What to Do in Caye Caulker, Belize:
If you’ve made it down to Belize, Caye Caulker is an absolute must! Pronounced “Key Cawker”, this small island will show you the true meaning of going slow. The beauty of Caye Caulker is that it is such a great escape from reality. I live in New York City, which can be so intense that it took a minute to adjust to such a slow pace in Caye Caulker. Here’s a list of what to do in Caye Caulker, Belize!
Good to know:
- The island itself is about 5 miles long and 1 mile wide making it simple to get around
- There are no cars in Caye Caulker, so get ready to walk or rent a golf cart (although most people will just walk)!
- Most restaurants, bars, and hotels are towards the north end of the island, otherwise known as “the split”
- There are plenty of locals setting up shop along the sandy roads (selling jewelry, fruits, art, coconut juice, etc.)
- Most shacks along the beach are local businesses and will have the business name painted on it
How to get to Caye Culker:
Water (Boat) Taxi:
The most common way to get to Caye Caulker is by boat taxi. The San Pedro Belize Water Express Taxi leaves from Belize City and takes you to:
- Caye Caulker
- San Pedro
Side note – (you can depart from any of these cities).
So, if you’ve just landed in Belize City by plane…I suggest taking a taxi to the Water Taxi Terminal which is about a 30 minute drive from the airport and should cost around $25 American dollars.
Side note – Belize accepts American dollars
A one-way boat taxi trip from Belize City to Caye Caulker is $18 and a round-trip is $28. We took a one-way trip as we were planning on going from Caye Caulker straight to San Pedro.
You can buy your tickets ahead of time here: http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/book-now
If you don’t buy your tickets ahead of time, don’t stress…you can also buy the tickets at the port when you arrive!
Another way to get to Caye Caulker is by plane. Maya Island Air flies to Caye Caulker from Belize International Airport, Belize Municipal Airport, San Pedro, and Corozal.
Another flight company is Tropic Air Flights.
From Belize International Airport, the trip is a whopping 15-minute flight and costs about $100.
Get more info on flights here: http://www.mayaislandair.com/belize-flights-caye-caulker
What to do in Caye Caulker:
Great! You’ve made it to the island. Hopefully you’ve already booked a hotel ahead of time. But if not, no worries…there’s plenty of spots to stay where you could ask reception if they have any spare rooms open. But, if you’re visiting during high peak season (November through April)– book ahead of time.
We stayed at the Caye Caulker Beach Hotel. A newer hotel just a short walk away from the beach! It’s above a small grocery shop. And, best of all, it was only $50 a night ($25 split between the two of us)!
Here are some of the things not to miss in Caye Caulker:
This island vibes are strong here so grab a Belikin (Belize local beer), get your toes in the sand, listen to some reggae, and relax!
Here are some bars you shouldn’t miss:
This is a newer spot, and much more of a “party bar” near Caye Caulker and it requires a boat to get to (literally a 5 minute boat ride). Boats to Koko King depart from Caye Caulker every 15 minutes and they are FREE. The boats depart from the opposite side of the island than the water taxi pier…just ask around and someone will point you in the right direction!
This spot is awesome – picture a massive bar on the water, tubes to float in, plenty of beach chairs, a fire pit, a picturesque pier with swings, a floating trampoline, fun music, and plenty of people to meet!
Trust me, this place can get wild. When I first arrived here after a full day of snorkeling and drinking, Koko King was hosting a tube-floating race and everyone competing was completely plastered. This is where people come to spend the whole day or come after water activities to let loose.
Side note – Koko King usually closes around 11pm so don’t get here too late. Also, stick around for the sunsets.
The Lazy Lizard:
This place seems to get a lot of hype but it wasn’t really our scene. The bar is on the tip of the island, also known as “the split”, and has much more of a slow vibe than Koko King. However, we were on the island during off-season so maybe the bar wasn’t as crowded as it normally is! The Lazy River seems to be a popular choice for most.
It’s a pretty big bar with tables in the water, corn hole, and a massive latter to jump off into the water. I have heard that this bar is pricier than most and it’s easy to rack up quite the bill…probably because it’s so popular amongst tourists.
True story – we saw a group of 4 Amish men (fully clothed) sitting at one of the tables in the splitting ONE Bellikin beer amongst all of them. That was weird.
Sip N’ Dip:
When we first got to the island we walked by Sip N Dip. Such a cute spot on/in the water! They have hammocks in the water, and floating tubes. Unfortunately, we never got the chance to do any “sippin” because it was closed the two days we were there. But on our last day on the island, someone was cleaning the bar at around 11am prepping for the day and he allowed us to sit on the hammocks for a bit…so we did some “dippin”.
Side note: They are closed on Sundays and Mondays
Barrier Reef and Sports Bar:
While the other bars I mentioned are best for day drinking (in my opinion), the Barrier Reef and Sports Bar is much more of a late night bar. This spot is on the beach and a popular spot for all (locals, backpackers, young, old)!
I would describe this place as the islands dive bar. At night, expect cheap shots, a dance party, backpackers mingling, and occasional live music!
During the day, it’s much more chilled out…as is the whole island.
True Story – I drunkenly won a dance competition here after snorting Colombian cocaine on the beach with a local Rastafarian (don’t follow my footsteps kids).
- Bambooze Beach Bar and Grill
- Iguana Reef Beach Bar
- Rainbow Grill and Bar
Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world (190 miles)! If you’re on Caye Caulker, you need to take advantage of the reef.
There are plenty of ways to do so, but the most popular being snorkeling or scuba diving!
After reading some raving reviews on Raggamuffin Tours, we decided to do a full-day snorkel tour.
Raggamuffin is great if you are looking for a full day of snorkeling, reggae music, and drinking. During the high season, they will typically take out multiple boats of people. They have different types of tours available (full-day, half day, overnight, etc.)
You can find more info on Raggamuffin Tours here: http://raggamuffintours.com/
What we saw with Raggamuffin: Manatees, sea turtles, sting rays, nurse sharks, dolphins, underwater caves, and plenty of fish!
The drinking on the boat didn’t start until the snorkeling activities were over. Fair enough…you wouldn’t want to be swimming with so many creatures wasted. Also, they served food on the boat! We had ceviche as an app and chicken + rice as the main course.
Side Note – Raggamuffin will drop you off at Koko King bar after the tour…so get ready to keep drinking! *You do have the option to stay on the boat and be taken back to Caye Caulker if you want to skip out on Koko King.
Other snorkeling tours to look into:
- Caveman Snorkeling Tours – cavemansnorkelingtours.com
- Tsunami Island Adventures – tsunamiadventures.com/snorkeling-tours/
- French Angel Expedition – frenchangelexp.com
Belize is famous for its diving and abundant marine life. There are plenty of PADI certified Diving companies and it’s a popular spot for divers at all levels (even beginners)! San Pedro is much more popular for diving, but there are options on Caye Caulker as well.
I dove with Frenchies Diving (half-day) and it was a surreal experience! It had been over 2 years since my last dive (in Australia – Great Barrier Reef) and I am so grateful that I went with Frenchies because it was m i n d b l o w i n g.
Fine out more about my diving experience in Caye Caulker here : Scuba Diving with the Worst Hangover
They offer half-day dives, full-day dives, night dives, Blue Hole dives, and overnight scuba diving…with plenty of dive sites along the reef.
Find out more about them here: https://www.frenchiesdivingbelize.com
Another Dive Shop on Caye Caulker:
- Belize Diving Services- http://belizedivingservices.com/