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Caye Caulker Travel guide

Caye Caulker, a small island off the coast of Belize is the obvious choice for a bit of relaxation. But what is there to do in Caulker Caye other than lazing around in a hammock all day? Well in this Caye Caulker travel guide, I’m going to tell you about everything you need to know to plan a great trip such as Caye Caulker hotels, how to get to Caye Caulker from Belize City, things to do in Caye Caulker and many more!

Belize Caye Caulker “Go Slow” motto will have you hooked in no time. In fact, if you haven’t come to Caye Caulker to visit the Blue Hole in Belize it can be quite easy to forget any need to explore at all. But there are some great things to do in Caye Caulker that a lot of visitors miss.

While it’s not as flashy as its big brother, Ambergris Caye to the north with its pristine beaches and 5-star resorts that can be considered as one of the best hotels in Caye Caulker, Caulker Caye has a laid-back charm that appeals to many. Not to mention an abundance of delicious cafes and restaurants, and happy hour deals that make getting off of that hammock almost worth it!

Belize Caye Caulker island became a lot smaller after Hurricane Hattie tore through it in 1961. The villagers dug out a channel for canoes following the storm damage to the center of the island. But it has since eroded into a 20-foot deep channel splitting the island into two.

Now many just visit the southern part of the Belize Caye Caulker island as the north is much less developed. Although not large there is plenty of things to do in Caye Caulker.

Did You Get Insurance Yet?

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything!

The Insurance companies I personally recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single trip cover, annual multi trip cover, and long term travel cover.

Safety Wing is great value with monthly cover starting at $39. It’s super easy to use and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here where I go into detail about the companies. 

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Guide to Caye Caulker Belize
Guide to Caye Caulker

Top Things to do in Caye Caulker

  1. Go Scuba Diving
  2. See
  3. Snorkeling on the reef
  4. Kayak in the Forest Reserve
  5. Eat Seafood at Wish Willy
  6. Cool off in The Split
  7. Go swimming with the nurse sharks
  8. Chill out at Koko King
  9. Take a Catamaran Cruise
  10. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

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Where I've been

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 

Best Caye Caulker Tours: Click here to check out the top Caye Caulker tours
Best Caye Caulker Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Caye Caulker
Best Caye Caulker Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Caye Caulker

A sign that says the split in front of a beach in Caye Caulker.

10 Things to do In Caye Caulker

1. Go Scuba Diving

Dive on the world’s second-largest barrier reef when you’re traveling to Belize Caye Caulker. The Meso American Reef stretches over 1000 km’s from Mexico to Honduras. It has some of the clearest water and most abundant marine life on the planet and is a must for an avid diver.

Lighthouse Atoll is one of the most popular dive sites from Caye Caulker but there is an endless amount to choose from. Blue Sea Diving and Frenchie’s Diving offer experienced divemasters and well-maintained equipment starting from $120 for two dives.

2. See The Blue Hole

One of the top things to do in Caye Caulker is to see the blue hole. The Blue Hole is at the top of almost every diver’s bucket list. At 300m across and 125m deep, it’s one of the most impressive sights in the ocean. 

It’s not cheap though with trips costing around 450 BZD for a three-tank dive, not including the park entrance fee.  If you aren’t a diver you can tag along on the 2-hour boat ride to snorkel the Blue Hole for around 350 BZD. But the best way to see this impressive natural wonder and the surrounding coral reefs is by air. It’s a sight not to be missed.

3. Do a multi-day Snorkeling trip

If you have more time to spend in Caye Caulker, there are plenty of companies offering multi-day sailing and snorkel trips. Most include a BBQ on the beach and a stay on uninhabited paradise islands. Prices generally start at 800 BZD per person.

4. Kayak in the Forest Reserve

There is a 100-acre forest reserve in Belize Caye Caulker to explore. Here you will find red, black, and white mangroves along with birds, sea life, and plants all accessible by kayak. Picture this beautiful Caulker Caye spot, and prepare yourself to be amazed by the beauty!

5. Eat Seafood at Wish Willy

Wish Willys is one of the most authentic restaurants on Caye Caulker and something of a local institution. Wish Willy, or Maurice Moore, was born in Belize but moved to Chicago to become a chef.

He returned to the island to start his very own restaurant serving up fresh seafood straight from the Caribean sea. It’s best described as having a BBQ in your friend’s backyard if your friend has large dreadlocks and his backyard is a paradise island. Exploring the seafood is one of the things to do in Caye Caulker.

6. Cool off in The Split

The Split is the place to be on Belize Caye Caulker island. Although it can be busy it’s a beautiful spot to grab a deckchair or towel and go for a swim. Make sure to swim in the protected sea pool or shallow areas to avoid strong currents. Head to the Lazy Lizard at happy hour to make the most of the discounts, as the drinks can be pricey compared to other places on the island.

7. Go swimming with the nurse sharks

and Shark Ray Alley are popular boat trips from Belize Caye Caulker. Snorkel trips don’t disappoint with big sightings of loggerhead turtles, southern stingrays, and nurse sharks in abundance. Highly endangered Manatees also hang around the waters here, nursing their young in the protected sea gardens. Half-day trips to see the manatee reserve in a responsible way can cost around 75 BZD.

8. Chill out at Koko King

Koko King lies on the untouched north side of the Belize Caye Caulker. It’s one of the few true sandy beaches on Caulker Caye with a resort-like vibe, a fully stocked international bar, and Full Moon parties.

You can even stay overnight if the drinks are a bit too free-flowing for the returning boat ride. There are no roads here but you can get a free water taxi from the main island, which picks people up every hour at the dock at the end of Calle de Sol Road.

9. Take a Catamaran Cruise

Live your best life by doing this adventurous things to do in Caye Caulker! Hopping on to a day trip on a catamaran cruise. Explore protected marine reserves, swim in crystal clear waters and relax on deck with a cocktail in hand. Find a great deal by asking around the stalls in town the night before and spend the whole of the next day in luxury soaking up the rays.

10. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

If you’ve had enough of all that relaxing, why not try something a little different in Caye Caulker? It’s time for some fun things to do in Caye Caulker!

There couldn’t be a more perfect place to try paddleboarding, with tranquil waters and wildlife to spot around every corner. Rentals start at 30 BZD for one hour or take a group lesson with Reef Break Surf Shop, 60 BZD for 2hours.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide Information

Caye Caulker is a small island in Belize situated in Central America. Belize Caye Caulker shares borders with Guatemala, Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The official language in Belize is English, although Spanish is also widely spoken

The currency in Caye Caulker is the Belize Dollar (BZD)

The dialing code of Belize is +501

The water may not be safe to drink from the tap in most places in Belize Caye Caulker, however, you will find filtered water in most places to fill up your water bottle.

Eco-Friendly Tourism

Make sure to use a reputable company when viewing the wildlife around the Cayes. Many operations feed the nurse sharks from the boats, which isn’t really necessary as there are plenty of sharks to see.

Plastic pollution is also a huge issue here, with tourist boats contributing to the problem.

Do your research and only support tourism companies that are environmentally conscious. 

A sign on a dock in Caye Caulker, a scenic destination with breathtaking waterfront views.

Caye Caulker Budget Per Day

Backpackers Budget – $90 BZD 

Accommodation: 30 BZD
Food: 20 BZD
Activities & Transport: 40 BZD

Mid Budget – $220 BZD 

Accommodation: 100 BZD
Food: 50 BZD
Activities & Transport: 70 BZD

Luxury Budget – $425 BZD 

Accommodation: 175 BZD
Food: 100 BZD
Activities & Transport: 150 BZD

Caye Caulker Resturants

Caye Caulker Travel Guide The Best Caye Caulker Restaurants

Culinary, one of the must things to do in Caye Caulker. If there’s one reason to come to Caulker Caye it’s the food and there are plenty of Caye Caulker restaurants to choose from.

Although Belize has a fantastic mix of Creole, American, Spanish and African cuisine, eating in Caye Caulker is something special. It’s popularity with tourists and the idyllic location has led it to be a bit of a mecca for ex-pat chefs and restaurants. Not to mention the superb locals serving up some of the most delicious Belizean food money can buy.

Meldy’s fried chicken is the one thing I’d repeatedly heard about Belize Caye Caulker in the months leading up to our first visit. My partner had visited 5 years earlier and raved about this lady’s beach shack. “The best fried chicken in the world” he had claimed.

When we found Meldy had moved her operation to her house due to popular demand we knew we had to find it. Once you are past the bouncers (a small pack of her dogs), take a seat on Meldy’s front porch for some of the best home cooking you are ever likely to have. There isn’t a menu, you’ll just get invited to go and have a look in her kitchen to see what’s in. Possibly some of the best fried chicken around.

Fran’s is another local Belize Caye Caulker restaurant  who just wants to feed you up and maybe even get you slightly toasted too. Homemade Jerk chicken, mash, and all you can drink fresh coconut rum on the beach for 15 BZD. Who could say no? Belize Caye Caulker island is most famous though for fresh seafood, especially lobster.

Get a whole lobster at Enjoy Restaurant and Bar for just 20 Belizean dollars. If you time it just right and come at the end of fishing season in February, cheap lobster is available everywhere. If you are a big fan of the crustacean come in July for Lobsterfest. The festival celebrating all things lobster includes music, contests, cocktails, and even lobster ice cream. Another recommended things to do in Caye Caulker, seafood party!

Head to Ice and Beans for the best coffee in Caye Caulker. It’s a great place to read a book and lounge around on the hammocks all day. The mini doughnuts aren’t so bad either. Yummy is the place to go for mouthwatering Asian food. It’s also probably the cheapest place to eat in Caye Caulker and a mainstay for backpackers. With a chicken burger costing less than 6 BZD and a BYOB policy, you certainly can’t complain.

Where to get breakfast in Caye Caulker

If you want to know where to get breakfast in Caye Caulker there really is only one option. Errolyn’s House of Fryjacks. Eggs, beans, ham, cheese and chicken in any combination inside a huge fried breakfast bap for around 4 BZD.

If fried isn’t your thing Suggestion Gourmet is a restaurant/bakery serving croissants and fresh baguettes. The French chef/owner had many job offers from Michelin star restaurants, which he rejected every time with the announcement: “I prefer to work in peace on a tropical island”. Can’t say I blame him.

Caye Caulker Money Saving Tips

Belize isn’t known as a budget-friendly backpacker destination, and Caye Caulker is even more expensive than the mainland. But there are some ways you can save money in Caye Caulker if you are careful.

Meals in Belize Caye Caulker cost anywhere between $4 and $20 depending on whether you eat local or at international restaurants. If you want to stick to the lower end of this then eat street food. Street food in Caye Caulker is cheap and delicious.

Caye Caulker Hostel should cost around $15-$25 per night, while a double room in Caye Caulker Hotels comes in between $40 to $100 a night. Air BnBs are also a great option, at around $25 a night depending on the location, it will ease you in searching your version of best places to stay in Caye Caulker.

The Belizean dollar is tied with the USD at a rate of 2:1. Although many places take USD it’s always best to have local currency if you want to get the best prices.

Caye Caulker can be more expensive than mainland Belize, with the abundance of great food on offer and interesting activities that can eat into your budget.

Belize Caye Caulker, however, is a very relaxed island and so if you want to enjoy the island without spending a lot of money then simply get into the island way of life, sunbathe, make the most of happy hour, and eat local food.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide

Caye Caulker Packing Advice

There are many supermarkets down Avenida Hicaco. There is just about everything you could want here, with plenty of American and British imports (including Salad Cream and chocolate digestives!). There is no need to stock up before coming to the island unless you want to save some money on basics of course.

The exception is bringing cash. There is a bank (Atlantic Bank) with a 24 hour ATM in Belize Caye Caulker and a couple of exchange places operating out of hotels. But it’s best to bring cash with you as there is only one machine; if it breaks that’s it, not many places will take a credit card.

Quick Tip: View my full Central America packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Central America Essentials shopping list here.

Caye Caulker Accommodation

If you are looking for best places to stay in Caye Caulker, either Caye Caulker Hotels or Caye Caulker Hostel, i’ll give you my recommendation! For backpackers, there are some great options for Caye Caulker Hostel in town.

The most famous Caye Caulker Hostel is Blue Wave Guest House, run by a lovely couple the atmosphere is super friendly.  Another Caye Caulker Hostel recommendation is Juan In A Million. It is also a great option at just $13 a night for a dorm. It has a great bar, a nice restaurant downstairs, and a cool area to relax with hammocks, etc.

If you want something a bit nicer and are looking for Caye Caulker hotels then Vista Del Mar Guesthouse ($50 per night for a double room) is a great central option. It’s also far enough away from the noise of the bars and nightlife. With large, clean double rooms, studio apartments, a communal kitchen, balcony, and beach hammocks it’s the perfect place to spend a week or two.

There are many other best hotels in Caye Caulker you can find here.

For something a bit more out of the way there’s another Caye Caulker Hotels recommendation, which is Barefoot Beach Belize.

Caye Caulker accommodation

Getting to Caye Caulker

Getting to Caye Caulker from Tulum

Many people travel to Caye Caulker as part of the “Gringo Backpacker Trail” through Central America, often coming down from the beautiful Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Traveling from Tulum to Caye Caulker can be a bit of a long day if you’re planning to avoid an overnight stop in Belize City. Getting from Tulum to Caye Caulker by public bus takes around 10 hours, costing US$80 for 2 people.

Taking the ferry from Chetumal to Caye Caulker, stopping at the border, takes around 12 hours costing $145 for two. The bus is a lot cheaper but doesn’t have the comfort of the ferry and is definitely the path less trodden, with mainly just locals on the very slow, and very hot, chicken buses.

Getting to Caye Calker From Belize City

You can go from Belize city to Caye Caulker by ferry or by air. From Belize city to Caye Caulker, you can start by taking the Belize Water Taxi or Ocean Ferry Belize to Caye Caulker. Check each site to match your schedule, but both cost around 25 BZD one way and take 45 minutes.

Book your transport from Belize City to Caye Caulker through GottoGo here.

Return trips of Belize city to Caye Caulker are discounted but allow flexibility in case you want to stay for a few extra days. There are two airlines that fly to Caye Caulker, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air costing around 150 BZD one way from the domestic or international airport.

If you are traveling from Guatemala just take the bus to Belize City. You can book your travel from Guatemala to Belize City through GuateGo here.

Getting around in Caye Caulker

Golf carts are the way to get around on this small roadless island, with many offering a taxi service from the port area. Bikes are also a fantastic way to explore and can be rented easily on the island from 10 BZD.

Kayaks can also be rented from 20 BZD per hour. But the number one way how to get around on Caye Caulker is by foot. Take the island’s “Go Slow” approach to life and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you. People are extremely friendly and there is little hassle for tourists, unlike other places in Central America.

Caye Caulker Safety Advice

Belize is one of the safest countries in Central America and as Caye Caulker is a small island it’s even safer than that mainland.

That said, you should still issue some caution, especially when you’re traveling solo.

Caye Caulker Travel Guide planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Caye Caulker?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Caye Caulker which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Caye Caulker on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Caye Caulker?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Caye Caulker?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are,, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack

The Best Time To Visit Caye Caulker.

There isn’t really a bad time to visit Caye Caulker. Although peak season from October to April can be a little more expensive and busy, it’s still a colorful, relaxed and friendly place to visit any time of year. English speaking Belize is such a great place to visit in Central America, but surprisingly not that touristy so make sure you get here before everyone else does. Bring your filtered water bottle to help cut down on plastic pollution, grab some delicious street food, and don’t miss out on all of the best things to do in Caye Caulker.

Author Bio

Caye Caulker Travel Guide

A Brit that got fed up of the 9 to 5 corporate life, Jo sold everything to become a full-time wanderer. Having travelled to over 70 countries, Jo shares her money-saving tips and secrets from inside the travel industry through her site Lost Wanders. Hoping to inspire you to work less and travel more.

See more of Belize from Lost Wanders on Instagram.

Check out My travel books

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