Planning to enjoy some time on Belize’s beautiful islands?
If once you land in Belize your goal is to head straight from the BZE Airport to Caye Caulker and start relaxing, here’s everything you need to know to make your journey from Belize City to Caye Caulker by water taxi.
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My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2022 & 2023
These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.
Find cheap flights with CheapOair.
Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.
For road trips and ground transportation, rent a car through Discover Cars.
Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.
For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.
Get reliable travel insurance through World Nomads.
Store your luggage safely with Radical Storage.
The Top 7 Most Popular Caye Caulker Excursions & Tours
Before you dig into all that Caye Caulker island has to offer, you should know that these are the most popular guided tours and day trips from Caye Caulker.
Where to Stay on Caye Caulker
Book your hotel on Caye Caulker. Now.
The first thing that we advise you to do is book your accommodation on Caye Caulker. It’s an island, there is limited supply and the best rooms book quickly.
You have a choice of hotels in Caye Caulker, from those on the oceanfront to those on the quiet streets of the island.
Remember, there are no cars on Caye Caulker, so the street noise is limited (unless you count noise from backpackers!).
The best places to stay in Caye Caulker will provide you with drinking water (the water on the island is not potable and clogs up water filter bottles), and will also give you slow but steady wifi.
Here are our recommendations for the top five best places to stay on Caye Caulker, including options for different budgets and travel styles:
Barefoot Beach Belize
We stayed at Barefoot Beach Belize and loved it. We had a queen studio, which came complete with an icebox and a big bottle of water.
They provide free bikes for your use around the island and the deck is fabulous to enjoy the ocean breeze.
Grab yourself a little slice of luxury on Caye Caulker
Weezie’s Ocean Front Hotel and Garden Cottages
Located on the eastern side of Caye Caulker, with a view of the Belize Barrier Reef, Weezie’s Caye Caulker Hotel and Cottages are stunning. The rooms include:
- Free wifi
- Air conditioning
- Flat-screen TV
- Hairdryer, laptop safe & full kitchen
- Deck or patio
There are 3 pools on the properties and Weezie’s Caye Caulker provides paddleboard, kayaks, snorkel gear, and a canoe that you can use free of charge.
Seaside Villas Caye Caulker
One of the best locations on Caye Caulker. All of the Seaside Villas have a kitchen, seating area, balcony, and a flat-screen TV – and these villas are beachfront!
- Air conditioning
- Hot Tub
- Outdoor Pool
Just a twenty-minute walk from the beach, the Hummingbirds Cabin is a gorgeous spot to stay!
There’s a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and fridge and private bathrooms. Cable TV is also provided. Amenities include:
- Free wifi
- Air conditioning
- Garden with beautiful outdoor pool
- Balcony, pool views
The Go Slow Guesthouse
A near-universal favorite among the backpacker crowd, the Go Slow Guesthouse, is a great budget option (and there aren’t many good ones on Caye Caulker).
There’s a garden and a terrace with a BBQ. You’ll get free tea and coffee in the rooms and some great comfy beds too!
How to take a Water Taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker, Belize
So you’ve booked a flight to Belize for a blissful vacation in Caye Caulker.
And now you’ve just got to figure out how the heck to get from the airport in Belize City to Caye Caulker. You can’t take a taxi because it’s to an island…or can you?
Well, no, you can’t just jump in a taxi and head there. But you can take a taxi and water taxi combo.
Step 1: Taxi a taxi from the Belize City Airport (BZE) to the Water Taxi terminals.
Note that there is NO public transportation option for this leg of the trip.
This will cost $25. The rate is pretty standard, but to make sure you don’t get ripped off negotiate the rate and don’t get into the cab until you’ve agreed on the price.
They may tack on an additional $5 per person, but they don’t always.
This is the official fair though, so just know ahead of time. The taxi ride is between 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
You will have to pay with cash.
Step 2: Take a Water Taxi to Caye Caulker (NOT Ambergris Caye).
This water taxi is $18 one-way or you can pay $28 for a round-trip ticket. (Note: Online this is now listed as $31.50).
The water taxi ride will take about 45 minutes.
Step 3: Walk to your hotel. Or, if your accommodations aren’t within walking distance, find out from your accommodations the best way to get there.
Read next: What to Pack for Belize for Women & Men
Total Cost to Get from the Belize Airport to Caye Caulker
Between $39-$43 US one-way and between $78-$86 US round-trip depending on if you buy a round trip or a one-way water taxi ticket.
Of course, if you can split the taxi fares, that will save you money.
Note that the prices on the website are in US dollars, but the Belize dollar is $2 BZE = $1 US.
Most prices you will see in Caye Caulker will be quoted in American dollars, but if you’re ever confused then feel free to ask.
The water taxi companies will also accept US currency.
Total Time One-Way from the Belize City Airport to Caye Caulker
The transit time is 20-30 minutes for the regular taxi plus 45 minutes for the water taxi.
You will need to add time for border control and customs and the airport and wait time until the next water taxi leaves.
This makes the total time 65-75 minutes plus wait time.
Caye Caulker Water Taxi Schedule
There are two main water taxi companies. Their terminals are a few hundred meters apart.
Note that the last water taxi from the Belize City marina is currently 5:30 pm (always check the schedules linked to below just in case something changes).
San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Service
This is the company I used. You can check their current schedule here.
This company runs daily to from Belize City to Caye Caulker and back, with additional stops at Ambergris Caye.
Every other day they have water taxis to Chetumal in Quintana Roo in Mexico.
Ocean Water Taxi
Take the water taxi that’s available. I wouldn’t get picky about companies since they are basically the same.
You can check Ocean Water Taxi’s schedule here.
They run daily from Belize City to Caye Caulker and San Pedro and back.
They also service Caye Chapel. They do not have any water taxis to Mexico.
How to Book Your Transportation Online
I’ve gotten questions from readers about how to book online, and I’ve found the solution.
You can book your transportation between Belize Airport to the water taxi station or to Caye Caulker directly online in advance with GuateGo, to ensure your seats and compare schedules, prices and travel times.
They put the work in to bring together all of the transport, routes options on their website.
The best part is that is a little bit cheaper than booking in the water taxi station and they have shared shuttle options if you are traveling alone.
You can book all the main destinations in Belize starting from the airport to the water taxi station or connect to Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, Chetumal, or book ground shuttles to San Ignacio or Palencia.
Also, you can connect Belize City with practically every destination in Guatemala.
You can choose what kind of transport you want to use (shuttle, coach, water taxi, luxury bus, private transport or plane) they have all the main transports on the website.
Tips for Taking a Water Taxi
If it’s raining, the windows will be left open, since there’s no air conditioning. Try to grab a seat away from the windows in this case. Once the boat starts going fast, it will be very unpleasant.
Don’t sit towards the front! Even on a very sunny, calm day, sitting in the front was like continually getting picked up and then dropped about a foot.
If you are traveling with luggage, you can check your bag. It will be stored on the top of the boat and returned when you arrive. Keep your ticket they give you so you can prove that the bag is yours.
If you are backpacking, you will most likely be allowed to keep your backpack with you.
These water taxis are used by tourists and locals, so don’t be an Ugly tourist!
If you have some extra time and didn’t pack all the bug spray and sunscreen that I told you to pack for Belize, then buy it in Belize City. Island prices are crazy high. They are as much as 25%-40% more expensive than elsewhere.
You can pay for the water taxi with cash or with a Visa or Mastercard.
It’s incredibly windy near the open windows, as you can see above. Bring hair ties. Multiple. My hair tie broke and I had crazy wind hair for the rest of the day after my first trip.
Food and Drink are not technically allowed. However, I never go anywhere without something to drink.
When you get out, plan for it to take a few minutes to pick up your checked luggage. Make sure you have your ticket stub handy so you can do it quickly.
Read next: How to Snorkel at Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley
Flights from Belize City to Caye Caulker (BZE to CUK)
If you want to fly instead of taking the water ferry, you’re in luck.
The Caye Caulker Airport (CUK) just opened after a long renovation project.
Maya Island Air has five flights a day, between about 8 am until about 5 pm. Tropic Air has six flights, with the latest leaving around 5:30 pm.
When buying your flight, make sure the time is coordinated.
If you buy ahead of time, the price won’t be that much more than the water taxi when you consider the entire price including the taxi.
If you get motion sickness, a flight might be better than risking getting seasick.
Is there a Ferry from Belize City to Caye Caulker?
No, there is no Belize City to Caye Caulker ferry in the traditional sense. When people say they’re taking the ferry, they’re referring to the water taxis discussed above.
Private Boats & Private Water Taxis
Yes, you can contact private companies to do customized group pick-ups. Both Nautilus Express Water Taxi and Tropic Ferry offer private water taxis.
They need to be arranged ahead of time. The two main water taxi companies also offer chartered services.
Call or email ahead of time to get quotes and make private arrangements.
How to Get from Caye Caulker to San Pedro & Back
Once on the island, you might find you’d like to go from Caye Caulker to Ambergris Caye.
You can take a water taxi, leaving from the same place you originally got dropped off. Just make sure to check the return schedules so that you don’t get stuck.
Getting from Caye Caulker to Belize City
When returning, you’ll leave from the same ferry terminal that you arrived at, and you’ll use the same two companies.
Check their schedules and compare it to your flight times.
Remember that you need over an hour for the ferry and taxi back to the airport, plus a cushion in case anything goes wrong on the way.
You can find taxis outside the ferry terminals to take you to the airport. If you want to see the “famous” Belize sign, you can have your taxi driver take you by it en route to the airport.
Frequently Asked Questions about Water Taxis to Caye Caulker
Here are the questions that get asked most often about getting from the airport to Caye Caulker:
Do I need to purchase my water taxi tickets ahead of time?
No, booking ahead is not necessary. You can buy your tickets when you get to the water taxi terminal.
However, if you choose to book ahead of time use GuateGo.
I get motion sickness. Is that going to be an issue?
What happens if my flight is delayed past 5 pm?
If you get in after the last water taxi, you can try to get on a flight or get a hotel room in Belize City for the night.
Can we sit outside on the water taxi?
There are a few seats outside, but the vast majority of seats are inside. If you want to sit outside, arrive as early as possible so you’ll be in line first.
One time when I was in the taxi, it started raining and I was very happy (if a little motion sick) to be on the inside.
I’m Bringing a Car with Me. How do I get it to Caye Caulker?
There is a barge run by Caribbean Depot that takes cars to Ambergris Caye, but cars aren’t allowed on Caye Caulker.
The water taxis aren’t traditional ferries, and they do not shuttle cars across.
Can I bring an alcoholic beverage to enjoy the water taxi?
There are signs that clearly state no alcohol, but sometimes people do. Feel free to try, but if they enforce the rules, then you’ve been warned.
Can I smoke on the water taxi?
No, there is no smoking allowed.
Are there group discounts?
Yes, if you book for ten people, you can get one person for free if you travel on San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Service.
Ocean Water Taxi does not offer group discounts.
Can I bring my service animal?
Yes! Service animals are welcome and do not need to be in a kennel.
Can I bring my pet?
Yes, you can bring pets. They must be in a kennel. If you do not have a kennel, you can ask ahead to rent one for a small fee.
What happens if the weather is too bad for the water taxis to go?
You will be helped to get aboard the next boat when it is safe to go.
5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to Belize
I have an entire Belize packing list to help you with your trip, but make sure to bring these five items!
Lonely Planet Belize is available as a paper copy or in a Kindle edition. You typically won’t find major guidebooks once you land, so get yours ahead of time.
Mosquito Repellant is the single most important thing you’ll want on you as soon as dusk hits. Have enough to at least get through the first night if you’re packing light.
Full-Sized Travel Towel Unless your accommodations provide them, you will want to bring your own.
This is the best travel towel in the world. It’s pretty enough for the beach, large enough that you forget it’s a microfibre towel, and quick-drying, which is crucial in super humid Belize.
A Go Pro for underwater and action photography. Why go all the way to Belize and not be able to capture some of the most exciting parts of your trip?
The underwater pics are some of my favorite from the trip!
A Dry Bag for your stuff when you go on a boat or to the beach. You can get a larger one to use for a group or if you plan on taking a larger camera.
Otherwise, I use small ones with lanyards to hold my cell phone, money, and credit cards so I could take them with me swimming when traveling solo.
You might also want a separate waterproof holder for your passport. I’ve seen people who weren’t allowed to board their flights home because their passports got water damaged.
Belize Country Guides
San Pedro & Ambergris Caye Guides
Caye Caulker Guides
Don’t Forget about Travel Insurance!
Whenever I go on a trip, I always make sure to get travel insurance!
The company World Nomads is the travel insurance company I always look to first, and I happily recommend them!
I always make sure to get travel insurance whenever I’m going to be over one hundred miles from home, in large cities where tourists can be the target of pickpockets, and anytime I’ll be doing outdoor adventure or beach activities.
It makes my life easier knowing if something should happen, I’ll be able to take care of it!