A jewel in the Caribbean Sea, Caye Caulker, Belize is the true definition of “island vibe.”
Found off the east coast in Ambergris Caye, the tranquil island is so tiny you can walk around the whole thing in an hour—barefoot, naturally.
Surrounded by the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef, it’s the perfect base for underwater adventures like snorkeling with sharks in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and scuba diving in the famous Great Blue Hole.
Or, simply relax and soak up the sun while being hypnotized by the idyllic surroundings.
Here are the best things to do in Caye Caulker, Belize.
Admire the scenery
At just over a mile long and about two blocks across, colourful Caye Caulker may be small in size but it’s big on scenic sights. 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.
Explore 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.
See manatees, snorkel with turtles and sharks in Hol Chan Marine Reserve
This protected area off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize’s oldest marine reserve, nestled in the Belize Barrier Reef which is the second longest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
More than 160 species of fish have been identified in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, (which means ‘little channel’ in Mayan) along with vibrant coral species, three different types of sea turtles, and even dolphins and manatees.
Nurse sharks and rays are found nearby (don’t worry, they’re harmless), and snorkelling with them is one of the top Caye Caulker excursions.
Fly over the Great Blue Hole
One of the bucket list-worthy things to do on Caye Caulker is heading up for a scenic flight over the awe-inspiring Great Blue Hole.
It’s exactly what it sounds like: a huge blue hole, more than 300 metres wide with a 400 foot drop into the depths of the sea.
The sea is so clear that those with good eyesight and a little luck on their side might be able to see rays, sharks or dolphins swimming around in the Barrier Reef and around Turneffe Atoll.
Tropic Air operates one hour tours from Caye Caulker on Tuesday and Thursdays at 11 am, and at 1 pm on Sundays. It costs about $260 per person, and all passengers get a window seat to guarantee a phenomenal view. Private charters are also available.
Enjoy 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.
Drink cocktails at 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.
If you’re still at The Split Caye Caulker by the time sunset start, head upstairs to El Portal Lounge. The bohemian-styled bar has great views of The Split and shimmering see, and is one of the best spots on the island for nightlife.
Enjoy a sunset sail
If you’re wondering what to do in Caye Caulker at night, one of the best options is a sunset sail. Enjoy a tangy rum punch and fresh ceviche as you cruise along the coast, take a dip in the sea and dance the night away. Click here to book
How to get to Caye Caulker
Getting from Belize City to Caye Caulker is easy on the fast ferry, which takes 45 minutes. It’s just 30 minutes from San Pedro, and no matter which route you do it costs $20 USD one way or $36 for a round trip ticket.
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, so booking an organized day trip is a popular option.
Book one of these top rated tours:
Where to stay in Caye Caulker
- Colinda Cabanas: This property is a great choice for longer-term Caye Caulker accommodation, as the individual cabanas have fully stocked kitchens for preparing your own meals. Free bikes and kayaks are also provided for guests during their stay. Click here to book
- Caye Reef: This is considered one of the top-rated Caye Caulker hotels due to its large rooms, great location, friendly staff, and rooftop with epic sunset views. Click here to book
- Iguana Reef Inn: This pretty property has huge sun-soaked rooms, a great outdoor pool, and guests love its beachfront location with includes a bar and dock. Click here to book
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