Caye Caulker Travel

Caye Caulker Travel

Caye Caulker Travel

Caye Caulker: ‘No Shirt, No Shoes…No Problem.’ You’ll see this sign everywhere in Belize, but no place is it more apt than Caye Caulker. On this tiny island, where cars, too, are blissfully absent, dogs nap in the middle of the dirt road and suntanned cyclists pedal around them. The only traffic sign on the island instructs golf carts and bicycles to ‘go slow,’ and that directive is taken seriously.

Caye Caulker Belize

Hopping over from Guatemala to the Caribbean coast of Belize, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t welcome the transition. From grinding on the chaotic and bumpy streets of Northern Guatemala, we arrived to the breezy reggae beats and killer beaches on Caye Caulker. I threw my hands in the sky and let the wind take me.

Caye Caulker is the Caribbean without pretentious hotels and snobbish holidaymakers. Instead you’ll find clear waters, lots of hippies and reggae-loving locals, laid-back hostels and Caribbean atmosphere. There are no roads, no pollution, no loud noises. Just soft winds, light music and the endless sea. For those who want to get to know the island inside out, here are some of the essential things to do on Caye Caulker.

Caye Caulker Real Estate

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.

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.

The island’s slepy 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.

Caye Caulker Realestate

You heard me. You get to literally swim around schools of nurse sharks and large stingrays at the famed Shark-Ray Alley. Don’t worry, they don’t bite. Visibility in the water is as clear as it can get and snorkeling conditions are close to perfect.  This was by far our favorite thing to do on Caye Caulker. If you only have time for one day trip, make it this trip. Snorkeling trips that take you out here also bring you to nearby Hol-Chan marine reserve.  Marine life is abundant here – we even got to swim beside a manatee! It was a surreal experience as the giant slowly glided past us, so gently and relaxingly.

You can’t go to Belize and not try barbecued seafood (vegetarians, maybe make an exception?). Fresh lobsters, fish and shrimps literally go from the sea to barbecue pits, and they don’t get any fresher than that. Wish Willy’s on Caye Caulker definitely stands out as the cheapest, tastiest and most atmospheric. It’s a simple wooden shack right on the beach, but it’s got all the personality you can ask for. The friendly owner welcomes everyone like an old friend. I recommend the seafood buffet, with unlimited lobster, fish, meat included for 40 Belizean Dollar (US$20). They’ve got really good cocktails like margaritas and mojitos as well.

Belize Caye Caulker

This submarine cave is legendary and many scuba divers from around the world come to Belize just for the Great Blue Hole. The circular Blue Hole is over 330m in diameter and 120m deep. From the air, the round patch of dark blue waters surrounded by shallow turquoise waters and coral reefs looks unbelievable. It was formed when the roof of a limestone cave system collapsed during the ice age.

Sadly this is not for beginners: we didn’t get to try it as we only had the PADI basic open water license. For those with advanced licenses,  check out Scuba School and Family Dive Center, which has the best reviews on TripAdvisor.

The Belizeans’ positive and laid back attitude shows at the Split. They’ve transformed the result of a disaster into something beautiful. The Split was formed in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie hit, splitting Caye Caulker in two. Located at the northern end of Front Street on Caye Caulker, it’s a popular place to chill, snorkel and hang out. The shallow waters are clear, refreshing and full of marine life. Plus there are beach bars right on the side of the Spit, so you can literally pull your beach benches out and sit in the water while drinking an ice cold beer.

If you’re looking for somewhere casual, simple and local to stay at, then you’ll have to check out Popeye’s Beach Resort. We stayed here for a week and really enjoyed hanging out and mingling with locals right at our hostel. It’s perched on the waterfront, right next to the water taxi dock and steps from other bars, so you can’t get more central than that. It’s cheap and clean, and you can choose from dorm beds to private rooms. Alberto and I chose a private room, but we still found it easy to make friends and socialize with people because of the atmosphere at the resort.

Caye Caulker Water Taxi

Sail off into the wind, with rum punch and shrimp cerviche in hand and a Rastafarian captain – sunset sailing trips are a great way to get under Belize’s skin. Instead of taking a long and boring bus ride, four-day sailboat trips are also an excellent alternative to get from Caye Caulker to other parts of Belize. Ragga Muffin Tours arrange overnight sailboat trips from Caye Caulker to Placencia. What’s on the itinerary? Fishing, chilling, island-hopping and fresh seafood everyday. Alternatively, daytrips on the sailboats can also be organized, with snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley included. We absolutely loved our sailing trip and couldn’t have asked for a better way to enjoy the sea in Belize.

The northern end of Caye Caulker is uninhabited, occupied by dense mangrove swamps. Kayaking to the mangrove reserve makes for a fun excursion, especially in the mornings when birdlife is rich. Tsunami Adventures arrange kayaking trips for B$15 (US$7.50) in the first hour and B$10 (US$5) for subsequent hours. It’s really easy to kayak in the calm waters around the northern part of Caye Caulker, so don’t worry if you don’t have any experience. Book their trips here!

Caye Caulker Restaurants

Street food is always top on my list of food to try in a new country. It’s such a great way to get to know a place and its food.  on Caye Caulker, you can easily find tacos stands across the marine terminal where the main pier is at. These are usually really cheap —  around three tacos for 2 Belizean dollars (US$1). There are even more street tacos stands in San Pedro, a bigger town on Ambergris Caye. The town’s plaza (main square) is lined with tons of tacos stands, in true Mexican style.

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.

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.

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