One of the top things to do in Belize is to chill out on an island, and one of the most chill places to do that is Caye Caulker, Belize.
However, if you want more than a fly-and-flop Belize vacation, you’re in luck!
There are more things to do on Caye Caulker than just chill – so grab a rum punch, find a comfy chair and enjoy, here’s our list of the best things to do in Caye Caulker, Belize.
Plus, you’ll find a Caye Caulker travel guide with travel tips, including where to stay, where to eat, the best tours, and more!
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Good to Know: this guide to what to do in Caye Caulker comes to us from Sarah Carter, author of the travel blog ASocialNomad.
This post has been edited by Stephanie Craig (the girl in the sidebar). I have added tips from my own trips to Belize as well as things that travelers (especially those coming from the US) need to know.
My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2022
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!
An Introduction to Caye Caulker
Travelers who come to Caye Caulker rave about it – but why?
Besides the beautiful beaches, silky sand, and overall tropical paradise vibe, Caye Caulker is just special.
Similar to Holbox in Mexico, time slows down on Caye Caulker.
This is because, like Holbox, there are no cars on the island. In fact, there are just three “streets” here: Front Street, Middle Street, and Back Street.
There are walkers, cyclists, golf carts, and electric mopeds.
The slow pace and lack of cars make this place special!
Quick Info about Belize
After 6 weeks in Central America, primarily speaking Spanish it was interesting to arrive in Caye Caulker, Belize – where the official language is English, the currency is the Belizean dollar (US dollars often accepted), and the official pace is slow.
Language: Why English? Belize was annexed by the British in 1840 and referred to as British Honduras. It actually only achieved full independence in 1981!
Food: Another important difference is Belizean cuisine.
The food here is different than you’ll find in neighboring Mexico or Guatemala.
While the basic ingredients might seem the same – tortillas, rice, beans, and cheese – prepare for an entirely different culinary experience.
Money: Back to the currency. The Belizean dollar is equal to $.5. This is true at all times since the Belizean dollar is pegged to the US dollar at a ratio of 2:1.
This makes it easy for US travelers to budget trips in advance, as you do not need to worry about currency fluctuations the way you might with a trip to Europe or Mexico.
Make sure to check which currency prices are listed in. It’s common for prices to be listed in USD in touristy areas.
Because the Belizean dollar is also notated with the $, you can ask in cases where you are unsure.
Safety: A lot of travelers (especially from the USA), make Belize their first trip overseas. This means that a lot of people wonder is Belize safe (or at least is Caye Caulker safe)?
The short answer is yes, Belize is a very safe country to travel to. This doesn’t mean that things don’t happen to some tourists.
Use common sense safety precautions. Know that tourists are always bigger marks for petty theft and pickpocketing no matter where they go in the world. If something wouldn’t be safe at home, it’s not safe to do in Belize.
I always get travel insurance before any international trip. I used World Nomads on my last trip to Belize to ensure I would be covered in case something happened.
Where is Caye Caulker?
I’m sure you’re already familiar enough to know that Caye Caulker is a tiny sliver of paradise in the Caribbean Sea, but just where in Belize is it?
How Big is Caye Caulker?
You probably realize by now that it’s a small island – but just how small? It’s only 8 kilometers (5 miles) long and just 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide at its widest point!
How to Get to Caye Caulker
The short answer is you’ll most likely take a water taxi from either Belize City or San Pedro (Ambergris Caye), though some people choose to fly with local airlines Maya Island Air or Tropic Air.
Here’s a complete guide to getting to Caye Caulker.
How Long to Spend on Caye Caulker
Trying to decide how many days to spend in Caye Caulker depends on your overall travel goals.
Some people come and spend their entire trip to Belize here. In that case, it’s common to spend 4 days in Caye Caulker, though some stay a week or two!
If you are visiting as part of a one or two-week trip to Belize, try to spend at least two full days on the island so that you can enjoy the slow pace.
If you only have one day, you might want to book a guided tour so you can enjoy your time without worrying about logistics.
This guided tour, the Caye Caulker Split Island Getaway from Belize City, will take you to the island and help you see the most popular area.
The Best Things to Do in Caye Caulker, Belize
Many Caribbean island activities revolve around doing nothing or spending time in or around the water.
When it comes to what to do in Caye Caulker, the island is no exception. Part of the whole experience of Caye Caulker is being here and just watching the world go by, slowly.
Read on for the best ways to relax on Caye Caulker and how you can get your adrenaline pumping too!
Do nothing on Caye Caulker – But Do it in a Hammock
You’re on island time as soon as you get here. Island time means relaxing, chilling out, and watching the world go by.
Whether you do that in a hammock, on a chair, on a dock, or just in the sand, this is a glorious place to catch up on your sleep, catch up on your reading, or simply watch the world drift slowly by.
My vote, if you have to pick one, is to curl up in a hammock near the water. Hearing the waves and swinging carefree in the breeze – you just can’t beat spending time in a hammock in Belize!
Pro Tip: A Belizean-made hammock makes a great souvenir from Caye Caulker. They are easy to pack and infinitely useful back home.
Go Snorkeling in Caye Caulker or out at the Belize Barrier Reef (Including Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley)
Most hostels, rooms, and Caye Caulker hotels will either provide you with or rent snorkeling gear if you don’t travel with your own.
(Though if you don’t want to share something that will touch your face, you can pick up a snorkel and mask before your trip).
This is the Caribbean, so get yourself in the water! It’s clear, warm and there’s usually a lot to see.
If you’re not seeing the aquatic life, keep looking!
Or take one of the snorkeling trips organized by the Caye Caulker dive shops on the island.
One of the most popular things to do in Caye Caulker is to go on one of the snorkeling boat tours of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Nestled in the turquoise water off the coast of Belize, this is the second-largest barrier reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Snorkeling in Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley includes the opportunity to see a wide variety of marine life, including nurse sharks, morae eels, stingrays, and tropical fish.
You can read an overview of what it’s like to snorkel Hol Chan here.
I like to book things like this ahead of time so I make sure I get a spot and can read the company’s reviews before picking one.
Go Scuba Diving (Or Get Your Padi Certification)
Belize is blessed with many popular dive sites, so if you are already certified you can plan a scuba diving adventure with the help of a local dive shop.
If you aren’t certified, my friend Bridget got her PADI certification while we were in Belize for a week. If you have enough time, it’s a great place to start your scuba adventures!
Kayaking Caye Caulker
You can easily rent a kayak for an afternoon or longer on Caye Caulker.
Mostly the waters here are pretty calm, so paddling out to the mangrove reserve at the northern end of Caye Caulker is a great way to get a little exercise.
Try going kayaking a little later in the day and catch the sunset on the water too. If you prefer to go with a company, then join a tour and get a guide to lead the way.
Whichever way you go, don’t forget your water bottle, sunnies, sunblock, and hat!
Go to the Split Caye Caulker
The Split was created in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie split part of the island of Caye Caulker in two.
Yes, it made this tiny island even tinier!
The gap between the two pieces of the island is around 50 meters. To the north is now a mangrove reserve.
The northern end of Front Street on Caye Caulker, i.e. the new end of the island, is now a cool place to hang out.
There’s clear shallow water here and beach bars with benches that let you drink your beer while sitting in the water.
The most popular time to pull up at the Split is for sunset. In fact, watching the sunset at the Split should be at the top of your Caye Caulker bucket list!
Grab yourself a cold Belikin beer or a rum punch and watch the sun go down in good company.
The bar here, the Lazy Lizard is one of the most popular places on the island. Be sure to put it on your Caye Caulker to-do list!
Find the Best Caye Caulker Photo Spots
If you want to make sure you get the best travel photos from your trip to Caye Caulker, look for some of the island’s iconic photo spots.
Popular places include the lettered signs that say Caye Caulker, Split, and Lazy Lizard.
Other options include the docks, swinging over the water at the Split, and sunset at Koko King.
Pro Tip: If you will be in Placencia during your trip, you can hire a vacation photographer through Flytographer.
This is the travel photography company I use on my trips, and I love them!
Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL at check out for 10% off your first session.
Ride a bicycle around Caye Caulker
Whether you rent a bike or borrow one from your hostel or hotel, this is a great way to get around the island.
The “roads” aren’t great, so you can’t go fast, and who would want to?
The bikes all have comfortable seats and simple controls. If you want to slow down or stop, just pedal backward.
Tool Around on a Golf Cart
While this isn’t quite as popular as on Ambergris Caye, due to Caye Caulker being a smaller island, it’s still a fun way to spend the day.
Instead of renting for your entire trip, rent one for a day and enjoy driving around sightseeing!
Relax at One of the Best Caye Caulker Beaches
Even if you want more than a fly-and-flop vacation, the beaches in Caye Caulker shouldn’t be missed!
Whether you go to a public or private beach, spend at least a full day of your trip relaxing, swimming, and enjoying the sea breeze!
Watch a Movie at the Walk-in movie Theater on Caye Caulker
As there are no cars on Caye Caulker it’s not the drive-in, but this is a movie theatre in the moonlight, under the stars.
Three or more times a week one of the vacant lots in town becomes the theatre. You’ll find deck chairs, cushions, and cabanas along with a current release movie that starts just after the sun goes down.
A second movie starts just after the first one finishes. There’s a bar so you can stock up on cold beer, popcorn, and burgers.
Visit the Seahorse Sanctuary
One of the most magical things to do on Caye Caulker is free!
You’ll find it on the west side of the island (and so it’s a good sunset spot too!).
At the Iguana Reef Inn, you will find the Caye Caulker seahorse sanctuary. You’ll spot seahorses off the decking where you see old pieces of rope around the area with some netting.
You’ll need to look hard to start with, but you will see them, tiny aren’t they?
See how many you can find.
This is by far one of the best free things to do in Caye Caulker!
Eat Fry Jacks, a Caye Caulker Speciality
You should come to Caye Caulker for fry jacks alone.
Who could resist fried dough stuffed with scrambled egg, cheese, and bacon?
Nope, not me either.
You’ll find the BEST Fry Jacks on Caye Caulker at Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks, across the road from the bank.
You’ll need to get there before 11, as they close early, and they’re also closed on Mondays.
Sit on the deck (there’s no inside seating) to eat them. This is one of the best places to eat in Caye Caulker. Trust me.
Eat at Wish Willy’s Caye Caulker
While we’re on the topic of food you need to head to Wish Willy’s on Caye Caulker for dinner.
Get there early or he might run out of cold beer or fish.
It’s a fab rustic experience in the garden of his house.
It feels like you just went round to the neighbor’s house for a beer and a barbecue.
If he’s busy, you’ll probably end up finding your own beer from the ice bucket But hey, the food is great here!
Cross the Split to See Northside Beach Club
Formerly known as Koko King, this beach club is a popular spot to watch the sunset, but you can spend your whole afternoon here at the beach.
Located in front of the Weyu Boutique Hotel on the north side of the island, you can easily get here by boat.
The boat ride takes two minutes to cross the Split and leaves frequently from the Northside Beach Club dock.
There’s a restaurant, beach, pool, and lounge.
There’s also wifi, so while it feels more remote than the rest of Caye Caulker, you can stay connected if you need to.
Watch the Sunset
While most of the sundowner bars are on the east side of the island, you’ll want to make sure you see at least one sunset during your visit.
Combine it with a day of snorkeling and swimming at the Northside Beach Club (formerly Koko King) listed above or with a visit to the seahorses and chill out at the Iguana Reef Hotel in Caye Caulker to watch the sun go down.
Watching the sunset with a beer in your hand is just one of the most amazing Caye Caulker things to do.
The most popular place to watch the sun go down is the Lazy Lizard at the Split.
Take a Sunset Sailing trip from Caye Caulker.
You can usually combine a sunset sailing trip with snorkeling with manatees or a longer sailing trip.
Most of these sunset sailing trips come with a rum punch or cold beer provided.
And of course sublime views as standard.
You can’t book your sunset sail on Caye Calker online but when you arrive in Caye Caulker head to Raggamuffin Tours or EZ Boy Tours and sign up.
Enjoy Some Belizean Ceviche
A staple of Caye Caulker restaurants, make sure to try a ceviche here if you haven’t had one before.
The shrimp is wild-caught and “cooked” in lime juice. It’s so good, I still have dreams about it!
Relax with Some Yoga
While my friends did a lot of yoga in San Pedro at Ak’bol Yoga Retreat, I confess I personally did no yoga in Belize (or anywhere in the Caribbean).
However, I plan to remedy that on my next trip.
In Caye Caulker, you can find yoga classes at the Namaste Cafe + Yoga Studio.
And these classes operate on a donation basis, so they aren’t only for travelers with a luxury budget!
Enjoy Caye Caulker at Night
The island has a ton of bars for its size. While we’ve talked about sunset spots already, the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down!
Popular Caye Caulker nightlife spots include I & I Reggae Bar, The Sports Bar, and Bondi Bar.
If you’re even more adventurous, you can go on a stargazing and crocodile cruise or try out night snorkeling.
Local tour companies can help you with these excursions once you’re here.
See the Largest Conch Shell Wall
Caye Caulker is home to what claims to be the largest conch shell wall in the world.
This is a great thing to do in Caye Caulker when you’re out exploring the island in a golf cart or by bike since it takes just a few minutes to appreciate.
Fly Over (or Swim Under) The Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is just that – a giant sinkhole in the floor of the Caribbean. The depth makes for dark blue water that contrasts with the turquoise of the sea around it.
There are several ways to visit the Blue Hole from Caye Caulker.
Some choose to go on a diving trip. If you have your PADI certification, this is a great option.
The more popular way to see it, though, is from the air! You can go on a Blue Hole Fly Over from Caye Caulker which includes a taxi to and from the airstrip for your flight.
Try Some Lobster & Conch
Belize is famous for its seafood, but its lobster and conch are what it is most famous for.
Make sure to try both while you’re here! The lobster in Belize is the spiny lobster, which is sweeter than the coldwater lobsters you find in most of North America.
As for conch, order some of Belize’s famous conch fritters for your first introduction!
See the Manatees at the Swallow Caye Marine Reserve
Tours to the Swallow Caye Marine Reserve leave from Caye Caulker.
While there are manatees in several places on the coast, this is considered the best way to see manatees in Belize.
Tour the ATM Cave
The cave is a Maya archaeological site that has intact skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware on display.
While most people visit the ATM Cave from San Ignacio, I’m adding it to the list of Caye Caulker activities since you can book a guided tour that leaves from Caye Caulker.
I missed seeing the ATM Cave during my time in Belize because this was not an option at the time.
If you have at least a week and won’t be staying on the mainland, this is one of the most popular places in Belize and well worth the long day to go out and see it!
Try Out Some Adventurous Water Sports
Caye Caulker has every kind of water sport imaginable, so if you aren’t interested in snorkeling, scuba diving, or kayaking, why not try out something new.
Other water sports you can try here include kitesurfing, jetskiing, or windsurfing.
Feed the Tarpons
Enjoying the sea life in Caye Caulker is a must, and one of the most famous things to do on Caye Caulker is to go to the backside of the island to see the Tarpon.
These guys practically fly out of the water if they smell food. You’ll find locals selling sardines for you to purchase to feed the tarpon so you can see these guys in action.
Visit San Pedro on Ambergris Caye
Since the water taxis travel back and forth between the two islands, it’s possible to take a day trip from Caye Caulker to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.
The ride between the two islands is forty-five minutes.
This is a great option if you want a self-guided day trip from Caye Caulker since most other day trips listed here and elsewhere are guided trips.
Once in San Pedro, you can use my guide to the best things to do in San Pedro for ideas.
If you want to visit Secret Beach during your day trip, here’s my guide to Secret Beach.
The only drawback is that the last water taxi of the day is 4:30 PM (as of this writing), so make sure to take the earliest boat you can over in the morning to maximize your time.
Take a Boat Trip to Goff’s Caye
Another great snorkel spot is Goff’s Caye, a tiny island (much tinier than Caye Caulker). Famous for being a postage stamp in the middle of the Caribbean, you’ll feel miles away from your problems here!
You can see manatees, have a picnic, and relax on the beach.
It’s not the most common tour to take from Caye Caulker, so to get here, you can hire a boat after you’ve arrived.
Good to Know: This is a popular excursion for cruises that dock in Belize City, so try to make sure you’ll be there at a different time or day.
While I am not an enthusiastic fisherwoman, my family LOVE going fishing when we travel to places like Mustang Island in Texas and the lakes in Colorado.
In Caye Caulker, you can go on a private fishing charter if you want to catch your own dinner.
While it’s definitely pricier than just eating in town, you’ll have an adventure with memories to last a lifetime!
Find Your Perfect Caye Caulker Souvenir
I love shopping on vacation. While I don’t tend to buy a whole lot to keep my suitcase from bursting, I do love coming home with locally made art or crafts.
Popular Caye Caulker souvenir stores include the Little Blue Gift Shop and the Aria Kat Art Gallery.
Want an easy gift or souvenir to remember your trip that is both cheap and small?
Get a keychain with a pun about key caulker or key caulker island (You can groan, but I’m cracking myself up!).
Where to Go After Caye Caulker?
I have a guide to the best places to visit in Belize. If you’re still trying to put together your Belize itinerary, you can start here!
Many folks pair a trip to Caye Caulker with Ambergris Caye. However, if you want to see the mainland of Belize, you can add a stop in San Ignacio, Placencia, or Caracol.
Mainland Belize is a great way to see waterfalls, Mayan ruins, and see more of the “authentic” Belize that most Belizeans experience.
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.
More Belize Travel Resources
I love Belize! Here are all my Belize travel resources to help you plan your trip, organized by destination.
Belize Country Guides
San Pedro & Ambergris Caye Guides
Caye Caulker Guides
Make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road.
I use World Nomads on my last trip to Belize, and I happily recommend them.
It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be enjoying water activities, spending time on beaches, or in towns and cities where petty theft occurs.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads as far back as 2016, and I happily recommend them.
If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.