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Travel Guide to Caye Caulker, Belize

Guide to Caye Caulker eating, swimming and exploring.

After having spent time in Mexico, we decided to go to Caye Caulker. We spent 4 days here which I think was the perfect amount of time as the island is small. Here is a guide to Caye Caulker:

Belize Travel

Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a captivating gem in Central America that promises an unforgettable travel experience. With its pristine Caribbean coastline, lush rainforests, ancient Mayan ruins, and a vibrant blend of cultures. From snorkeling the mesmerising

Belize Barrier Reef (the second-largest coral reef system in the world), to laid-back atmosphere that captures the essence of Caribbean charm.

caye caulker belize
Caye Caulker, Belize

Is Belize safe?

A lot of people ask if Belize is safe. I travelled from Mexico, across the border by car and foot and therefore avoided any cities. During my time in Belize I felt completely safe and would recommend it highly for solo travel or travelling females.

Where is Caye Caulker?

Caye Caulker is a small island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea. This small limestone coral island rests within the Caribbean Sea and is part of the Belize Barrier Reef system, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Known for its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, Caye Caulker offers stunning turquoise waters, vibrant marine life, and a tranquil tropical environment. Its geographical location within the barrier reef makes it a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and enjoying the coastal beauty that Belize is renowned for.

How to get to Caye Caulker

We came from Mexico to Caye Caulker, but I've also included other travel options.

Getting from Tulum, Mexico to Caye Caulker

We were staying in Tulum in Mexico before we came to Caye Caulker and didn't want to fly as it was really expensive and also would have taken a long time going back to Cancun. We ended up getting the bus from Tulum's main bus station, to Chetumal, then getting a taxi across the border and then a ferry from Corozal. I did a whole separate blog post on crossing the border that has a lot more information. You can view the How to Cross the Mexico Belize Border blog here.

Getting from Belize City to Caye Caulker

Departing from the mainland's coast, water taxis and ferry services provide the primary mode of transportation. You can access the boats from Belize City's marine terminals, with the journey taking around 30 to 45 minutes.

Getting from San Pedro to Caye Caulker

Ferries and water taxis serve as the main modes of transportation between these two islands. You can get them from San Pedro's main pier and offer regular services connecting the islands. The trip takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

What is Caye Caulker like?

Caye Caulker is the perfect place to escape every day life and enjoy island life; their motto is 'Go Slow'. It's is divided into two parts (after being hit by a Hurricane), the south part of the island is where everything happens and the north of the island is almost uninhabited. The north and the south are divided by 'The Split' - a channel of water where you need a boat to cross. The locals are friendly, it's got a great vibe to it and it feels really safe.

This blog post includes some of the best things to do in Caye Caulker as well as some of the best restaurants and bars we went to.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide

Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker

Where to stay in Caye Caulker

Rainbow Hotel, Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is a small island and therefore accommodation is limited and I would say it's mostly 'rustic', unless you are willing to spend a lot of money. As the island is small, not many hotels have pools, however I don't think this matters as you are always close to the sea.

Rainbow Hotel Caye Caulker
Rainbow Hotel, Caye Caulker

We stayed at the Rainbow Hotel. It was a great location and reasonably priced (£90 / 110 USD a night). The rooms were basic, but clean, comfortable and spacious.

Caye Caulker is a small island and surrounded by water and beaches but that doesn't mean all of it is good for swimming/sunbathing. There are many jetties/ports for boats in Caye Caulker, as well as some of the sand being used as roads for vehicles, therefore I think it's important to find a hotel that has sun loungers or a section of beach that you can use to relax, sunbathe and swim.

Rainbow Hotel Caye Caulker
Rainbow Hotel, Caye Caulker

Things to do in Caye Caulker

Aside from eating and drinking there are loads of things to do and see in Caye Caulker and some of them are free!

1. Hire a bike and explore the island

You can probably see the whole of the island in about 30 minutes on a bike (as it's so small), but it's a good way to see it quickly! A lot of the hotels have bike hire, so even if you aren't staying there, go to reception and ask if you can hire a bike for a couple of hours.

caye caulker belize
Cycling in Caye Caulker

2. See the stingrays at Stingray Point / Iguana Reef Inn

This is AMAZING! It's the closest I've ever got to a stingray. You can step into the water (it's safe; they are very friendly and rarely hurt people) or just see them from the edge. There are also Pelicans that come and an area where you see the seahorses. Visit this area at sunset (and the sunsets are AMAZING) at Iguana Reef Inn (they have lots of seating, sunbeds etc and a bar).

singray point caye caulker
Stingray Point, Caye Caulker

3. Visit North Caye Caulker - Northside Beach Club

Caye Caulker is divided by a narrow channel of water. The south part is where all the hotels, restaurants, bars etc are and there isn't much happening on the North. You can visit the north by a boat that leaves every 15/30 mins from the south part on Calle del Sol (just Google King Koko Water Taxi to find the exact location). The boat is free on the assumption that you will spend money on food and drinks when you are over there. We went over there one morning to chill out and it was great to start with as there were lots of sun loungers and the water was really calm for swimming, but soon the music got so loud we decided to leave.

Northside Beach Club Caye Caulker
Northside Beach Club, Caye Caulker

We had heard that there was nothing else on the North Island, so we went for a walk to see if we could find some quiet beaches and there really was nothing apart from a lot of construction work and bushed areas.

4. Snorkeling in Caye Caulker - Caveman Snorkeling Tour

A must do whilst you are in Caye Caulker (or anywhere in Belize), is to go snorkeling. I've been snorkeling a lot and I can say that Belize is some of the best I've done. A lot of people go to Belize to visit the 'blue hole' which is an iconic and famous part of Belize. I heard the diving is meant to be great here, but in terms for snorkeling, I think you are best off doing a tour nearer Caye Caulker which will take less time and is cheaper - apparently you can't even really tell it's a blue hole once in it (mostly looks wow from the air).

There are loads of options for snorkeling trips on Caye Caulker but we went for the 'Caveman Snorkeling Tour' as we had heard good things.

We opted for the 'full day tour' which was 10.30am - 3.30pm (5 hours) but they also offer 'half day tours' (that last 3 hours). The full day tour cost 90 USD each and I think it was worth it for the quality of snorkeling, the amazing things you get to see and the staff were great.

The tour included:

  • Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, flippers)

  • Fruit

  • Lunch

The tour went to the following areas:|

  • Hol Chan Min Marine Reserve - so much amazing wildlife including turtles, stingrays, loads of different fish, eels and nurse sharks

  • Shark Ray Valley - you get to swim with Nurse Sharks

  • Coral Gardens

  • Chatos Area

  • A shipwreck - a sunken barge that is full of wildlife

On the way they also take you to several stops around Caye Caulker:

  • To see and feed massive Tarpon fish - this was incredible!

  • To see and visit a local alligator that lives on Caye Caulker

  • To an area where manatees are - we got to see one from a distance but it isn't guaranteed they will be around

I would recommend booking your tour in advance so you can get the slot you want.

snorkeling caye caulker
Snorkeling, Caye Caulker

Where to eat in Caye Caulker

I can't say I loved the food in Caye Caulker. I had just come from Mexico so had eaten some of the best meals ever, then got to Belize and can't say any dinners I had stuck with me to remember. There are loads of restaurants around and you can just turn up and eat and drink without a reservation. There are lots of options for fresh fish and if you go the right time of year you can eat lobster for really cheap.

I did really enjoy the breakfasts I had in Caye Caulker, so here are my recommendations:

1. Ice N Beans Cafe

The breakfast food here is incredible! The menu is vast and has everything including eggs, bagels, doughnuts, bubble waffles and my highlight... the best cinnamon buns I've ever had in my life! The setting is great as it's right on the beach. Ice N Beans is really popular so you often have to wait a while for food, but it's worth it!

ice n beans caye caulker
Ice N Beans Cafe, Caye Caulker

2. Namaste Cafe

We had a nice breakfast here but I would say the choice is much for limited than Ice N Beans. This cafe also offers yoga which would be nice if you wanted to do that, then eat here after.

Namaste Cafe, Caye Caulker
Namaste Cafe, Caye Caulker

Where to drink in Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker has a variety of different vibes from quiet bars overlooking the sea to ones with loud music where the parties go into the early morning.

1. Lazy Lizard Bar

Probably one of the most famous bars in Caye Caulker. Situated just on the Split, it's busy most days and nights with music. I'd say go here if you want a party!

Lazy Lizard, Caye Caulker
Lazy Lizard, Caye Caulker

2. The Pelican Sunset Bar

The perfect place to watch the sunset. Great cocktails, very chilled vibe and the staff are really friendly and welcoming.

The Pelican Sunset Bar, Caye Caulker
The Pelican Sunset Bar, Caye Caulker

3. Iguana Reef Inn

Some of the best sunsets are here. The bar is part of a hotel but anyone is welcome and here you can see the stingrays, pelicans and sea horses whilst enjoying a cold beer as the sun sets.

Iguana Reef Inn, Caye Caulker
Iguana Reef Inn, Caye Caulker

4. Sip N Dip

This bar has a jetty going out into the sea where you can sit and have a drink whilst looking at all the wildlife in the sea. They also have sunken tables in the sea, making it a perfect place to drink/eat whilst keeping cool in the ocean.

sip n dip caye caulker
Sip N Dip, Caye Caulker

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