Life is good on Caye Caulker, so good. It’s slow, so incredibly relaxed. And happy. Friendly, warm life-loving people. Life is simple on Caye Caulker and I’m certain that’s the reason everyone is so positive, carefree and chilled. Caye Caulker is so Caribbean. We spent a week on the island and just loved the vibe.
I don’t want to make this a “typical” travel guide. Rather, I’ll try to convince you to JUST GO to Caye Caulker and enjoy the simple life for a week, or longer. Anything less than that and you probably won’t fully let go, won’t wind down completely. It may take you some time to slow down, literally – GO SLOW – let go of what’s weighing you down, refocus, re-energize. It feels so incredibly good.
You may think ‘but there’s nothing to do on Caye Caulker for a week, let alone a month… I’d get so bored’… Bring a bunch of books to read, volunteer with the (pre-)school, chill on the beach, go snorkelling or diving (get your licence maybe!?), paddle boarding, kayaking, do Yoga (or try paddle board Yoga), make friends, hang out in the Lazy Lizard, party, go for Quiz night (damn, we came in a close third), and and and…. or just take some time to sit back and think.
Here’s our week on Caye Caulker in pictures…
Now you’re convinced to go to paradise Caye Caulker, right? Then here are a few tips.
Plenty of options in terms of accommodation but the two most recommended hostels by backpackers we met along the way in Central America were Dirty McNasty’s and Bella’s Backpackers. The former is an absolute party hostel and its next-door neighbour Bella’s a quieter version but still lively. There are plenty of quieter as well as more luxurious options available of course. We paid BZD 25 per person per night for a private three bed room at Bella’s Backpackers. You get access to the kitchen and communal space.
We sunbathed quite a bit on the deck of the Suncreams Hotel just before the split – we were lucky no hotel guests wanted to use it. It’s a really cosy and quiet spot and the hotel looked really nice, too.
If you’re lucky and it’s lobster season, you can get some pretty sweet deals. They’re super tasty. But of course, all seafood on the island is. There are quite a few BBQs along the beach for good value options and also many different restaurants. Just explore a bit.
Our first night we had dinner at Sobre Las Olas – try the Seafood Coconut Curry! Then we decided, in order to save money, to try and cook at the hostel most days. Veggies in the small shops tend to be a decent price, other groceries can be a bit more expensive though. We also had kababs from the Kabab King (one of the many street grills) – you can go seafood (e.g. lobster) or also just plain chicken. I had lobster dinner one night from a restaurant called Happy (along the main road, around the corner from Bella’s) which was a whole lobster, rice, coleslaw, nachos and salsa for only BZD 20!!!
Things to do
For a snorkelling tour, I can recommend the operator we went with which was called Raggamuffin Tours. Really fun and entertaining crew. At the end of the day, on your way back to the island, they serve cocktails and some dinner and blast really loud reggae. We took the one day snorkelling tour with them (book at least one day in advance, doesn’t operate every day). They also offer sunset cruises, spear-fishing, diving (including tours to the famous Blue Hole) as well as longer tours (around 3 days).
Rum punch and Shrimp Ceviche on the cruise back
There are options for stand-up paddling, kayaking, or Yoga.
None on the island except bicycles and golf carts but everything is super walk-able distance. But if you arrive with plenty of heavy luggage and can’t stand the heat, you may want to hire one to get to your hotel.
To and from Caye Caulker… We came from Flores (Guatemala) and took a shuttle bus to Belize City which be booked at the hostel in Guatemala (Los Amigos). It left Flores at 5 am and arrived by the water taxi in Belize City at 11 am. At the border from Guatemala to Belize you need to get your exit and entry stamps (taking all your luggage off the bus for customs). The water taxi left at 1.30 pm so there was plenty of time to get food at a close-by restaurant and take out money at the ATM. The water taxi takes around 45 minutes and cost BZD 17.50 at the time.
You can get back to mainland Belize by water taxi to Belize City or you can also take a boat to Mexico or also to Ambergris Caye (haven’t been but heard it’s the more expensive version of Caye Caulker). From Belize City water taxi we took a taxi to the airport for BZD 50 and flew off to Costa Rica.