TRAVELING TO CAYE CAULKER – Visitor’s Guide
Traveling to Caye Caulker Belize has never been easier. Due to its growing popularity, more airlines are flying to Belize than ever before. Currently United Airlines, Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines and more fly directly into Belize City. At this time you can fly directly into Belize from Chicago, Miami, Newark, Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta and Dallas.
Unfortunately there are no international flights that go to the island of Caye Caulker. So once in Belize, to travel to Caye Caulker you must either take a local flight or water taxi ride. Connecting flights to Caye Caulker from Belize City can be booked through one of the two local airlines, Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. The flight to the island is a short 15 minutes, with local airlines leaving from Phillip S Goldson International Airport (BZE) several times a day. Once through customs and immigration, check in with your connecting airline directly from the terminal.
You may, however, prefer to get to Caye Caulker via water taxi. From the airport you will need to take a taxi to one of the two water taxi terminals. The two water taxi services are San Pedro Belize Express and Ocean Ferry. The water taxis to the islands leave several times a day and the schedule can be viewed online. Here are some handy links to help you organize your trip:
Tropic Air: https://www.tropicair.com
Maya Island Air: http://www.mayaislandair.com
Ocean Ferry Belize (Water Taxi): http://www.oceanferrybelize.com
San Pedro Belize Express (Water Taxi): http://www.belizewatertaxi.com
GETTING AROUND THE ISLAND
Caye Caulker is Belize’s second most visited destination. It’s a small quiet island that measures approximately five miles from the northern most tip down to the southern end. The island is actually two islands separated by The Split with the vast majority of accommodations, restaurants, tour shops and bars on the South Island. But the North Island is the perfect place to see the native flora and fauna as the first settlers did. It is also home to a number of idiosyncratic homes. The North Caye is largely undeveloped and will see the majority of the new growth and investment in the coming years.
Most visitors choose one of three ways to get around the South Island. The first is to take a local taxi. These are usually inexpensive ranging from $5-$10 BZE depending on where you are going. The second is to rent a bicycle. There are a number of places renting those and the guest house you may be staying at might have those for your convenience. The third, and in keeping with the unofficial motto of ‘Go Slow’ is to take your time and walk. The streets are still sandy and uncrowded.
To get to the north island you have three options. The Koko King Resort runs a boat several times a day from the back dock on the South Island to their resort. You can either pay for the boat ride or stay and enjoy the beach, bar and restaurant there. Similarly, the Blu Zen condos runs a boat up to their restaurant from the eastern shore several times a day. Check their website for the times and location of departure. Finally, if you really want to explore you can hire a local boat guide to take you across and around the island.
Here are a few links to a few of the local golf cart companies:
Where to Stay
Caye Caulker began life as a small fishing village and then was discovered by backpackers. Since that time the island has evolved and there are a number of different types of accommodations that can be had depending on your wants, needs and budget.
Here are a few of the choices:
Anchorage Beach Resort – Catch the sunrise on the beach in this quiet and peaceful place.
Barefoot Beach Charming Huts – A ten-minute walk from the water taxi and right on the beach. Quiet and relaxing!
Yocamatsu– Easy walking distance to The Split, this is your Caribbean hideaway home away from home.
Iguana Reef Inn – Situated on the western shore with a beach front bar and multiple lounge chairs, the perfect place to relax, swim and snorkel.
Oasi – Located on the airport road, this complex is your private retreat with its own restaurant, pool, free bikes and kitchens in the rooms .
In addition there are a number of private rentals through AirBnB, VRBO and HomeAway among others.
Places to Eat
Belizean cuisine features plenty of fresh seafood, as one might imagine. The most well-known is the classic rice and beans with stewed chicken. So many of the local dishes are influenced by Spanish and Mexican flavors as well as Jamaican and West Indian. Enjoy tacos, burritos, tamales and tamalitos. Freshly caught fish, lobster, shrimp and squid are plentiful in the area. In addition, enjoy a variety of fresh fruit including bananas, pineapple, papaya, mango, coconut, cantaloupe, watermelon and more. Several ethnic cuisines are represented on the island as well. Without a doubt your palate will be tempted by the local flavors.
The best thing to do is head out and just walk around. There are tons of places to choose from. And don’t be deterred by the word ‘bar’ as most places are kid friendly and have plenty of options to choose from that don’t necessarily include alcohol!
Here’s a few that are popular in Caye Caulker:
Il Pellicano Cucina Italiano – Authentic Italian fare in a quiet and beautiful garden setting.
Roy’s Blue Water Grill – Fresh fish, local Belizean specialties and curries cooked to perfection.
Happy Lobster – An island institution right on front street and minutes from the water taxi.
Sports Bar – Exactly what it sounds like except with sandy floors and friendly faces!
Things to Do on Caye Caulker
Standing on the eastern shore of Caye Caulker you can see in the distance the main reason that most visitors come to La Isla Carinosa. Just in the distance you can see the white water breakers cresting over the second-longest barrier reef in the world.
Home to a wide variety of coral and sea life, the opportunities to swim with the fishes abounds. There are many tour companies and guides who will take you to Hol Chan or Coral Gardens to swim with the nurse sharks, rays, sea tortoises and manatees. You can go to Swallow Caye to view the manatees and St. George’s Caye, or you can take a more extended three-day sailing tour starting from Caye Caulker where you will sail, snorkel and fish during the day and sleep under the stars on uninhabited islands at night.
If that’s not your cup of tea, you can try your hand at kite surfing, paddleboarding, rent a crystal clear kayak and watch the fish swimming beneath you, rent a jet ski, go deep-sea fishing, bird watch or simply laze away the day in a hammock watching the azure seas in front of you. The choice is yours!
For more info contact one of our Caye Caulker Agents! We are standing by ready and willing to help!