1. Belize Blogs
  2. Travel Guide

The Official Caye Caulker Belize Travel Guide: What to Expect?

By 4/2/2019 4 minutes

About Caye Caulker

There's plenty to see and do in Belize. Destinations like Placencia, San Ignacio, and Hopkins Village are thriving hubs of culture and activity that only become even more lively as tourists pour in for the vacation winter season. But if you're looking for something more off the beaten path, Caye Caulker offers everything you could want and more.

Which is to say, Caye Caulker offers a whole lot less than its more popular and populated contemporaries. Caye Caulker is little more than an island located off the coast of Belize property right in the Caribbean Sea. Underneath is a complex network of underseas caves. The Caye itself is four miles long at its widest point, and the single settlement constitutes only a mile in width.

Less is better where Caye Caulker is concerned. Here you can explore at your own pace without the risk of meticulously planned tour itineraries and crowds of tourisms. The Caye's location makes it a prime launching point for adventures in the Barrier Reef or activities in the Caribbean Sea. And despite the seemingly isolated location of Caye Caulker, you're never too far from where the action is. Belize City is a mere 12 miles away.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide
Caye Caulker Travel Guide

And despite the remoteness of Caye Caulker, it won't just be you and the locals. Once a sleepy fishing island, it's since developed into a popular hangout spot for those in the know. The village itself has developed a thriving cultural scene and a vibrant nightlife, and it's a top spot for wayward backpackers, outdoor adventurers, and beach bum expatriates. The real appeal of Belize comes from its natural and untapped beauty and the hospital and gregarious nature of its native residents, and you'll find plenty of both in and around Caye Caulker.

How to Get to Caye Caulker

Since it's home to the country's only international airport (and is a popular waypoint for overland travelers from other countries), most travelers to Caye Caulker will be departing from Belize City. Fortunately, the Caye isn't nearly as provincial as it once was. Whatever your budget or preferred mode of travel, you can find a way to the island any time of the year.

By Air

All international flights to Belize arrive in Belize City, and the city is conveniently also the access point for all connecting domestic flights. You'll pay a little more to fly to Caye Caulker, but it's also a quick and convenient alternative to the water taxi. Two airlines - Maya Island Air and Tropic Air - offer daily flights from Belize City Airport to the island, and they conveniently land at the Caye Caulker Airstrip. The entire trip takes about ten minutes, but a ticket will cost you approximately $150. The airstrip itself is barely more than a mile from the heart of the village. If you need a shuttle service, be sure to contact Belizing for the best deals.

By Water Taxi

The slightly longer trip to Caye Caulker is by water taxi, but it's still a short ride. A water taxi ride takes roughly 45 minutes in total. Fortunately, an adult ticket (one way) can be had for ten dollars or less, and it's a great way to expose yourself to the Caribbean Sea for the first time.

The water taxi does take a little extra work. You'll need to take a traditional taxi from the Belize International Airport to the water taxi terminal in Belize City. You can also book a shuttle to the water taxi terminal if you're located inland. The rates are flat and set at $25. Keep in mind that the last water taxi to Caye Caulker departs at 5:30, so you'll want to plan your trip accordingly if you don't intend to spend the night in Belize City.

Book Water Taxi to Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - How to get to Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - How to get to Caye Caulker

Top Things to See and Do in Caye Caulker

Once you arrive in Caye Caulker, there's a plethora of things to do. The great thing is that the small size of the island means that you can plan your itinerary at your own pace. Here are some of the best and most popular activities on the Caye.

Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley

Located off the coast of Caye Caulker Island, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley is one of the most popular destinations for snorkelers in the entire country. The Reserve itself consists of four diverse zones that allow you to really soak in the diversity of the habitat. You'll find coral reef, grass beds, mangrove forest, and the eponymous Shark Ray Alley.

Dive the Reef

If you're looking to plunge a little deeper than what Hol Chan offers, you'll want to make an expedition out to the Barrier Reef. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest habitat of its kind in the world, and it offers one of the most diverse underwater ecosystems you'll find anywhere. Five hundred species of fish, hundreds of invertebrates, and over a hundred varieties of coral all call this reef their home.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Snorkeling
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Diving

Rent a Bike and Explore the Island

The modest size of the island means that it can be explored in its entirety without ever having to rent a car. If you're looking to get out of the village property and ignore the planned itineraries of tour guides, bikes can be rented for a pittance. There's no better way to immerse yourself in the unique environment of this small caye.

Take a Sunset Cruise or Watch a Sunset

The sun looks absolutely gorgeous setting over the Caribbean Sea, and sunset tours have become big business in the area. But you don't have to rent a cruise to enjoy the majesty of the setting sun. Koko King and Seahorse Ranch Reserve are both phenomenal locations for a little sunset spectating.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Bike Rentals
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Sunset Cruise

Visit the Split

If you're going to take a bike to explore the Caye, one of the best places to visit is the Split. This is where the Caribbean Sea literally splits the surface of the island in half. It's a popular launching point for diving, swimming, and snorkeling, and it's also home to a convenient bar and grill.

Go Fishing

Before it was a tourist destination, Caye Caulker was just a rustic, placid fishing village. There's still an abundance of fish to catch, and there are both half day and full day options from the village proper. Even if you don't catch anything, getting out on the open waters is an experience worth having while you're on the island.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - The Split
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Fishing

Hangout and Relax at Koko King

Koko King is one of the most popular beach destinations in the area, but it's a great place to spend an afternoon even if you aren't staying there. Relax on the seaside swings, take a dip in the Caribbean Sea, or enjoy a nice bite and drink at the full service bar and restaurant.

Bird Watch around the Island

Both boat and kayak bird watching tours are available from Caye Caulker, and the island is rife with flying wildlife. Caye Caulker Forest is a particularly worthwhile spot to visit, as it's home to a robust habitat of birds that includes white herons, hawks, osprey, and ducks all year long. Walking tours are also available.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Koko King
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Bird Watching

Partake in Water Sports

Scuba diving and snorkeling are far and away the most popular activities out on the ocean, but they're far from the only ones. If you consider yourself an aquatic athlete, you'll have plenty of options to flex your muscles off the coast of Caye Caulker. Kayaking, paddle board, and jet skiing constitute some of the most popular attractions.

Swim in the Sea

It goes without saying that you can't visit the island without taking a dip in the warm waters of the Caribbean. The island is so small that you're never too far away from a glistening beach, and you don't have to pay a penny for the privilege of taking a dip.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Water Sports
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Swimming

Visit Swallow Caye to See Manatees

The wildlife sanctuary of Swallow Caye is an easy day trip from Caye Caulker. The shallow waters and prodigious beds of seagrass makes it a particularly appealing safe haven for the gentle and endangered manatee. It may be the best place in the world to meet the placid sea cow in its natural habitat.

Find Tours Near Caye Caulker

Where to Stay in Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is a place where everyone's welcomed, and the diversity of activities to be had means that people come from all walks of life. Fortunately, the residents of this small island provide open arms and an expansive selection of accommodations.

If you're backpacking your way through Central America and looking to get by on a shoestring budget, you'll find no lack of hostels, budget motels, and affordable B&Bs. You may want to try browsing Airbnb, where you'll have plenty of opportunities to rent out a private apartment, guesthouse, or duplex at a reasonable rate.

If you're looking to live the good life and be waited on hand and foot, Caye Caulker is also home to some of the best luxury accommodations in the entirety of Belize. Spots like We'Yu Boutique Hotel, Caye Caulker Plaza, Iguana Reef, and Rainbow Hotel are renowned throughout Belize and throughout the world for their hospitality and the quality of their accommodations. And for those looking for something in between budget housing and utter decadence, there are plenty of mid-range hotels and motels available as well. Another quality option to consider is Barefoot Beach Belize Resort.

You can generally find a place to stay for a fraction of what you'd pay in America, but whatever your price range, you should make sure to do your research. Between popular sites like Trip Advisor, Booking.com, and Expedia, you can find a place to stay that suits your budget and lives up to the promises they make.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Where to Stay
Caye Caulker Travel Guide - Where to Stay
Learn More
/ Group
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Snorkeling at Hol Chan, visiting the nurse sharks and the stingrays, snorkeling with the manatees, feeding the tarpons and visiting the seahorses definitely needs a whole day. This ... moreis a full day full of Fun!
Pick up time can either be 8:00 am or 8:30 - you decide. The first stop is at Hol Chan - "Little Channel". That is our first snorkeling stop. Once completed, less than 3 minutes boat ride we get to Shark and Ray Alley. Here you can either stay on the boat and snap pictures or go in the water to SWIM with the marine species like nurse sharks, stingrays, horse-eye jacks and much more fish. We bring sardine to feed them...
After that, we move towards our sister island Caye Caulker. We head to the Northern Channel where we go look out for the manatees. Once spotted, you get on your snorkeling gears and go in to snorkel with them. So Marvelous!

We then go to the island and visit the famous "Split" which divides the island into two parts that were caused in 1961 by hurricane Hattie. On the leeward part of the island, we go to feed the big tarpons from the boat - if you are brave enough! Lol. Not too far we have the seahorse city reserve. You get to look at them. Once all of this is done, normally around 12:30 pm we go to the island to walk and find a restaurant of your choice where you will have lunch. We depart from Caye Caulker to San Pedro around 3:00 pm.
/ Person
Blue Tang Inn Relax at Blue Tang Inn in one of our Garden View Suites. This package also includes a ½ day sail and snorkel trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley ... moreon the 40 foot Sirena Azul Sailboat.
/ Person
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
40 USD per person Starts from 5 pm to 7 pm
/ Person
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
AMAZING SAILING AND SNORKELING ADVENTURES Begin your day by sailing to Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley. You will enjoy a guided snorkel through the Marine Reserve and ... moreneighboring Shark Ray Alley. Once back on board you can rinse off with fresh water and settle in for the sail to Caye Caulker.

When we reach Caye Caulker you will have time to have lunch on your own & explore our quaint sister island. After lunch, enjoy a leisurely sail back to San Pedro.
/ Person
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
Marine Reserve Snorkeling 40 USD per person Starts from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm / 2pm to 5 pm.
/ Person
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
Esmeralda and Tackle Box Dive is a unique spot to see many marine friends. Here you get the chance to see large groupers, Dolphins, Lobsters, Nurse Sharks and also the bright and eye-catching ... morecolors of the corals. If you're lucky you get the chance to see eagle rays as well. This tour has two dives, First dive we dive approximately 70ft/21m for 50 minutes between the canyons and secondly we dive approximately 60ft/18m for 45 minutes.
/ Person
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
Hol Chan is the oldest marine reserve in Belize. It is approximately 30 years old. When you are around Caye Caulker or San Pedro, you must visit Hol Chan. You can see all the creatures ... morefrom the Caribbean sea at Hol Chan within a few hours.
/ Person
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
Go out on a Full day Snorkelling tour to the Hol Chan & Marine Reserve. Snorkel at four different locations the shark & ray alley, coral gardens, sea turtles, and manatees; ... morealong the north channel of the barrier reef.

*Complements* Tarpons and seahorses are extra stops that we offer in our full-day tours.

Lunch is included and vegetarian options are available.
Required for RETURN to the USA
Required by the US Government. Testing service for compliance with CDC travel requirements. The Belize Ministry of Health has approved testing for travelers through private facilities ... moreand mobile testing units. Our preferred provider is Belize Diagnostic Center, the leader in Covid-19 testing services in Belize with locations available countrywide. Book Now to save your spot.

Update: As of June 12, 2022, some US-bound air travelers may no longer need a test. An official announcement from the CDC is expected soon.
Book My Test

Get the Latest Belize Travel Updates and Restrictions
Hassle-Free booking. Submit your booking request, and we will secure your appointment and send reminders before your test date. You don't pay until we confirm an appointment with an approved test lab.

Get tested before your departure date to avoid delays at the airport. Keep your results handy and be prepared to show them when required at the airport. This testing requirement applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents.

To reduce the introduction and spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, CDC issued an Order effective January 26, 2021. It requires all air passengers arriving in the US from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result OR documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.
Same Day
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye), Caye Caulker, San Ignacio Town, Hopkins, Placencia, Belize City, Belmopan, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town, Other (or unknown)
Ali Wunderman
Ali Wunderman joins us in the studio for a conversation about the new Belize covid-19 travel restrictions and her experience traveling back to Belize for the first time during the ... morepandemic. We discuss the new travel protocols and her experience arriving in Belize and visiting different areas of the country. With travel to Belize now fully reopened, including the return of cruise tourism in July 2021, there are some updated protocols and procedures that travelers should be aware of. Ali walks us through her experience and explains why traveling to Belize is as easy as 1-2-3.
Guest Name:
Ali Wunderman

Belizing Staff

0 reviews   0 comments
How useful was this blog post?