Caye Caulker is a tiny little island off the coast of Belize in Central America. It’s less than 1 mile wide and 5 miles long. BUT the Northern part of Caye Caulker is a protected forest reserve, the South is mainly just an air strip, making Caye Caulker Village around 300m from East to West and just over 1 mile North to South! There are no cars on the island, everyone either walks, rides a bike or drives around in a golf cart (the beer delivery truck is a tractor…). With an island motto of “Go Slow’ you can expect a stay in Caye Caulker to be pretty laid back and relaxing!
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Things To Do In Caye Caulker
The island may be small but here are 9 things to do on Caye Caulker!
Caye Caulker Snorkeling Tours
Belize first entered my radar when I found out it has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia). There are a few different companies that have snorkelling tours departing from Caye Caulker. From a fellow blogger recommendation, I went with Caveman Snorkeling Tours.
Sometimes the boats used for the tours are small with very little shade, there’s also not really anywhere to store bags. Either take a dry bag, as little as possible or if you take a normal bag they’ll provide you with a dustbin bag to try and keep it dry. It then just sits on the floor where it’s wet from all the bodies and life jackets going in and out of the water!
The tour is amazing for seeing larger marine animals with regular appearances from sting rays, sea turtles, nurse sharks, moray eels (creepy and awful) and if you’re travelling to Belize in the low season, there’s a chance you may see Manatees too, as they add it into their regular all day tour as a bonus!
The snorkel tour has 7 stops with the 4 main stops at: Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, a coral garden and a shipwrecked barge (I nearly puked at this stop…I don’t know if it was due to the current but loads of us felt rough at only this particular stop)! Dinner and a snack of fresh fruit is included on the tour. On the way back to Caye Caulker we fed tarpon fish, visited a seahorse reserve (this can be seen from land too) and even saw dolphins!
Caye Caulker Water Sports
I spent a lot of time in the water! You can hire jet skis, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards etc. I was lucky, my accommodation had free kayaks so I took that out one afternoon. There is a fairly strong current around Caye Caulker so keep this in mind that if you start paddling in one direction you’ll have to turn around at some point and paddle back!
Most of the island is surrounded by sea grass too, you’ll need to go out deep if you are after clear water! The Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill has a diving platform for those that are brave enough! If you want a more relaxing way to enjoy the water, both the Sip N Dip and Northside Beach Club have inner tubes you can float in (including mini tubes so you can float a bucket of beer next to you)! Northside Beach Club also has a water volleyball court and swimming pool.
Hammocks and Swings
If you’re like me, you’re likely to spend most of your time testing out different hammocks and swings around the island! There are certainly loads to choose from both on land, as restaurant seating and in the water at some of Caye Caulker’s beach bars!
Some accommodation have their own private jetty with hammocks on the end of them. These are great places to hang out (excuse the pun), even in 40c/104f these seem to catch a breeze, I often ended up with goose bumps which made a change from sweating like a pig!
The Best Beach in Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is mainly a limestone island and therefore it does lack beaches. There are places to access the water but not really anywhere to lay out a towel unless the sea wall is soft enough for you. Northside Beach Club on the north part of the island and has a good sized beach complete with sun loungers and hammocks, if you’re after a beach, this is where you should head. A free shuttle leaves the south island every 30 minutes (but you are expected to buy at least one drink).
Alternatively, lots of people hang out at the Split. This is a popular public swimming area.
Rooftop yoga was one of my favourite things to do in Caye Caulker! Classes at Namastle Cafe & Yoga take place at 9am Monday to Saturday and is pay by donation, the idea being to make yoga accessible to all people.
Jessie is a great instructor! Just like the ‘hammock jetties’, there’s a nice breeze on the rooftop! The class had both a mixture of male and females, young and old and people of different levels. Mats are also included! Since my visit, they have also opened up the cafe, serving drinks and healthy breakfast and lunch options!
Enjoy Caye Caulkers Colourfulness and Cute Street Signs
As you’ve probably guessed by now, Caye Caulker is ridiculously walkable, however cycling is also a fun way to get around. You can hire a bike or some accommodation have free bikes that you can use. *TIP* The bikes are rusty and don’t have the traditional handle bar brakes…you have to PEDDLE BACKWARDS to get them to stop!
I enjoyed just wandering around taking pictures of all the colourful buildings and if you have eagle eyes, you’ll come across cute little hand written signs! I really liked the beach path route rather than the main road just because it was closer to the water! One day I cycled to…
Caye Caulker Mini Reserve
Caye Caulker Mini Reserve is a tiny nature reserve right next to the airstrip. There are little walkways through the trees where you’re likely to see lots of lizards. *Big BIG TIP* Wear bug spray!!! The are 5 million mosquitos in the reserve and man those ones seemed to hurt more than all the other ones put together!!
Catch A Sunset
One of the best places to watch the sunset in Caye Caulker is at the Lazy Lizard! Everyone gathers on the sea wall that borders the Split and enjoys happy hour as the sun sets! Alternatively, Koko King has beach bonfires once it gets dark! Apparently it’s one of the only places on the island where you can see both the sunrise and the sunset!
Other Belize Excursions
You may have seen photos of the Great Blue Hole, a giant round sink hole in the middle of the sea that’s 124m deep and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can arrange tours to scuba dive into the hole or take a scenic flight over the top of it! Of course there are tour operators on the island that can also arrange tours for things to do on the Mainland such as Altun Ha Mayan Ruins or Cave Tubing but these involve catching the water taxi back to Belize City and then taking land transportation.
Related Reading: “Butts Up! Nuts Up!” | What To Expect Cave Tubing in Belize
Caye Caulker Restaurants and Cheap Eats
I did a LOT of eating while in Caye Caulker! I mainly tried to stick to a cheap budget and shock horror I don’t actually like seafood which make up the majority of Caye Caulker restaurant food guides. Here are a few different options!
Jenny’s To Go Food or Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks
Other than British food that I miss, I can’t pin point another food that I’ve had on my travels, that I crave as much as what I do Fry Jacks!!! Belizean Fry Jacks are deep fried dough/puffy bread that come with various fillings such as ham, egg, refried beans, cheese and chicken. My go to was ham and egg which set me back all of $3.50BZD/$1.75USD.
Ice N Beans – Ice N Beans is a little coffee shop that opens at 6am, great for the early risers! They sell coffee (iced and hot), teas (the passionfruit iced tea is yummy), bubble waffles and I liked the build your own yoghurt option…a slightly healthier option than Fry Jacks!
Of course one of the best things to do on Caye Caulker is eat ice cream! I tried out 3 different ice cream shops while on the island:
The Creamery: Actually has air conditioning which is rare as most restaurants and bars are open air…even my accommodation had no air con! I used to go in because the lady had the UK Radio 1 on (as a Brit now living in the USA, I was like a moth to the flame!).
Gelato Italiano Anna & Armando: I prefer gelato to ice cream and I loved the gelato from here but I literally had to inhale it because it melted so fast!
Scoop D’s: Try the handmade Belizian Fudge!
Just Say The Word Baby!!! – I’m not sure what his official name is so we’ll call him ‘Just Say The Word Baby’! It’s a VERY happy, upbeat guy on a bike, he wears a big white chefs hat and apron and sells homemade cakes. He peddles around the island shouting out ‘Just say the word baby!!!’, if you say the word, he stops! He often had a couple of different choices, 2 treats cost $5BZD/$2.50USD. I liked the coconut tarts.
Caye Caulker Bakery – The Caye Caulker Bakery is popular with the locals and for good reason. It opens for a few hours in the morning and then again for a few in the afternoon. They have fresh homemade bread and cakes. The closer to opening time you get there, the more choice you have, once things have gone, they’re gone! I bought a large rock bun for $1.25BZD/$0.63USD!
Chef Juan’s – My accommodation recommended Chef Juan’s and it didn’t disappoint! A family in front of me asked the chef’s son what his favourite dish was, he said the coconut chicken curry which cost $18BZD/$9USD and came with rice and a side salad. I’m not great with spice but it was perfect! He also has really good cake too! (Outside seating only)
Around lunch and dinner time, several pop up barbecues appear along Front Street. You can get things like jerk chicken, rice and beans for $12BZD/$6USD.
Non Alcoholic Drinks/Juices
You’re in the Caribbean so of course you have to have a coconut! These are $5BZD/$2.50USD. They often lacked change for higher denomination notes (even $10USD notes!) so make sure you have small change for these vendors!
Sea Choice Juice Bar – Sea Choice Juice Bar is located right next door to Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks, so it’s a great choice for a breakfast drink! (It’s also cheaper than some of the vendors on Front Street). 1 litre of freshly squeezed juice costs $5BZD/$2.50USD. Putting this into perspective, a 1 litre bottle of water is $2USD. There are several flavours to choose from, including mixed smoothie style ones (without the ice).
Where To Stay In Caye Caulker
I stayed at Colinda Cabanas which is located in a quieter area of Caye Caulker Village. I was sold on the private hammock that each room had on their deck (although I actually spent more time in the hammocks on the jetty)! I loved all the little additions that you received as a guest of Colinda Cabanas. Each guest had free usage of:
- Their own personal bike
- Kayaks (first come first served), snorkel gear and floats that you could use in the sea
- A communal shelf of left over products (the aftersun someone left was a LIFESAVER)
- A filtered water dispenser
- A mini library in each room
- Tea and Coffee maker (plus kettle)
*Note* SOME of the cabanas do not have air con! I opted for the cheaper room without the air con because I always end up turning it off anyway because I hate being cold. There are fans in these rooms instead!
How To Get to Caye Caulker from Belize City
I wrote a whole step by step guide taking you from the door of the airplane in Belize City, to the boat dock in Caye Caulker! There are 2 different water taxi companies that serve the island, the San Pedro Express and Ocean Ferry. You can find the schedules and information about the two companies in this post:
More Information on Belize Travel
My MUST pack travel item for Caye Caulker would be a Rash Guard! I always travel with mine when I know I’ll be spending time in the water. A lady on my snorkelling tour said that she wished she had one too so I’m not alone in thinking they are awesome 😉 They don’t bubble up like a t-shirt in water, they are lightweight and roll up really small for those that like to pack light!
I visited during low season (June), here are my Tips For Visiting Belize, including information about which currency to use, how safe I felt as a solo female traveller and more. Or here is a 7 day itinerary which you may find helpful! Belize Itinerary: Belize 7 Day Itinerary For Caye Caulker & Belize City
These were some of my favourite things Caye Caulker things to do and I hope you enjoy them too! Any questions? Let me know!