Caye Caulker Travel Guide – 1 week in Belize

Caye Caulker chilling in the sun

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.

Go slow sign on Caye Caulker
Go slow! No problem…

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.

General

It’s an island. Island life is generally more expensive. So be prepared to pay quite a bit more for most things except maybe seafood. Make sure to stock up on toiletries, especially sun screen to avoid having to splash the cash.
There are some ATMs on the island but they sometimes experience problems. I recommend to take out some cash in Belize City (e.g. by the water taxi stand).
We were super lucky with the weather. It was sunny and dry every day except on our last day. That’s when Germany played Argentina in the World Cup final. There was a pretty big tropical storm so TV Wifi and TV signals were quite bad. The bar’s TV reception went off during overtime and we almost missed Germany’s winning goal… These storms can be bad with heavy rain for a few hours but usually pass as quickly as they come.
We haven’t been to Ambergris Caye but from all I’ve heard it’s the more expensive version of Caye Caulker with more resort-like hotels. It’s bigger and apparently with slightly better infrastructure. Most backpackers I’ve spoken to have preferred Caye Caulker over Ambergris Caye.

Accomodation

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.

You're supposed to see a photo of Bella's Backpacker hostel on Caye Caulker
Bella’s Backpacker Hostel
Sundreams Hotel Caye Caulker island
Sundreams Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Food

Lobster dinner on Caye Caulker
Eating fresh lobster for dinner – even if you’re on a budget!

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.

Sobre Las Olas, Caye Caulker restaurant
Sobre Las Olas Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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).

 

Raggamuffin snorkeling Caribbean Sea
Raggamuffin snorkelling day tour
The one day snorkelling tour cost BZD 135 and started at 10.30 am returning just before sunset. It included three stops:
1. Finding Manatees
Caribbean Sea
Amazing!
Lunch time: Rice and seafood Creole style
2. Feeding Nurse Sharks and seeing Sting Rays – they fed the Nurse Sharks little fish and we jumped in between them… So cool! We saw loads of Barracudas and many other fish too. I even held a sea cucumber in my hands.
Nurse sharks
Nurse sharks
3. Hol Chan – Green Turtle spotting
Sea turtle in Caribbean
Green turtle

Rum punch and Shrimp Ceviche on the cruise back

The Lazy Lizard is a great spot to meet others and have a few drinks. The Lizard Juice is their signature drink – but it’s dangerous (hence the toxic green color!?). Most people head to the other end of the island after sunset for some more drinking and dancing. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the Lazy Lizard. I & I, the Reggae Bar, is a popular spot.
Girls on Caye Caulker
Girls at the Lazy Lizard
Barrier Reef Sports Bar is a nice spot right by the water. We watched the World Cup final there and also played Fun Trivia Night on Sunday evening. Super fun.
girls cheering for Germany in the World cup on Caye Caulker
Cheering for Germany in the 2014 World Cup

There are options for stand-up paddling, kayaking, or Yoga.

Transport

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.

 

girls on caye caulker when Germany won the World Cup
See you in Belize!

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