably want to take a swim).
13. Try one of the many Watersports
- Fancy trying something different, you can: hire a jet ski, try windsurfing, kite boarding, parasailing, do some exploring whilst kayaking or paddleboarding.
- Again, you’re on an island so plenty of options for fishing. I didn’t research these fully but those I did see were quite costly. Maybe shop around for the best offer.
- Half and full day options available.
15. Catch a boat to Koko King
- A water taxi goes every 15/20 minutes from the opposite side of the island to which you arrived (a 3 minute walk!) And it’s FREE!!
- There’s a bar, restaurant, a pool and plenty of swings that you can chill out on.
- Plenty of birds both on the land and sea to keep any bird lover busy for a few hours.
- Each morning I saw many Brown Pelicans chilling on the posts in the sea. There are also lots of Magnificent Frigatebirds and many other smaller ones in the mini reserve.
- Exploring the island either by bike, golf buggy or on foot keep your eye out for the wildlife living on the island.
- By the ‘World’s largest conch wall’ you will probably meet iguana’s sunbathing, crabs scurring along or lizards darting in the bushes.
- And lastly, a free activity. Get your best bikini or shorts on and jump in the ocean. It really is the best way to cool down on a hot and sunny day.
Useful books for your trip*
Further information caye caulker belize
- The exchange rate is $1 USD = $2 BZ (Bank rates vary).
- Credit cards are accepted some places (except an extra charge between 3-5%).
Taxi from Belize Airport to Water Taxi
- These are readily available outside the airport and they accept USD and BZ dollars.
- Cost $25 USD/$50 BZ. (For more than 2 people they will try to charge $30 be sure to haggle).
Caye Caulker Water Taxi – (2 options)
OPtion 1 – Belize Express*
Belize City to Caye Caulker
Departure times: 08.00, 09.00, 10.30, 12.00, 13.30, 15.00, 16.00, 16.30, 17.30.
Caye Caulker to Belize City
Departure times: 06.30, 07.00, 08.00, 09.00, 10.30, 12.00, 13.30, 15.30, 17.00.
One-way – $15 USD/$30 BZ or
Return – $25 USD/ $50 BZ
Option 2 – Ocean Ferry (cheaper option)*
Belize City to Caye Caulker
Departure times: 08.00, 10.30, 13.30, 15.00, 17.30.
Caye Caulker to Belize City
Departure times: 06.30, 08.30, 10.30, 13.30, 16.30.
One-way – $9.50/$19 BZ or
Return – $14.50 USD/$29 BZ
* All times and prices correct at time of writing.
Have you been to Caye Caulker Belize? What did you spend your time doing whilst you were there? Have I missed anything out? Tell me in the comments below:
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