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Caye Caulker is known as a laid-back, backpacking destination. But other than laying around drinking (not that there’s anything wrong with that), what else is there to do? Are there are other activities? My biggest fear is that I would be bored. I was wrong!
There are three north-to-south streets: Front, Middle, and Back, though they’ve been officially renamed to Hicaco, Langosta, and Mangle. People (including me) may use those terms interchangeably so be aware. Here’s a list of activities if you’d like some ideas:
12 Fun Things to Do in Caye Caulker
1. Visit the Sea Horse Reserve
Don’t expect too much out of this one but at least it’s free! One of the hotels on the west side of the island, created an area by the docks were lots of sea life congregate. This includes sea horses who like to hang around the ropes. The only problem is that seahorses are tiny and apparently shy. Thankfully one of the staff had spotted one that we could kind of glimpse through some boards. Needless to say this was disappointing but it’s free and would be entertaining if you’ve got kids with you.
Getting there: at the Iguana Reef Inn on Chapoose Street. Take the side road by the futbol field if you don’t see the signs.
2. Feed the Tarpon
Walk to the end of a dock to hand feed the tarpon with a $5 Bz bag of fish bait. The tarpon know they will be fed and stick around the spot (they even surrounded our boat from Koko King though we had no food for them). Sure, they’re pretty and if you’re a fisherman can appreciate this but I’m always torn that we’ve changed the animals natural instinct for finding their own food.
Getting there: The dock is located off the western side by taking the street in front of Ragamuffin tours. Calle La Posa.
3. Socialize at the Split
The Split is THE place to see and be seen. There’s so much to do! From just sharing a drink with friends at the Lazy Lizard to swimming in the area, or sitting at a table in the water, playing beach volleyball with your new friends, or challenging someone to cornhole. The Split has maximized its reputation and used its grounds wisely to ensure guests stay for a long time. Be warned that a Belikin is $7 Bz (pricier) and I didn’t find the wait staff overly friendly. Still a must-see.
Getting there: Walk to the northern end of Front or Hicaco Street. You can’t miss it.
4. Relax at Koko King
Koko King is a newer private beach club on the north island. You’ll take a ferry which is free as long as you spend over $50 Bz per person. We found the beach beautifully clean and mosquito-free. The staff was friendly. We paid $ Bz for a covered shelter with two wooden lounge chairs and a hammock. The water had no seagrass or sargasso which was a welcome sight! A bit pricey (access to the infinity pool was an additional $35 Bz per person, so no one was in it). Still worth a visit since it had the only decent beach on the island. A small hotel will be opening soon if you’d like to stay here.
Getting there: Take a ferry located at the west end of Calle Del Sol.
5. Refresh at the Sip n Dip
This bar and restaurant located just before The Split offers many of the same attractions as The Split for a lower price with friendly staff. Kids can play on the water slides. There’s a volleyball court in the water. I enjoyed hanging out in the tires and swing in the cleaned out area.
Getting there: You can’t miss this dock on your right on Front Street right before The Split.
6. Eat Lots and Lots of Lobster in Caye Caulker:
I love lobster, which was in season. I can’t even explain how perfectly cooked the lobsters are on the grill so that they just melt in your mouth. Plus they’re split open sideways and you can eat everything that’s visible. I love these spiny lobsters!
- Dee n D: we liked this place so much we ate dinner twice! The lobster grilled by Nick was fantastic and his brother-in-law Brent kept the drinks flowing. We chose the bigger lobsters at $35 Bz each. One of the few restaurants with an unobstructed view of the sunset (very romantic). Located on Back Street just South of the Split.
- Chef Kareem’s: we liked it so much we ate here twice! Only open for lunch and don’t expect much – literally a tarp tent over 6 plastic tables with chairs. But the grilled items were fabulous (Chris was manning the grill the first day) as was the chicken curry. BYOB at the supermarket nearby. My grilled lobster cost $25 Bz. Located on Front Street across from the playground and Caye Caulker sign.
- Roses Grill & Bar: This was just down the street from our hotel. We chose our lobster for $30 Bz and as silly as it sounds, I highly recommend the baked potato which is boiled first so it melts in your mouth. Located on Calle del Sol.
- Maggie’s Kitchen: We stopped in as recommended by our hotel bartender, Oz. The lobster was good just not as great as at the other places but still better than in the US. Located on a side street about one block south of Dee and Ds.
- The Happy Lobster: we ate here two years ago but I couldn’t leave it off the list! Still popular with the crowds, we just wanted to try something new. Located on Front Street, a few blocks south of the main pier.
7. Walk Around Caye Caulker
Our first morning, we just started walking South on Front Street then switched to Middle Street. We went from the airport to the Split and got to know the lay of the land. That’s when we spotted some signs that gave us ideas of what to see and where to eat.
Getting there: Just start walking and enjoy the people!
8. Go Snorkeling in Caye Caulker
Visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Alley, amongst others. You can even go to the Blue Hole but it’s a 12-hour trip and supposedly better for divers.
Getting there: There are lots and lots of providers up and down each street but particularly on Front Street by the docks. Or book online. Many will pick you up from your resort’s dock.
9. SUP Around the Island
I really wanted to try this but with all the gross sargasso and seagrass invasion, I decided to skip it. Our hotel, Seaside Cabanas, offered SUPs for $25 Bz an hour and I saw a few other providers. This company can arrange a SUP tour.
Getting there: varies on location.
10.Sail on a Sunset Cruise
The curse of visiting during the rainy season is that we had rain from drizzle to downpours every day. But I would have loved to experience a sunset cruise like this one if the weather had been more cooperative!
Getting there: varies on location but often from the main dock on Front Street.
11. Fly Over the Blue Hole
Several companies, including Tropic Air, offer flights over the Blue Hole. These flights need a certain minimum of guests (varies by company) and they last an hour. While I can imagine how amazing that must be, I couldn’t bring myself to spend $250 US per person for an hour flight. It’s on my list if I win the lottery though!
Getting there: Caye Caulker’s airport is at the southern end of Back Street. We walked it in 20 minutes but you can take a cab (which of course cost us $10 Bz when we went with suitcases).
12. Bar Hop
Caye Caulker is a party island popular with young people. Most nights, there were lots of people hanging out at the Karaoke and sports bars (US football season and hockey were both going on). Don’t miss out on the nightlife.
Getting there: Walk up and down Front Street and you’re sure to find the right spot for your interests!
If Caye Caulker is your base during your vacation, you can also go back to the mainland to experience popular trips to Mayan sites like Lamanai or the Belize Zoo or even the Manatee Refuge. My recommendation would be to do those separately from Belize City or before arriving at Caye Caulker to save yourself time and money. And of course, don’t forget to plan a trip to the ATM Cave too.
I thoroughly enjoyed Caye Caulker and hope you do too! I highly recommend Seaside Cabanas if you’re looking for a romantic getaway. Click here if you would like to see a 7 Day Belize Itinerary that combines adventure and relaxation.
What other things to do in Caye Caulker have you tried that should be added to the list?
Annick, The Common Traveler