When it comes to beach and island life in Belize, nothing is as serene and laid back as life on Caye Caulker. Although not the “Isla Bonita” island of San Pedro made famous by Madonna’s hit single, Caye Caulker has a magical vibe to it that makes for the perfect Caribbean island getaway. Located about 20 miles (32 km) off the coast of Belize, Caye Caulker is a small limestone coral island that measures about 5 miles (8 km) from north to south. Although definitely a part of Belize, the vibe on Caye Caulker is distinctly more Caribbean in culture than it is in the jungle areas of San Ignacio.
Getting There and Around
The cheapest way to arrive at Caye Caulker is by sea. From Belize City, you can hop on a water taxi that costs about $20BZ one-way and will drop you off at the island in 45 minutes. Once you arrive in Caye Caulker, you need nothing more than your feet to get around. Locals will often bike or drive golf carts to get around; no motor vehicles are on the island. By golf cart, you can circle the whole island in about 30 minutes.
See and Do
The main town on the island is known as Caye Caulker Village, and it consists mainly of a beach front strip filled with over 30 small hotels, restaurants, and shops. Although not particularly glamorous or luxurious, the crystal clear water surrounding the island radiates with multiple shades of blue, making for a scenic backdrop that is often littered with windsurfers and kayakers. Additionally, the world’s second largest barrier reef is just to the east of the village, making for a popular destination for snorkelers, scuba divers, and adventurous shark swimmers.
Besides water sports and shopping, Caye Caulker is also a hub for manatee tours that will jet tourists on a small boat to the manatee sanctuary not far from Belize City. Enjoy a day watching and photographing the peaceful manatees from the boat, and end the day with a snorkel tour of the Belize Barrier Reef, which includes a stop at Shark Ray alley where adventurers can swim with and hold giant manta rays and nurse sharks. For scuba divers, the famed Blue Hole dive spot is one of Belize’s most famous; it is about an hour boat ride away from Caye Caulker.
In terms of dining on Caye Caulker, perhaps the best treat is a plate of grilled lobster freshly caught in the nearby Belizean lobster traps. For around $10 USD, you can enjoy a full lobster for dinner every night! After dinner (or before), wander down to the Split (ocean area that separates the island) and have a drink at The Lazy Lizard, a bar with a “beach” area that consists of a sunken picnic area surrounded by cement sea walls.
Hanna Stables is located about 1.5 hours away from Belize City, and we are happy to help you plan a visit to Caye Caulker either separately or as part of a tour package in conjunction with our horseback riding tours of the Mayan ruins. Contact us for details!