Anyone who wants to find the real island life in Belize will soon find himself on Caye Caulker. The relaxed atmosphere, idyllic sunsets and beautiful sea life attract many tourists to the island. Caye Caulker’s motto is “go slow” and is therefore the ideal place to do nothing at all. Do you want to do something? Or do you want to know what the nicest place is to do nothing at all? These are the 8 best tips for your time on Caye Caulker!
# 1 Snorkeling in the Great Belizean Reef
The Belize reef is one of the most beautiful in the world. Did you know that this is the largest living reef in the world? It runs all the way from the north along the coast to the south of the country. And in that north is exactly Caye Caulker. During a visit to the island you cannot miss a snorkeling or diving tour to discover the beautiful underwater world of the Great Belizean Reef.
Dozens of snorkeling tours are offered on Caye Caulker, but the prices hardly differ. You pay 35 USD for a half day tour (with three snorkeling sessions of about 45 minutes) or 65 USD for a whole day (with five snorkeling sessions). We therefore mainly searched for an ecofriendly snorkeling organization.
We decided to book our tour at Reef Friendly Tours. That is one of the few tour companies that does not disturb the natural rhythm of the sharks by feeding them. That discourages the use of sunscreen to protect the coral, even the oil-rich sustainable brands. And that leaves at 8.30 in the morning to prevent you from snorkeling with all the other groups in the same place. Unfortunately, this organization proved not to be very reliable, because after half an hour of waiting the tour was canceled at 9 a.m. A couple did not show up and four people were insufficient for a snorkeling tour. In the end we went with Anwar Snorkel and Tours that same morning. Unfortunately they did feed the sharks. It was a spectacular sight from the water, but still felt wrong. A big plus of Anwar is that they bring a GoPro on their tours. Guaranteed cool underwater photos!
# 2 Magical sunsets
Caye Caulker guarantees magical sunsets every night. You can book a tour and see the sunset aboard a boat. But you also have a magical experience from the beach. Every night we saw how the sky turned yellow, orange, pink and red as the sun went down.
# 3 Seahorses and pelicans at Iguana
One of the nicest spots on Caye Cualker is Iguana Reef. It is one of the few places on the west side of the island where you can go into the sea for a swim. There are lovely lounge beds, it’s happy hour all afternoon (two cocktails for 10 BZN, so 2.50 euros each) and there are pretty swings in the water.
And did you know that this is also a great place to see seahorses and pelicans? A seahorse sanctuary has been built next to the Iguana jetty. So sit back and enjoy the spotting. You also have dozens of pelicans at Iguana. Certainly at the end of the afternoon, because they are fed around 5 pm (and you can lend a hand).
# 4 Morning yoga at Namaste
One of the nicest lunch spots on Caye Caulker is Namaste. Fine sandwiches, healthy meals and tasty drinks. And you can join the yoga session every morning at 9 a.m. You determine the price yourself; You choose afterwards what amount you want to pay for this.
# 5 Rent a bike or golf cart
There are no cars on Caye Caulker, so everyone travels the island on a bicycle or golf cart. Although everything is perfectly walkable, it is also nice to just cross the island. You usually rent bicycles for a day; You can also rent a golf cart by the hour.
# 6 Cocktails at The Split
Caye Caulker was once longer than it is now; it was split in two by a hurricane in 1961. That may sound a bit more dramatic than how it actually went: the hurricane created a narrow water channel of a few centimeters. It has been worn down over the years and dug out by the islanders into the waterway that it is today. The place at the end of the inhabited part of Caye Caulker is The Split. A chill spot with lounge chairs and often live music. The perfect place for a cocktail during happy hour and for a beautiful sunset!
# 7 Sail to the beach of Koko King
On the other side of The Split there is not much else than the Koko King restaurant on the beach. If you spend enough at the restaurant, the boat trip there is free. You will not find the boat at The Split, but further south on the island. Koko is a wonderful place to relax on the beach in hammocks. Truly a bounty paradise, which we would definitely visit next time on Caye Caulker!
# 8 Enjoy the nice eateries
Not that many people live on Caye Caulker, but there are a lot of tourists. And where there are many people, there is also a large choice of restaurants! On the west side you will find many restaurants on the beach and also on the main street is bursting with eateries. Our favorites were Cafe y Amor and Axios Sun Coffee for breakfast. Namaste was a nice place for lunch. We prefer to drink cocktails at Iguana Reef and The Split during happy hour. And for a cheap and tasty Asian meal you have to go to Yummy Yummy.