This post will share the 16 best things to do in Caye Caulker, Belize’s go slow Caribbean paradise and our all-time favourite island! We’ll also share essential travel logistics, like where to stay, the best restaurants, and transport info for Caye Caulker.
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About Caye Caulker, Belize
Ahh, Caye Caulker. Where do I even start with this tropical paradise? Located off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea, Caye Caulker is easily one of the best islands we have ever visited!
Despite a huge influx in tourism to the country, most of the cookie-cutter tourism development has been contained to neighbouring Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker remains blissfully laid back, with a (mostly) local tourism industry. You won’t find any big resort chains, fast-food restaurants, or raucous nightclubs here.
Caye Caulker’s motto is ‘go slow’, and it really does epitome life here. The streets are sandy, the locals are friendly, and the rasta Caribbean vibes are strong. There are plenty of things to do in Caye Caulker, but it’s got a blissfully slow undercurrent to it. We fell in love with this island almost immediately after arriving and one week here didn’t feel long enough.
Despite being small in size, there are plenty of fantastic things to do in Caye Caulker. In this post, I’m going to share 16 of our favourite things to do in Caye Caulker, as well as a general travel guide to the island, sharing our tips on where to eat, where to stay, and how to get there and around.
Caye Caulker quick facts
- 🛥️ How to get there – by boat from Belize City, Ambergris Caye or Chetumal in Mexico. Or by air from Belize City.
- 🛏️ How long to stay – no less than 4 nights, a week wouldn’t be too long!
- 🗓️ Best time to visit – is during the dry season, which is typically December – April.
Our other Caye Caulker posts
- Caye Caulker Snorkeling Guide – Dive Into an Underwater Wonderland
- How to See the Great Blue Hole Belize – Scenic Flight vs Scuba Diving
- Our 10 Favourite Restaurants on Caye Caulker
- Where to Stay in Caye Caulker – 12 Top Rated Options for all Budgets
16 Things to do in Caye Caulker
- Hang out at The Split 👙
- Do a snorkel tour 🦈
- See the stingrays at Iguana Reef Inn 🏖️
- Ride bicycles around the island 🚲
- Take a scenic flight over the Great Blue Hole 🛩️
- Visit Northside Beach Club (aka Koko King) 🌊
- Do yoga at Namaste Café 🧘🏼♀️
- Watch the sunset 🌞
- Hang out at Ice and Beans ☕️
- Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard 🛶
- Scuba diving on the Belize Barrier Reef 🤿
- Look for manatees 👀
- Go on a sunset cruise ⛵️
- Visit the seahorse reserve
- Eat lobster 🦞
- Relax and go slow 😌
1. Hang out at The Split
Yes, I know I’m being generic and starting this list of things to do in Caye Caulker the same way every other blog does. But I completely understand why. The Split is the place to be on Caye Caulker and oozes Caribbean island vibes.
So what actually is this place, The Split? For some context, Caye Caulker is actually two separate islands with a narrow channel between them.
This wasn’t always the case, but Hurricane Hattie which hit the island in 1961 supposedly tore it in two (although the story does get a little embellished!). Many locals will clarify that they decided to deliberately dredge the small channel that appeared between the two islands after the hurricane, to make a shortcut for boats to pass through the island.
This deep channel between the two islands has now become known as ‘The Split’.
Regardless of the particulars, The Split has become the most popular thing to do in Caye Caulker, and rightfully so! It is home to The Lazy Lizard, the island’s most loved beach bar, which serves up cold Belikins, strong cocktails (try the famous Lizard Juice) and a good dose of reggae tunes.
The deep channel is the best place to swim on the island, which surprisingly doesn’t actually have a lot of beaches. The Lazy Lizard is where you’ll find the popular jumping platform that you’ve no doubt seen pictures and videos of. You can make the 6 metre / 20 feet jump into the turquoise waters below, or choose to float in the shallows, sipping on a cocktail on a submerged bar stool.
You can still access The Split area and hang out along the sea walls to the east and west without entering the bar. But to access the best places for swimming, the lounges and in-water palapas and seats, you will need to enter the Lazy Lizard and buy a drink or some snacks. Although not cheap, it’s a quintessential Caye Caulker experience and we spent many an afternoon lazing here.
- Where – you’ll find The Split and the Lazy Lizard at the north end of the main island. Check it out on Google Maps here.
- When – you can visit The Split and hang out along the sea wall at any time. But the Lazy Lizard bar is open from 10 am – 8 pm on weekdays, and 9 pm at weekends. Although it’s best visited during the day, and once the sun has set there are better places to be on the island.
- Cost – there is no cost to visit The Split or enter the Lazy Lizard. If you are using their furniture or swimming areas, it’s expected you buy some drinks or food. Drinks aren’t the cheapest, but you’re paying for the vibe and location. Local beers are around $10 BZD and cocktails are upwards of $15 – $20 BZD.
2. Do a snorkel tour
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Caye Caulker is to go on a snorkelling tour. The island is situated on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef, which is part of the broader Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, and the marine life is simply spectacular. Many tour companies on the island offer snorkel tours, usually as a half-day or full-day option. We opted for this full-day tour, which had 7 stops, and we highly recommend it.
We had such an amazing day, we wrote an entire post about our Caye Caulker snorkeling tour. You can read more about the 7 stops we had on the tour and all the incredible marine life we saw.
So I’ll finish this section with this – do NOT miss this experience, it is the highlight of all the things to do in Caye Caulker. Crystal clear blue waters, swimming with sharks, turtles everywhere and even manatees as a cherry on top, it seriously doesn’t get much better than this!
- Who with – this is the exact tour we booked and we highly recommend it. We selected this option because the local operator, Salt Life Eco Tours, doesn’t feed the marine life. They also had no single-use plastics on the boat, and all our drinks, lunch and snacks were served in reusable containers.
- Cost – most operators offer the full-day tour at a fixed cost of $90 USD. This is exactly what we paid for the above tour, and most operators should include lunch. If you go for the half-day option, expect to pay around $45 USD, generally without lunch.
- Sustainability tips – many tour operators around Caye Caulker feed the marine life to entice them towards boats. This puts them at risk of injury from boat motors and makes them reliant on humans for food, rather than naturally finding their normal food sources. If you don’t want to book with our recommended tour above (where we can confirm they don’t do this!), make sure you do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions to the operator.
3. See the stingrays at Iguana Reef Inn
One of the most iconic images of Caye Caulker is that of giant stingrays gliding over people’s feet in the shallows. But sadly we met a few people who didn’t get to have this experience because they didn’t know where it was – so let me fill you in!
Iguana Reef Inn is one of the fancier accommodation options on the island. Situated on the west side, the hotel has a large beachfront bar area that is open to non-guests. Each day at sunset, the owner feeds the giant Southern Stingrays fish scraps from the day’s catch.
The stingrays have become accustomed to this, so at around 4 – 4:30 pm each evening, groups of 20 + ginormous stingrays start gathering in the shallows. These friendly fellas swim right up to the water’s edge and glide around waiting for something to eat. They will swim right over your feet, allowing you to feel their soft underbelly. You can even give them a gentle scratch on their rough outer skin.
- Where – in the beach club area of the Iguana Reef Inn. Find it on Google Maps here.
- When – each day at around sunset the stingrays are fed. They start arriving at the beach around an hour prior to sunset. This is also a fantastic place to watch the sunset, so stick around!
- Cost – there is no official cost to enter the Iguana Reef Inn bar area. But you should buy a drink from the bar if you plan to use their facilities. Their cocktails are excellent!
4. Ride bicycles around the island
Part mode of transport, part activity, part exercise, riding bicycles is one of the essential things to do in Caye Caulker! Do as the locals do, and cruise down sandy roads with glimpses of blue ocean, beneath swaying palm trees and past a rainbow of pastel-coloured houses.
Riding bikes is something we always enjoy doing when we travel, and Caye Caulker was no exception. It is the best way to explore the island, and it’s so much fun cycling around with the wind in your hair! Spend at least a day riding aimlessly, exploring down side streets and into the further reaches of the island.
- Cost – you might have bikes included with your accommodation, many offer this. If not, you can expect to pay around $15 BZD upwards for one day’s rental, with discounts for multiple days.
- Who with – your accommodation should be able to organise a bike rental for you if they don’t already include them. If not, just wander down the main street, there are bikes everywhere!
5. Take a scenic flight over the Great Blue Hole
This is definitely one of the pricier things to do in Caye Caulker, but a bucket list experience that can’t be missed! The Great Blue Hole is a natural sinkhole in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef. Sitting at over 120 metres / 400 feet deep, and 300 metres / 900 feet wide, it is an almost perfectly circular shape.
Although it is possible to scuba dive in this incredible spectacle, seeing it from above on a scenic flight is the best way to appreciate the sheer scale and beauty of the Great Blue Hole.
Although the Great Blue Hole is the highlight of the flight, seeing all the shapes, tones and textures of the Belize Barrier Reef, the Caribbean Sea and Caye Caulker from above is just as special.
You’ll take off from the tiny airport on Caye Caulker, on a small plane with just 11 seats, and fly for around an hour. The pilot will loop around the Great Blue Hole at least 4 – 5 times for each side of the plane.
- Cost – this isn’t a cheap activity, and tickets start from $250 USD per person. But it really is a bucket list experience, that is worth every cent!
- Who with – there are two local airlines that offer flights, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. We can personally recommend Tropic Air, and you can read in-depth about our experience here.
- Schedule – each airline offers flights 2 – 3 times a week on alternating days. Flights generally depart mid-morning, around 10:30 – 11:30 to ensure optimal viewing of the Great Blue Hole without reflections. Be sure to check the schedules in advance and factor this into your itinerary. You don’t want to leave the booking too late.
6. Visit Northside Beach Club (aka Koko King)
Remember when I said Caye Caulker was actually split into two islands? The south island is where the main village is, and for most visitors, is where they will spend all their time. The north side is often forgotten.
It is less developed and doesn’t really have too many attractions besides a handful of hotels and small local restaurants. Although this is changing, and the pace of development (and destruction of natural areas) has really sped up in the past few years.
But there is one place you HAVE to visit – Northside Beach Club. Previously known as Koko King this is a beach club set up on the most beautiful beach in all of Caye Caulker!
The situation is a little complicated though. Northside Beach Club is technically closed as of October 2022, apparently due to management issues. You will see on Google that it says ‘permanently closed’. But from what we could tell when we visited, the beach club and boutique hotel are up for sale, and I assume will be under new management soon.
However, much to our delight, somebody is still opening up the property in the meantime, and visitors are allowed to go and hang out on the beach. All the beach furniture is still there, although in varying states of disrepair. Lounges, hammocks, day beds, and palapas in the water are all free to use.
Facilities are limited, so don’t be expecting a full beach club experience. The bathrooms aren’t open, there is no restaurant, and no proper bar. Although when we visited, there was someone running a makeshift bar, with cold beers, limited cocktails and tunes pumping.
Whether the bar is operating or not, the beach is still the best in Caye Caulker, with clear, calm waters and powder-white sand. Laying in a lounge half submerged in water under a palm-thatched palapa was literally the definition of paradise.
I can’t guarantee the access will remain open and free, but it is 100% worth trying to visit Northside Beach Club on your visit to Caye Caulker.
- Where – Northside Beach Club is, as the name suggests, on the north island of Caye Caulker. You can see it on Google Maps here.
- How to get there – to get to the north side, you need to catch the ferry that plies between the two islands. The Split-to-Split ferry runs all day until 8 pm, and it is $5 BZD per person, each way. You can bring your bike on the barge too for free. Once you’re across, it’s a short walk or cycle to the beach club. It departs here.
- Cost – currently, the beach club is FREE! No one is there to take any entry fee or enforce any minimum spend. If the makeshift bar is running, you can buy drinks if you like, but we BYO’d snacks and drinks and no one minded.
- When – I wish I could provide more solid details on when the beach club is open, but it is very unclear and informal while it is technically shut. What I can tell you is that there is a gate with a padlock at the front, so if it’s not open, there’s no way you could sneak your way in (unless you arrived by kayak).
7. Do yoga at Namaste Café
A great way to start your day is with a stretch and some downtime at Namaste Yoga. The studio is located right in the heart of Caye Caulker, so don’t expect a quiet Zen garden! But the rooftop space has stunning ocean views in all directions.
There’s no need to register or book in advance. Just arrive 15 minutes before class, and grab a mat. All experience levels are welcome, and the teachers offer different variations for those more advanced yogis. No judgement or awkward cliques that come with the territory of some yoga studios!
The studio sits above Namaste Café, and we would highly recommend grabbing breakfast afterwards. It’s a beautiful space and their food is light and healthy.
- When – classes are currently scheduled at 8:00 am and 9:30 am from Monday – Friday in the high season, dropping down to one per day at 8:00 am in the low season. Check the current schedule here.
- Cost – the classes are run on a donation basis. So you can pay as much or as little as you like. Please do consider how much you would ordinarily pay for a class back home, and know that a portion of their profits gets channelled back into local charities.
- Where – click for the Google Maps location of Namaste Café.
8. Watch the sunset
Being an island, Caye Caulker is blessed with both sunsets and sunrises and let me tell you they are pretty epic! For sunset, you want to head to the west side of the island (aka the back side). Basically anywhere along the waterfront will give you a good vantage point, but there are some especially great spots to watch the sun go down.
The Split is a popular option, with plenty of space to sit along the sea wall. You can even jump in for a sunset swim if you want! Just next to The Split is a little beach, known simply as ‘Beach Area’. It’s out the front of Sophie’s Guest House and is one of the few sandy patches where you can lay down a towel and relax with a great vantage point.
As already mentioned, Iguana Reef Inn is another good spot for sunset. Not only does it have a good vantage point, but you can also see the stingrays being fed at this time. You can order some delicious cocktails here too! The same goes for Pelican Sunset Bar, but be sure to get here early if you want to get a seat as it is a very popular spot to watch the sunset.
- When – be sure to check the sunset times for your visit. You want to be at a good vantage point at least half an hour before to enjoy the full golden hour sparkle. In the dry winter months, the sun sets as early as 5:30 pm.
- Insider tip – Don’t arrive too late for the sunset! Pretty much everyone on the island wants to see the show, and bars with good views can fill up early.
9. Hang out at Ice and Beans
I generally save restaurant recommendations for their own section in my travel guides. But Ice and Beans is more than just a restaurant – it’s a Caye Caulker institution!
Ask anyone who has visited the island, and they’ll tell you that hanging at Ice and Beans is one of the quintessential things to do in Caye Caulker! This beachfront café is one of the busiest and most well-established businesses on the island and they have a constant stream of customers out the door all day.
In terms of drinks, they make great coffee, build-your-own smoothies, freshly squeezed orange juice (you even put the oranges into the machine yourself!) and a range of sweet frappes.
For food, their main offering is sandwiches or bagels (sweet and savoury), build-your-own smoothie bowls and their famous mini doughnuts that are warm, sugary and delicious. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a free one when you arrive! I’m still dreaming of their Apple Bee’s bagel with apple, cream cheese and honey on a cinnamon raisin bagel mmm….
But the real appeal of Ice and Beans is their beachfront dining area. Hammocks are strung up between palm trees, colourful beach lounges dot the sand, along with a number of picnic-style tables. This is definitely not a place for take away, you can easily while away a few hours with a book while you enjoy your coffee and food!
- When – Ice and Beans is currently open daily from 6:30 am – 3:00 pm. You can check updated opening hours on their Facebook page.
- Where – the blue and yellow painted fence around Ice and Beans will become a landmark on your travels around Caye Caulker. Situated right in the heart of town on the front beach, get the Google Maps location here.
- Costs – food and drinks from Ice and Beans are pretty affordable by Caye Caulker standards. Barista-style coffee starts from $9 BZD, bagels/sandwiches are around $10 BZD and smoothies (bowls) range from $9 – $13 BZD.
10. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard
A fun afternoon activity is to go for a paddle around the island on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Maybe not entirely around the island, unless you’re feeling fit, but it is possible.
The western side of the island has beautifully calm waters and is the best place if you’re a beginner, or just looking for some relaxed time out on the water. We saw plenty of people paddling around off the western side of The Split. If you can time your rental with sunset, it would be the perfect way to end the day.
You could even rent a kayak for the day, and paddle yourself over to the north side and dock at Northside Beach Club. This saves the cost of the Split-to-Split ferry.
- Who with – some beachfront accommodations include kayak rentals. If not, the Lazy Lizard has a number of kayaks for rent. For paddleboards, try Reef Break.
- Cost – most operators will rent by the hour, or by the day. Expect to pay $20+ BZD per hour.
- Insider tip – don’t forget to use a waterproof bag to keep your stuff dry, so you can bring everything you need if you’re headed to the north side or plan to dock anywhere.
11. Scuba diving on the Belize Barrier Reef
The snorkelling is that good in Caye Caulker, it feels like those who don’t scuba dive aren’t missing out on anything! But as divers, we know it’s a whole different experience to be hanging out under the surface, rather than on top of it.
There are a ton of different scuba diving sites around the island, near and far. Diving in the local reef right near the island is obviously the closest, and therefore cheapest option. But we would suggest avoiding this, as it will be full of snorkelers.
If you branch out a little further without heading off on a full-day dive, Esmeralda (for sharks) and Spanish Bay (for epic coral walls) are popular sites.
The further you go, understandably the higher the cost becomes due to the long distances travelled on the boat. But of course, the better the diving gets and the more pristine the reef systems become!
Scuba diving inside the Great Blue Hole is top of the list of things to do in Caye Caulker for many scuba junkies. It’s a very long, very expensive day trip from Caye Caulker but an incredible experience (read more about that here).
Closer, but still far enough to deter snorkellers, is the Turneffe Atoll, where you will find a number of different sites. The Turneffe Elbow area is great for strong currents and drift dives, and Turneffe North has a variety of sites with rich corals, deep walls and diverse marine life.
- Costs – scuba diving in Belize is expensive. There’s no other way to put it, and the costs deterred us. For local dives, expect to pay no less than $140 USD for a two-tank dive with gear. This increases the further you go from Caye Caulker and surpasses $300 USD for a dive in the Great Blue Hole.
- Who with – there are just a handful of reputable scuba companies on Caye Caulker. Frenchies Diving and Blue Wave Divers are considered the best.
- When – you can dive all year round, and different seasons bring different marine life. But keep in mind, the wet season (~ May – November) can bring hurricanes and bad weather that can cancel boats at the last minute.
12. Look for manatees
The ocean around Caye Caulker is prime habitat for the big, beautiful West Indian Manatee. There are two subspecies of this type of manatee, and Belize has the largest population of the Antillean Manatee.
There is a consistent population of manatees around Caye Caulker all year. But the summer months of June and July mark the peak of mating season, and it can be easier to see these slow, peaceful creatures.
Most snorkelling tours will stop at a known manatee hang-out spot, and many visitors (ourselves included!) are lucky enough to jump in the water and see an odd, graceful blob slowly cruising along. They truly are the strangest creatures to look at, but we were absolutely ecstatic when we got to swim alongside one!
If you’re into manatees and want more than just a short snorkelling stop, you can take tours to Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary. This protected area was designed to provide a safe place for the manatees, with extreme regulation of boat activity – the biggest threat to manatees.
Friends of Swallow Caye is a local not-for-profit organisation that lobbied for the sanctuary to be created in 2002 and continues to advocate for manatees within the community. Their office is located in Caye Caulker, and you can pop by and enquire about tours to Swallow Caye.
Boats visiting the area must be under a certain size to avoid collisions and possible injuries with the manatees. Once inside the shallow, sea grass-covered area, motors must be cut, and boats hand poled through the area.
You’re not allowed to swim with the manatees in this protected area. But due to the high concentration found inside the sanctuary, you should have a pretty good chance of seeing them in the water and coming up for air. Plus you’ll learn a lot more about these unique animals.
- Where – Friends of Swallow Caye has an office right on the front beach in Caye Caulker. Find it here on Google Maps.
- Tour details – Friends of Swallow Caye is first and foremost a not-for-profit for the manatees, not a tour operator. They don’t have any specific tour details or costs online. But if you wander past you will see signs advertising tours. I would suggest popping in, or getting in touch with them via email in advance if you’re interested in organising a tour to Swallow Caye. If they’re not offering tours, they can probably direct you to a reputable tour agency that they endorse.
13. Go for a sunset cruise
If you want to take your Caye Caulker sunset to the next level, experience it from the water. The perfect way to mark the end of the day, spend a few hours cruising around Caye Caulker, watching the sky turn golden. There are plenty of tour operators offering sunset cruises, catering to different kinds of travellers.
For a family or romantic experience, you can opt for a sunset sail with Ragga Sailing Adventures. The tour lasts for two and a half hours and includes rum punch, juice and chips and salsa.
This party boat tour is a bit rowdier, with three hours of rum punch, dancing and jumping off the boat. The perfect start to a night out on Caye Caulker.
- When – tours are of course aligned to the sunset time, and generally leave around 1 hour prior to the sun going down, so you can enjoy that beautiful golden hour! Expect to leave around 4:30 – 5:00 pm.
- Cost – most tours are priced at around $45 – $50 USD, including drinks and nibbles.
14. Visit the seahorse reserve
In addition to stingrays, the Iguana Reef Inn is also home to a small seahorse reserve. This isn’t one of the most exciting things to do in Caye Caulker, but it’s free, and I don’t know about you, but I’d never seen a seahorse before!
Out on their dock, you’ll see a wooden sign indicating the reserve. You’ll need all the help you can get to find these little guys! In the waters below there is a maze of crisscrossed ropes, seaweed and other marine plants that provide a safe haven and a good layer of camouflage! At first, you think there is nothing there, but look closely and you’ve got a good chance of spotting one floating around!
- Where – in the beach club area of the Iguana Reef Inn. Find it on Google Maps here.
- When – you can visit the seahorses at any time of the day, but it’s best to time your visit for sunset to see the stingrays being fed too to make it more worthwhile.
- Cost – there is no official cost to enter the Iguana Reef Inn bar area and see the seahorse reserve. But you should buy a drink from the bar if you plan to use their facilities. Their cocktails are excellent!
15. Eat lobster
Okay okay, I know I said I didn’t usually like to put eating as part of the ‘things to do’ in destinations. But I wouldn’t be providing you with a complete and fully informed list of things to do in Caye Caulker if I didn’t mention eating lobster!
For us at home in Australia, and I know for many others around the world, lobster is a delicacy. An expensive one at that! I can’t recall a single time I have ever ordered lobster from a restaurant at home.
Well, all that changes in Caye Caulker! Lobster is in high supply, at a fraction of the cost you can expect to pay elsewhere so that you can enjoy a boujee meal on a budget.
During the lobster season, there is so much available, that you will find lobster on every menu at a very affordable price. They’re grilling on BBQs along the beach, being slathered in curry in local restaurants, and even being served up on tours that’s how cheap they can be!
- When – lobster season in Caye Caulker generally runs from June – February. They even have a Lobster Fest in Caye Caulker in July to celebrate the commencement of the season.
- Where to try it – the string of BBQs set up along the front beach is a good place to start. You’ll see them grilling up lobsters from around midday until the sun goes down. They serve up packs with beans, rice and some salads. There are a couple of different restaurants there, but most are similar, just head to this area. We can also highly recommend Wish Willy (the cheapest lobster we had!) and Steve’s Grill for a lobster curry.
- Cost – a good price for a lobster (generally just the tail) with sides would be anything under $40 BZD (just $20 USD). The BBQs along the beach charge around $35 BZD for a small pack. A very generous portion of lobster with rice and veggies at Wish Willy was just $25 BZD.
16. Relax and go slow
The island’s motto is ‘go slow’ and it would be rude not to oblige! In addition to all the other great things to do in Caye Caulker, be sure to take some time to read a book, laze in a hammock or lay on the sand. There are plenty of beautiful spots to do so, all over the island.
The go slow motto is more than this though. After chatting with our wonderful Airbnb host, it really is a mantra for life. To take it easy, don’t rush things, focus on the moment and the beautiful place that you are in. Caye Caulker was the first stop on our 6 month Central America adventure, and it really did take us a few days to slow down a notch from our hectic lives in Australia.
Just in case you were struggling to manage your own internal clock, expect a 10-minute wait for service, a 20-minute wait for your coffee and up to an hour for your food – you’re forced to go slow on Caye Caulker!
I’ve already shared many fantastic spots to chill out, such as The Split and the Lazy Lizard, Ice and Beans, Northside Beach Club (aka Koko King) and the little beach I mentioned above outside of Sophie’s Guest House.
On the front side of the island, there are also a number of open sandy areas with lounges and hammocks. They technically belong to the adjacent hotels, but the vibe is pretty relaxed and I don’t think anyone is kicking people off public beaches, so you’d probably be safe to laze on a sun lounge for a few hours!
Where to eat and drink in Caye Caulker
There are so many good places to eat and drink in Caye Caulker! So many so, that we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to our favourite restaurants on Caye Caulker.
But for a quick summary, here are some of the best spots to eat and drink:
- Reina’s – typical Belizean food
- Steve’s Grill – best spot for seafood curries
- Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks – deep-fried dough stuffed with goodies of your choice
- Beach BBQ’S – chicken, seafood, and lobster grilled on a BBQ
- Namaste Cafe – fresh, healthy breakfasts
Where to stay in Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker has a range of great places to stay for all styles and budgets. Although do be aware you won’t find any 5-star luxury hotels and resorts here, which is what makes the island so special! We’ve written an accommodation guide, sharing our best recommendations for budget stays and hostels, comfortable mid-range options, and the best fancier accommodations on the island.
You can read that guide here, but below is a quick summary of our top picks:
- Sophie’s Guest House
- 💰 – $50 USD + per night check prices here
- Picololo Studio Apartments
- 💰💰 – $70 USD per night + check prices here
- Colinda Cabanas
- 💰💰 – $100 USD + per night check prices here
- Island Magic Beach Resort
- 💰💰💰 – $120 USD + per night check prices here
Caye Caulker travel information
Being an island, there are only two ways to get to Caye Caulker, by boat or by plane.
- ✈️ By Air – local airlines Tropic Air and Maya Island Air offer flights from Belize City to Caye Caulker multiple times daily. You can’t fly internationally to the island, a stop in Belize City is required. A flight is not really that much quicker than getting the ferry, and costs a whole lot more!
- 🛥️ By boat from within Belize – the most affordable and common way to arrive at Caye Caulker is by boat. San Pedro Express Belize Water Taxi is the most reputable company, and they offer services from Belize City (45 minutes) and from San Pedro on neighbouring Ambergris Caye (45 minutes). You can buy tickets online in advance, or turn up on the day. It is around $20 USD. If you’re coming from the airport, the cheapest way to get to the dock is by shared shuttle. Be aware the last ferry of the day from Belize City is 4:30 pm, so if you’re arriving late, you might need to stop over for a night.
- 🛥️ By boat from Mexico – it’s possible to take a boat from Chetumal in Mexico to Caye Caulker in Belize. The entire journey will take around 3 hours. With the first 1.5 hours to reach Ambergris Caye, where you will do Belize immigration, and another 45 minutes or so on to Caye Caulker. Water Jets International offer this service a few times per week, and you can book online. San Pedro Express Belize Water Taxi also runs this route.
There are no cars at all on Caye Caulker, and the only way to get around is on foot, by bike or by golf cart.
- 👣 By foot – the central area of the island where most restaurants, accommodations and tourist services are located is a small grid of sandy streets and is easily walkable. There aren’t any footpaths, but golf carts and bikes are slow, and are used to pedestrians on the road!
- 🚲 By bike – a bike makes things quicker and is a lot of fun. If your accommodation doesn’t include bicycles, ask them about renting one at an additional cost. Cruising around under the palms with the breeze blowing in your hair is one of the quintessential things to do in Caye Caulker, so be sure to rent a bike for at least one day!
- 🛒 By golf cart – lots of accommodations have golf carts and if you’re lucky will collect you from the ferry with your luggage. Otherwise, there are golf cart taxis zooming around the island, and usually, some waiting at the ferry dock. Golf carts are available for rent from a number of places on the island. They’re pretty expensive (upwards of $50 USD per day), and in our opinion, unnecessary. Although if you had kids or a bigger group, it might be worth considering.
How long to stay
This question totally depends on you and your schedule, and the purpose of your visit. For reference, we spent six nights on Caye Caulker. Although we could have easily stayed longer, we felt this was a great amount of time to cover most of the things to do in Caye Caulker, as well as plenty of relaxing.
I would recommend working out what tours and activities you want to do and working backwards from that. A snorkelling tour can take up most of a day, and a dive to distant reefs or the Blue Hole will most certainly be an entire day. Scenic flights have limited availability, so factor that in.
You can see the main section of the island in a matter of hours, but there are so many great beach bars, swimming spots, and laidback restaurants and cafes that you’ll want to hang out in for hours at a time. So don’t cut yourself short on the chill time! Go slow is the motto after all, and you can easily while away a day reading a book, alternating between sun baking and swimming in the warm Caribbean waters, or playing cards with a drink in hand.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the island is in Belize’s dry season, which runs from December – April. Being in the Caribbean, rain is possible at any time of the year, and short showers are common in January. But heavy or frequent rain is unusual during these months.
January does bring the northerly winds that are common throughout the region. Some days are worse than others, but the good thing about Caye Caulker is that if it is windy on the front side (the east), you can usually find a sheltered spot on the back side (the west). And a light breeze in the heat of the day keeps the temperature and humidity down.
Another thing to consider when planning your visit is the dreaded sargassum. The stinky seaweed that has plagued the Caribbean in recent years. Caye Caulker is not immune, and during the warmer months (May – October), piles of rotting seaweed wash ashore, emitting a very very pungent odour.
Again, being an island the beauty is that usually the west side is protected from the sargassum, so you can still find those crystal clear waters and postcard beaches. It’s hard to say exactly when the seaweed will arrive as it changes every year and is dependent on tides, winds and water temperature. But it’s generally safe to assume it won’t be there in huge amounts from around December – March.
We absolutely adored Caye Caulker. It ticked all our boxes for a tropical island – amazing snorkelling, good vibes, swaying palm trees, sparkling blue waters and epic sunsets. There are so many amazing things to do in Caye Caulker, and I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we did!
Our other Belize travel guides:
- Ragga Sailing Adventures 3D/2N Tour from Caye Caulker Review
- Tobacco Caye Travel Guide
- Hummingbird Highway Travel Guide
- San Ignacio Travel Guide