Despite Caye Caulker being diminutive in size, it packs a whole lot of personality. There are also plenty of fun things to do in Caye Caulker meaning that though it’s tiny, you’ll never get bored.
Without exception, visitors tend to fall utterly head over heels with this place. And Caye Caulker Belize is popular with a diverse crowd ranging from backpackers to wealthy expats.
“Go Slow” is the island’s very fitting motto. In fact it immediately tells you a lot of what you need to know about this Belizean tropical paradise.
Best Things to Do in Caye Caulker
You’ll see “Go Slow” plastered all over the island. It’s on signs, printed on souvenirs and t shirts, and even quoted to you by locals – no lie.
People here genuinely live by this mantra and it’s reflected in every aspect of island life. So in terms of the best things to do in Caye Caulker, the first one is undoubtedly to embrace this expression.
Relax, take a deep breath, and bring the pace down a notch or two.
Done that? Ok, now you’re ready to find out the rest of what this chilled Caribbean island has to offer. Here are 10 unmissable things to do in Caye Caulker Belize.
1. Hit The Split Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is an island that’s literally been chopped in two. The halves are separated by a narrow channel of turquoise water that’s about 50 metres across called The Split.
On Caye Caulker The Split’s formation is something of a mystery.
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different story over how it happened.
Some will say it was created by the devastating Hurricane Hattie that hit in 1961.
Alternatively you’ll be told it was hand dredged by locals after the storm.
The idea being to allow canoes and small boats to conveniently pass from one side of the island to the other. This made it far quicker than going all the way around it and helped aid the clean up efforts.
Either way, it’s now a popular hang out spot. And a visit here is one of the things to do in Caye Caulker that you can’t miss out on.
Strangely enough, for a tropical paradise there aren’t really that many places where people go swimming on Caye Caulker.
The Split’s clean and calm mini harbour is probably the most popular place to dive in and cool off.
Not least because it’s beside one of the most well frequented bars on the island, The Lazy Lizard.
People come here to chill out, have a few drinks, dive off the high board, fish, sunbathe, party and whatever else takes their fancy.
It’s kind of a catch all area where families, backpackers and locals all congregate to have a good time.
So get your swimming cozzie on and head down for the afternoon to enjoy one of the most popular Caye Calker attractions.
2. Swim With Sharks
Yes that’s right, one of the very best things to do in Caye Caulker is to swim with sharks.
Now before you start picturing bloody death scenes from Jaws, know that these are Nurse sharks. This variety of shark are almost harmless to humans.
I say almost because they’re suction feeders. This means they suck in huge volumes of sea water before blowing it out of their gills.
In doing this they catch the plankton and small fish they feed on in the process.
Rest assured, Nurse sharks absolutely won’t bite you unless seriously provoked. But apparently the force with which they suck the water in with while feeding can make you an unwitting victim.
If you do get sucked in they have thousands of tiny teeth that will strip the skin and flesh from your bones.
So you need to stay a safe distance away from them, which is pretty sound advice for any wildlife.
They’re found in an area nicknamed “shark alley” not far off the coast of Caye Caulker. You’ll find lots of boat trips on offer that will take you to enjoy a swim with them.
We’d recommend checking out this awesome snorkelling tour of shark alley.
You’ll encounter barracudas, moray eels, snappers, sharks, stingrays, butterfly fish, damsel fish, stoplight parrotfish and more across 3 locations.
3. Go Scuba Diving in Caye Caulker on the World’s Second Largest Barrier Reef
One of the main draws for many visitors to Caye Caulker is its proximity to the world’s second largest barrier reef.
Belize lays claim to almost 200 miles of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. It runs all the way from Mexico down to Honduras, and this section is renowned for being particularly spectacular.
For this reason, in Caye Caulker, diving and snorkelling are huge attractions. The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
You’ll encounter hundreds of species of fish and coral. Plus you may get a peek at the plenty of other sea life that’s not even been discovered yet.
However you choose to see it, these waters are heavily protected in Belize. Because of this they are brimming with a colourful kaleidoscope of aquatic scenery.
4. Check Out a Sensational Sunset
We think that sunsets are nature’s ultimate free show. We love to wonder at them at every opportunity in every part of the world we visit.
On Caye Caulker they’re absolutely sublime and definitely not to be missed.
Once you’ve witnessed the deep blue sky melting from shades of gold and yellow into purples and pinks, you too will understand why catching a sunset is one of the best things to do on Caye Caulker.
Our favourite place to witness them here on the island is right next to The Split.
People come to this area each evening in couples, groups of friends, or even alone, to celebrate the last of the sunshine.
Dangle your toes off the edge over the sea, take a blanket and a beer or two, relax and enjoy.
If you’re lucky you may even see some of the luminescent creatures found here. They swirl about in the water leaving neon trails in their wake so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
If you’re wondering what to do in Caye Caulker with your evening, this is where it should start.
5. Walk Around the Whole South Island
At 5 miles long and a mile across at its widest, Caye Caulker is a pretty tiny island.
In fact in some parts it takes just 2 minutes to walk from one side to the other.
It feels as though you could easily throw a stone across the distance. But because of this, it’s extremely easy to get around by foot.
If you enjoy a good walk then you’re in luck because Caye Caulker has some stunning scenery to explore. Set aside a morning or an afternoon and take a wander around the perimeter of the whole south island.
Start in the town and head south along the east coast. You’ll soon find yourself out of the main town and into the more residential areas.
There are lots of swanky houses here overlooking the sea along the single path that runs the whole way around.
You’ll also pass the Caye Caulker’s slightly spooky airstrip. It looks abandoned but we were told that private planes do land on it from time to time.
It gets pretty swampy in parts at some times of year so you have to be quite adventurous to carry on.
Particularly when you’re walking through knee high water and come across places with names like Crocodile Watch Bridge and Crocodile Road!
The wildlife is impressive and you’ll spot all kinds of species of birds, lizards, and perhaps snakes among other things.
Be aware that there are crocodiles here. However, we were assured by a local guy we passed that they’re more scared of people than we are of them.
They will scuttle off at the faintest inkling of someone approaching…
6. Scoff Fry Jacks Every Morning for Breakfast in Caye Caulker
This isn’t a suggestion, it’s a directive. Fry jacks are some of the most delicious foodstuffs to ever pass our lips here at The Whole World Or Nothing.
As a breakfast food they’re simply the perfect way to start your day.
They’ll put a smile on your face and start a party in your mouth. You’ll be craving them all day and night until the following morning.
No idea what fry jacks are? They are the taste of breakfast in Caye Caulker.
It’s a traditional Belizean dish made from puffed up, deep fried pieces of dough. They’re then stuffed with all manner of mouth watering fillings from stewed chicken to eggs and bacon.
Fry Jacks are definitely not the healthy option. But your waistline will be the last thing on your mind once you get a taste of this finger licking fare.
7. Feast on Lobster
Wherever you go on the island you’ll see smoky grills covered with grub that’ll make your stomach do somersaults of joy. And nothing has that effect on us quite like a barbecued lobster.
If you’re into your seafood as well then you’ll agree. Feasting on these succulent crustaceans is one of the best things to do in Caye Caulker.
What’s even better than virtually every restaurant on the island serving up this luxurious dish*? The fact that it won’t break the bank to enjoy it.
A lavish lobster blowout will set you back less than the price of a bucket of beers, so be sure not to miss out.
*during the season which runs from June to February
8. Enjoy Caye Caulker’s Nightlife
Caye Caulker’s compact centre is packed full of bars, restaurants and clubs. So if you’re after a night out then you’ll definitely find a good party here.
It doesn’t usually get really wild and raucous. The vibe is more chilling to some laid back reggae beats with a few cocktails or beers in most places.
That said, there are a few clubs which are open late and people go there to dance the night away.
We didn’t actually go to any of the “clubbier” clubs as we were quite content chillaxing in the bars. Most of the bars open pretty late as well anyway.
Think swing seats suspended from ceilings. Rustic tables and chairs fashioned out of rough planks of wood. Beachfront outdoor seating.
If you’re picturing that then you’ve got a good idea what they’re like.
Many bars run specials on alternating days. Because of this you’ll find the crowds pop up in different places throughout the week.
This is great because it’s easy to spot the more lively places if that’s what you want. And its also pretty easy to avoid them if you don’t.
9. Hang Out at Koko King
The north island of Caye Caulker remains largely untouched and is covered in natural reserves full of interesting wildlife.
In recent years however, parts of this half of the island have begun to be developed. One of those newer developments is the Koko King complex.
You can reach it by a water taxi which runs every half an hour throughout the day, ferrying people across The Split.
Alternatively you can just swim the short distance across, or even paddle board or kayak over if you’ve hired one for the day.
Once there you’ll find a kickass bar built on stilts over the water and calm, clear seas to swim in.
There’s also a swimming pool for those who prefer chlorine to saline, a restaurant, and plenty of loungers.
It’s a popular hang out spot for locals and tourists alike. And even though it’s just a short hop across The Split, it feels like a world away from the south island.
Head over to enjoy a bucket of beer with your friends, sample a delicious cocktail or two, and generally chill out for the day in a secluded and laid back environment.
10. See the Seahorse Reserve Caye Caulker
On the west side of the south island there’s a tiny seahorse sanctuary that’s home to dozens of these strange little creatures.
At first glance you probably won’t see anything but some netting that looks like it’s covered in seaweed.
But stay there, be patient and let your eyes adjust.
After a few moments the magical little beasts will start to appear before your eyes. What you thought was bits of old rope begin to move gracefully around the sanctuary.
They’re supremely camouflaged which is why they’re difficult to spot at first. And if you’ve never seen a seahorse before they’re probably smaller than you imagined.
We loved spotting these tiny critters, they’re like something from a different planet.
We only spent about 20 minutes there but it’s still one of the best things to do in Caye Caulker. Plus it’s absolutely free to visit.
Best Places to Stay on Caye Caulker Belize
There’s plenty of accommodation on Caye Caulker ranging from cute cabanas to budget hostels. You’ll definitely find something to suit your budget.
However, a word of caution – Caye Caulker is an increasingly popular destination meaning that the best accommodation gets snapped up well in advance.
Our advice is to get your place booked up as soon as possible to avoid missing out on your first choice.
Affordable Luxury: Sea Dreams Hotel is in an absolutely prime location right on The Split meaning you’ll be close to all of the island’s top spots. Plus they have a private dock where you can sunbathe or swim if you want a bit more privacy.
The hotel is gorgeous, colourful and and cozy while rooms are equipped with flat screen TVs and aircon. An amazing breakfast is prepared freshly each day and there’s even free rental of bikes and paddle boards to get around the island.
Midrange: Panchos Villas is just a short walk from all the main Caye Caulker attractions and a couple of minutes from where the water taxis dock.
The rooms here are spacious, super clean and extremely comfortable. Features like air conditioning and TVs with cable are available while some rooms also boast lovely balconies. This place is great value.
Cheap & Cheerful: Yuma’s House is a cute hostel that sits right on the beach, close to town and the water taxi wharf, perfect for getting to all the best bits of Caye Caulker.
It’s a brilliant place to meet people as it’s got lots of communal spaces including a garden and terrace with gorgeous sea views. There’s also a communal kitchen if you want to rustle up some of your own meals.
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance
Though Caye Caulker is extremely safe, we’d never go anywhere without travel insurance – and neither should you.
This particularly goes if you’re planning to do any of the more adventurous Caye Caulker activities above.
World Nomads is our preferred choice for great cover, grab yourself a quick quote below:
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Heading on to Mexico after your Belize trip? Read these posts on our favourite Mexican destinations:
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Visiting Caye Caulker? Which of these activities are you most looking forward to doing? Let us know in the comments below.
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Travel lover, professional writer and football (soccer) obsessive, James loves nothing more than getting outside and exploring little known corners of the globe. He’s also very partial to a drop of Guinness.