BELIZE: Colorful Caye Caulker Tips
FINALLY!!! I got to do Belize exactly MY way. Until this latest wander, I had always come with my kids and/or ex-husband, which involved major sacrifices. My guy is neither skiddish or snobby, so I booked an Airbnb on the colorful island of Caye Caulker I’m sharing my favorite Caye Caulker tips in this post.
Caye Caulker is a tiny island approximately 20 miles from Belize City and a 10 minute speedboat ride from my home base of Ambergris Caye. It’s where the backpackers and bohemians hang out—a result of cheaper prices and a youthful spirit. This is my crowd and my style.
Life moves in slow motion here. There’s just enough to do so you don’t go stir crazy, but not so much that you miss out on anything while you snooze in the sun with a tropical cocktail in hand.
Tourism and fishing keep the island economically afloat. You’re likely to stop here for lunch on a snorkeling/diving excursion from the mainland, which is exactly how I found it. Scuba excursions to the Great Blue Hole launch from here as well.
Caye Caulker is a favorite spot of divers and snorkelers because of its crystal clear water, underwater caves, mangrove lagoon, and dry and deep reefs. Artists and musicians find inspiration here and windsurfers find wind. Caye Caulker Village has numerous shops, restaurants, bars, and even a bit of night life.
Caye Caulker is home to one of my favorite spots on the planet.
“The Split” is a narrow break in the island, next to which is an open bar (Lizard Juice Bar & Grill) serving up local Belikin beer and affordable cocktails. It’s THE spot to people watch and strike up a conversation with a fellow world traveler. The turquoise water on three sides of the Split is breathtaking. (Don’t fall for the story that the split was created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 like I did. It was actually dredged by the villagers to create a passageway between the two sides of the island and has gotten larger and deeper due to natural erosion over the years.)
Most visitors get to Caye Caulker by small plane or water taxi.
If you come by air, the flight to the small asphalt-paved Caye Caulker Airport is over before you know it. There are regularly scheduled water taxis to and from the island, Belize City and San Pedro (Ambergris Caye).
If you come by water, you’ll save a wad, but I will warn you that it’s not for the faint of spirit. It’s crowded, hot, and windy—and, my absolute favorite way to get here. During the 40-50 minute ride from Belize City, the wind blows away all the stress and fast pace of my regular life. By the time I arrive, I’m in full Belizean mode.
Once you’re on the island, all you need for transportation are your legs and a bike. Golf carts are available to rent, but seriously—you can walk from one side to the other in about 20 minutes at most, so save your money.
My final Caye Caulker tips:
- SLOW DOWN!
- Drink a Belikin or Lizard Juice at The Split
- Soak up the sun at every available spot
- Kayak around the island
- Snorkel or dive often
- People watch on the concrete wall at The Split
- Nap often
- Eat lots and lots of fresh fish
- Drink fresh coconut water directly from the source
- Read, nap, sip a cocktail, or all of the above in a hammock
- Feed the tarpon fish
- Watch the sunset from shore or a rickety wooden dock
- Eat fresh fruit or drink a REAL smoothie from a local fruit stand
- Wander the island on foot with camera in hand
- Go to a move at the outdoor cinema
- Buy at least one Rasta souvenir