When most people go to the Belize Cayes, they go to Caye Ambergris. Instead of following the crowd to a touristy, crowded and expensive Island, go to Caye Caulker. Trust me on this one. I spent just under a week on the caye and explored every inch. Literally. Caye Caulker is about five miles long and under a mile wide, when you stand in the middle of the island you can see the water on both sides. With Island’s motto is “Go Slow” and the plethora of watersports/activities available, Caye Caulker offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. When I stayed on the Island my sisters and I shared a small apartment our family rented, but there are plenty of hotels and hostels to choose from within a wide range of prices. Fresh produce is a bit more expensive on the island (it’s all imported from the mainland), but seafood is plenty! As follows are my recommendations for having the quintessential Caye Caulker experience.
Find a Rooftop Hammock
My favorite part about the apartments we stayed in was the rooftop hammocks. Swaying in the ocean breeze with a great view of the ocean really is the perfect way to spend the afternoon.
2. Go Snorkeling
Caye Caulker is right next to the second largest barrier reef in the world, making it a perfect place for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are several local snorkeling tours that will take you out for the day to explore the beautiful blue waters.
Errolyns House of Fryjacks sells the best Fryjacks on the Island. Fryjacks are a delicious on-the-go breakfast; its a flaky fried pastry that has been stuffed with meat, cheese, eggs…pretty much anything you desire! We would get to this place right when they opened, grab a few to go and wander around the still-empty streets.
The only really high-end place on the island, Il Pelicano delivers big on both food and atmosphere. We got there a little early and spent the sunset eating absolutely scrumptious italian food. Who would have thought?
Hang Out at the Split
When a hurricane literally split the island in two, locals decided to make it an attraction over a detriment. The split is home to a really cool bar and some of the brightest blue waters. You can go relax on the little beach or you’re adventurous, swim the entire split. We did both and it was awesome.
Paradiso cafe is the best breakfast spot to get amazingly fresh smoothies- from guava to banana these smoothies are a great way to start the day. My go-to was the mango smoothie. They’re a little pricey for the island but super yummy
The Bread Man
So there’s this guy who rides a red bike with a yellow umbrella around and sells bread his wife bakes. He has banana, dulce de leche, and pineapple bread. They’re all amazing, so if you see him riding by, be sure to stop him and grab a few.
A bit of a dive, this is one of my favorite places we ate at in Caye Caulker. Terry is hilarious and the seafood is super fresh and simple; it really focuses on the natural flavors of the fish. This place is also very budget friendly so if you are craving lobster but don’t want to blow your budget, this is a perfect place.
8. Relax on the Beach
If you don’t spend at least one day primarily just relaxing on the beach you’re not doing it right. Just take your towel down to the coast line a pick out a palm tree to relax under. Or sunbathe on one of the docks or concrete walkways by the water.
Take in the Nightlife
The Island has a totally different vibe at night and it’s fun to walk around and take it all in. Almost every street food vendor is selling cotton candy, deep fried desserts and beer. Reggae and reggaeton is playing on every corner, people walking through the streets lazily, the sounds of the water lapping, the island at night is like one giant, chill kickback.
See the Island Empty
At least one day of your time in Caye Caulker, try to wake up at sunrise. The entire Island is quiet and all the streets are empty. It’s a very surreal experience, and a good time to get some cool photos sans people.