The Rastafarian vibe gave me the real holiday feeling on Caye Caulker; nice cooling breeze, palm trees, reggae music, fresh fish, turquoise waters, white sand, clear waters and an amazing underwater world close to the second largest reef in the world. Caye Caulker is easygoing; only golf cars and bikes drive around! As a Dutchy that is perfect of course. It has nice restaurants and chill places to hang out and drink one of the happy hours. The Split is perfect for a sundowner and enjoy the scenery while boats and kiters passing by. I loved this island and wish I could stayed here longer than the already six days I have spent here….
I arrived from the Belize Zoo to Caye Caulker by bus, taxi and boat. I know people that travelled directly from Flores, Guatemala to Caye Caulker in one day. The travel times are less intense than in Guatemala. Belizean roads are better and not too many mountains to cross, which makes the journey easier and more relax. The local bus from Belize Zoo arrived in ±45 minutes (4B$) in Belize City station; where I took a taxi to the harbor (8B$). The boats go frequently to Caye Caulker and San Pedro. I took the 10:30AM Belize Express Water Taxi for 36B$ one way. One hour later I arrived at Caye Caulker. On the island you can take a taxi (golf car) to bring you to your hotel or you can walk, depending how far your accommodation is. To depart the island, check the boat schedule that will bring you back or onwards to San Pedro, Belize City or Chetumal, Mexico.
What to do on Caye Caulker?
The main thing that you have to do on Caye Caulker is doing nothing!!! No, that is not really true of course. There is a lot to do here which mainly involves water; see below some tips you can do to around the island. I didn’t go to San Pedro; I heard it’s even more touristic and busier. I loved the Caye Caulker hippie Rasta vibe; so no need to go anywhere else in my opinion!
1. Rent a Bike
I love to ride the bike of course; I’m Dutch. But on holiday it gives me a real free feeling. I love to explore and with Maps.me, I will never get lost. You can rent bikes all over town and some accommodation offer them for free as well. The island is not too big, but it’s nice to cycle around to see the other side of the island where the locals live and see the kids coming back from their school. Breeze through your hair and explore some cool spots to hang out for a couple of hours.
2. Fly over the Blue Hole & Belize Barrier Reef
This was one of my highlights in my travel journey and the big attraction of Belize; The Blue Hole!! I did some research in advance but you can better book the flight last minute. They have to gather other people for the flight to make it depart anyway. I suggest you to stay a couple of days in order to go on the right flight. Via the tour operator Anda De Wata Tour’s in the main street Playa Asuncion, I booked my 12:30PM Sunday flight with Tropic Air for 268US$.
Indeed not cheap, but this was a special tour. I was looking forward to it soooo much; and it was so cool!!!! The whole flight was less than 1 hour but we circled for at least 5 times one side and then same on other side around the Blue Hole. This way everybody could admire, enjoy and take pictures. Unbelievable beautiful; a deep blue pupil with an aquamarine border surrounded by the lighter shades of the reef. This 130 meters deep Blue Hole is a heaven for divers, but to see this from above; I think it’s the best perspective!! Love you Mother Nature!!!!
3. Chill at one of these great spots
Caye Caulker has not many white sandy beaches. The island consists mainly of coral, mangroves and seaweed. On the windy side (east) of the island the seaweed washes onto shore and covers a part of the beach. Here you can chill in the hammocks and chairs from the hotels or restaurants. The not windy side (west) of the island you can spot some nice relax spots like:
Iguana Beach Resort: This is a cool and relaxed area where you can chill, have a drink and see the seahorses in the water. I discovered this place by bike and hang out for a couple of hours here. Very friendly people from the hotel. Many boats stop here to show the seahorses. Big recommendation!
Small beach in front of Sea Dreams hotel: I will not call this a real fancy beach, but here you can dip into the blue water to cool off and spot some fish in the water. Very relaxed spot and enjoy the scenery.
KOKO King: This place is located 2 minutes with the free boat on the north side of the Split. They created a kind of resort experience with a restaurant, bar and lounge areas. The area looks really nice, but very commercial. You can stay here for free including boat, if you spent at least 25B$ in the bar or restaurant; the waiters are a bit pushy. Perfect day at a real beach where you can use the tubes in the water and listen to the DJ’s tunes.
Tip: Go early to get yourself a good spot in the lounge area; or book a room at the WE’YU Boutique Hotel (see below).
4. Explore the turquoise waters
Caye Caulker is a heaven for snorkeling, diving and fishing; but also for kitesurfing, kayaking and swimming. I have booked the Raggamuffin Sailing Trip and did not book separate snorkeling tours (suffered from an ear infection too…). Instead I went kayaking and feeding the Tarpon fish; they are huge!! I was almost scared they will tip over my kayak; it was as a great experience to see them up close. Kayaking is nice to see the island from the water side and look through the clear waters. If you like more adventure, windsurfing or kiting is an option too.
5. Enjoy the Sunset at The Split
Anyone that has been on Caye Caulker visited the Split. What is so special about this place?! The vibe, the music, the happy hours, the action, the people, the sunset, all of it! Or just chill with a book and watch everything happening around you. The Split between north and south Caye Caulker has a strong current and is very active with boats and kiters passing by. The sunset is amazing. It is not fancy at all, but The Spit is just The Split!!
Where to stay on Caye Caulker?
I stayed at three accommodations on Caye Caulker; in all different price classes. Don’t forget; Belize is not cheap compared to the rest of Central America. That counts especially for accommodation and tours; food is more affordable.
Tip: In Belize they don’t use Booking.com that much, they prefer to use Airbnb and in some cases only websites that I could barely find! Or just pass by and ask if they have a room available….
WE’YU Boutique Hotel: Located on the north island where they work in cooperation with KOKO King. The room was great, comfortable and enjoying the still silent mornings at the beach (135US$). I’m not really positive about the food and service in the KOKO King restaurant. Overpriced and some of it not tasty at all; too salty ceviche and sushi was not good at all. KOKO King has to work on that, but rooms were perfect!
Vista del Mar Guest House: Basic and popular accommodation right in front of the beach (windy side) on Playa Asuncion. I had to share my bathroom but both the bathroom and room were clean and comfortable (±35US$ per night). The lady at the front desk is super friendly.
Sea n Sun Guest House: I liked this accommodation the best; the value for money is great, free kayaks and bikes included. The colors of the cottages looks great and the garden is well maintained. The rooms are cozy, clean and comfortable. The location is perfect close to the Split but still very quiet at Lind’s Coral Street for 75US$ per night. Big recommendation!
Where to eat on Caye Caulker?
In Caye Caulker there are many nice spots to have breakfast, have a perfect chicken at the beach for lunch or get a fresh fish BBQ for dinner. See below my recommendations:
Namaste Café: Perfect healthy breakfast place! You can eat after or before your yoga session at this zennn place at Pasero Street. The vibe, coffee and chia pudding are great (20B$); big recommendation!
Caribbean Colors Art Café: On my bike tour I bumped into this breakfast place. Loved the banana cake with fruit and eggs including cappuccino for 18B$. The place is packed with art pieces and original souvenirs to bring home. A little out of the center but keep following the main road to the south and you see it on your right hand side (Avenida Hicaco).
Amor Y Café: My last breakfast recommendation; the location and look and feel including the porch are great. The waffle with fruit was fine, but I had better breakfasts. The eggs and omelets looked perfect. Very popular and busy place!
Ice n Beans: Perfect location at the beach to get a good cup of Belizean Coffee with a great service; they give you a free small donut if you want.
Chef Kareem’s: Unbelizeable lunch under a tent! What a great tasting chicken you can get here! I went here twice for lunch and both the BBQ and Jerk are the best; including coleslaw salad and rice & beans (12B$).
Tip: Get a fresh coconut next-door to this hot BBQ spot to go along with your lunch!
Wish Willy Bar & Grill: I went here twice to have a healthy fresh fish with a lot of vegetables from the Rasta Chef Maurice. He runs the place all by himself; he is the waiter, chef and cashier at the same time. You can get your drinks out of the cooler by yourself and the menu is simple; fish or meat. This way it’s always fresh and very tasty. Come eating here at the shared tables and just be relaxed; take over the Rasta Vibe of the Island at Park Street!!
Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen: At the end of Linds Coral Street you have this popular local restaurant. The fresh grilled fish tasted good with a sunset view. Nice service and all in all great vibe at this hot spot in Caye Caulker.