A jewel in the Caribbean Sea, Caye Caulker, Belize is the true definition of “island vibe.” Found in Ambergris Caye off the country’s east coast, the tranquil island is so tiny that you can walk around the whole thing in about an hour—barefoot, naturally. Surrounded by the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef which is the second longest in the world, it’s the perfect base for underwater adventures, such as snorkeling with sharks in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and scuba diving in the famous Great Blue Hole. Or simply sit back, relax and soak up the sunshine while being hypnotized by the idyllic surroundings. Here are some of the top things to do in Caye Caulker, and five reasons why you should go.
1: The scenery
At just over a mile long and about two blocks across, Caye Caulker may be small in size but it’s big on scenery. Think secluded azure coves, groves of palm trees gently swaying in the breeze, and brilliant white sand edging the shoreline. Best of all, the impossibly-blue water in the surrounding sea is out of this world, and its aquamarine, teal and turquoise hues seamlessly blend together to create a kaleidoscope of colour that will leave you mesmerized.
2: The location
The island’s sleepy vibe means some visitors are hesitant to stay overnight since there isn’t a lot to do once the sun goes down. Fortunately, it’s easy to visit as a day trip. Many tours such as the Caye Caulker snorkelling excursions offered by Tuff E Nuff include a two-hour visit to the island in their itineraries, or you can simply hop on one of the numerous ferries that stop there to make a day of it. Getting to Caye Caulker is easy on the fast ferry, which is only a 45 minute ride from either Belize City or San Pedro.
3: The colourful streets
Wandering through the charming village of Caye Caulker is like walking on a rainbow. Heck, one restaurant even went so far as to name itself the Rainbow Grill and Bar. The facades of every hotel, boutique and bar are so vibrant that it’s like the owners competed for who could paint their building the brightest shade. Seriously, even the folks over at Pantone would be impressed.
4: The laid-back vibe
No shoes, no shirt…no problem. Caye Caulker is as laid-back as it gets, the kind of place where you feel relaxed as soon as you step on the dock, and the only sounds are birds chirping and the waves lapping against the shore. The pace is slow in these parts—as it should be when you’re on vacation—and days are spent stand-up paddleboarding, swimming in the warm, shallow water and saddling up to a beach bar to sip a cool cocktail. Safe to say you won’t be wearing much more than a swimsuit during your whole visit.
5: The Split
Caye Caulker used to be longer than its current one mile length, but in 1961 Hurricane Hattie whipped through and literally cut the island in two. The result is the aptly-named “The Split” where water divides the two pieces of land, which in turn became the most happening spot in Caye Caulker thanks to a neighbouring bar called The Lazy Lizard. Sun-seekers lay on the surrounding beach, lounge in multi-coloured Adirondack chairs on the dock, or sip Belikin beer (the national brew) under palm-thatched umbrellas propped up right in the water.
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