Caye Caulker is a little slice of paradise that lies just off the coast of Belize. Here, everything is within walking distance, the seafood is incredible, and the entire island operates with a laid back vibe, making it hard not to relax. Just because the island is small, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. And the fact that everything can be reached with a short walk ensures that you can do anything and everything you desire. Here are six fun things we did during our week on the island.
1. Paddle Board Around Caye Caulker
The calm, warm waters around Caye Caulker make it a perfect place to test your balance by paddling around the island. You don’t have to be an expert to have a blast; we would know! We rented boards for two hours from Contour Ocean Ventures (which doesn’t seem to be operating anymore) for just under $20 a person. There are other rental companies on the island too, such as Reef Break Surf Shop. Some offer surfing, windsurfing, and various tours in addition to paddle board rentals.
We set off on the east side of the island and paddled through The Split to the backside where the water was calmer. It was the perfect spot to hang out in the shallow, warm water. When it was time to go back, we just walked our boards from the backside of the island back to the shop.
2. Snorkeling Trip
This day consisted of manatees, rum drinking, jumping off boats, and swimming with sharks and other fascinating sea creatures. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. We set out with Carlos Tours on the Gypsea Queen catamaran for a day of snorkeling and taking in the views.
Many snorkeling trips take you out on a small speed boat, so this was more relaxing and definitely worth it. The trip included endless rum punch, lunch, snorkeling gear, a few snorkeling stops, and the marine reserve entrance fee.
We swam alongside various underwater creatures, including turtles, manatees, eels, nurse sharks, eagle rays, and various other colorful fish. Carlos was also a blast to hang out with, and the tour was a great opportunity to go see the reef since it is a ways off shore.
3. Wander the Shops in Caye Caulker
When you have some time to kill, there are many shops selling anything from Belizean spices and hand-made décor to jewelry and swimwear. Most of the shops and stalls line the main drag on the east side of the island. There are some pretty good, cheap finds for anybody looking for souvenirs and other trinkets.
4. Feed the Tarpon
On the west side of the island, there are a few friendly ladies selling frozen sardines that you can buy for a few dollars per bag to feed the tarpon from the nearby dock. There isn’t an official stall or shop, so it is a little hard to recognize, but most locals can point you in the right direction.
Just dangle a sardine between your fingers with a flat palm, and the tarpon will be jumping from all directions to grab the fish straight from your hand. Don’t worry, they don’t have teeth!
5. Relax on the Beach
There is a lot to do on the island of Caye Caulker, but sometimes it’s nice to just chill on the beach and take it all in. The beaches are all sandy, and the water is calm and warm. There are plenty of spots to lay out a towel to relax all along the coast. If you want to catch a beautiful sunset, head to the northern end of the backside of the island. There’s a small beach spot and a few docks to chill on while watching the sun drop below the horizon.
6. Island Nightlife
The sun goes down, but the beach party doesn’t stop. If you like to enjoy nightlife, Caye Caulker has some fun spots. Reggae music fills the street, and there is an abundance of rum drinks to go around. Rum is the drink of the island, and you can get a fifth of rum for about $3 at any of the grocery stores. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars serving refreshing drinks and tasty bites.
The Lazy Lizard and Sports Bar are popular hangouts all day long and into the night hours. They both play nonstop music, have various games set up, and are located on the beach. There are plenty of other bars that have pool tables and a fun atmosphere as well. The best part is that they are all within walking distance of each other.