Things to Do on Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker: Caye Caulker is a small limestone coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea measuring about 5 miles (8.0 km) (north to south) by less than 1 mile (1.6 km) (east to west). The town on the island is known by the name Caye Caulker Village. The population of Caye Caulker is approximately 2000 people today and still growing.
‘No Shirt, No Shoes…No Problem.’ You’ll see this sign everywhere in Belize, but no place is it more apt than Caye Caulker. On this tiny island, where cars, too, are blissfully absent, dogs nap in the middle of the dirt road and suntanned cyclists pedal around them. The only traffic sign on the island instructs golf carts and bicycles to ‘go slow,’ and that directive is taken seriously.
Caye Caulker is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) north-northeast of Belize City and is accessible by high-speed water taxi or small plane. In recent years, the island has become a popular destination for backpackers and other tourists. There are over 50 hotels and a number of restaurants and shops.
Caye Caulker Belize
This website is a comprehensive site providing all you need or want to know of Caye Caulker, Belize. Inside lies a library of information, from the rich history of the island to the activities and conservation efforts that entice many tourists visiting Belize to experience the island’s wonders and fun.
Location: One mile west of Belize Barrier Reef
Length: From North to South, 8.2 km (5 Miles)
Width: .25 – 2.0 km (0.15 – 1.2 miles)
Population: Approximately 1,300
Culture: Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole
Hotels: 57…with 887 rooms.
On early British maps, the island’s name is spelled “Cay Corker.” Known historically for its plentiful supply of exposed fresh water at La Aguada, one theory holds that this island was a favourite stop for sailors to replenish and cork water bottles. The Spanish name of the island is Cayo Hicaco, which means “the island of the cocoplum.” “Caye Caulker” could be an anglicized pronunciation of Cayo Hicaco. Another theory is that boats were caulked in the protected bay, La Ensenada, on the western side of the island leading to the “Caulker” name.
Brief History of Caye Caulker
Recent history of Caye Caulker began when Mestizo refugees from the Mexican Caste Wars arrived. The area that became the village on Caye Caulker was formally purchased by Luciano Reyes around 1870. Lots were sold to other families, most of which still have descendants on the island today. The influence of these families is still very apparent.
With a few inhabitants, food could be grown with sustainable methods of agriculture. The coconut and the fishing industry became important economic staples of the island. Even today a few of the older women continue to process coconut oil for their own use and to sell, although generally the coconuts themselves are harvested and shipped to the mainland.
Large scale lobster fisheries arose in the 1920s when the lobster trap was introduced to the caye by Canadian Captain Cook and modified for use with the spiny lobster by Marcial Alumina. In 1960 the Northern Fishermen’s Co-operative Society Ltd. was formed with thirty-plus members including some women, which allowed fishermen to export both fish and lobster, eliminating the middleman. Due to its great success, the cooperative became a model for other cooperatives in Belize.
Caye Caulker Hotels
Hopping over from Guatemala to the Caribbean coast of Belize, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t welcome the transition. From grinding on the chaotic and bumpy streets of Northern Guatemala, we arrived at the breezy reggae beats and killer beaches on Caye Caulker. I threw my hands in the sky and let the wind take me.
Caye Caulker is the Caribbean without pretentious hotels and snobbish holidaymakers. Instead, you’ll find clear waters, lots of hippies and reggae-loving locals, laid-back hostels and Caribbean atmosphere. There are no roads, no pollution, no loud noises. Just soft winds, light music, and the endless sea. For those who want to get to know the island inside out, here are some of the essential things to do on Caye Caulker.
You heard me. You get to literally swim around schools of nurse sharks and large stingrays at the famed Shark-Ray Alley. Don’t worry, they don’t bite. Visibility in the water is as clear as it can get and snorkeling conditions are close to perfect. This was by far our favorite thing to do on Caye Caulker. If you only have time for a day trip, make it this trip. Snorkeling trips that take you out here also bring you to nearby Hol-Chan marine reserve. Marine life is abundant here – we even got to swim beside a manatee! It was a surreal experience as the giant slowly glided past us, so gently and relaxingly.
Caye Caulker Real Estate
A jewel in the Caribbean Sea, Caye Caulker, Belize is the true definition of “island vibe.” Found in Ambergris Caye off the country’s east coast, the tranquil island is so tiny that you can walk around the whole thing in about an hour—barefoot, naturally. Surrounded by the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef which is the second-longest in the world, it’s the perfect base for underwater adventures, such as snorkeling with sharks in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and scuba diving in the famous Great Blue Hole. Or simply sit back, relax and soak up the sunshine while being hypnotized by the idyllic surroundings. Here are some of the top things to do in Caye Caulker, and five reasons why you should go.
At just over a mile long and about two blocks across, Caye Caulker may be small in size but it’s big on scenery. Think secluded azure coves, groves of palm trees gently swaying in the breeze, and brilliant white sand edging the shoreline. Best of all, the impossibly-blue water in the surrounding sea is out of this world, and it’s aquamarine, teal and turquoise hues seamlessly blend together to create a kaleidoscope of color that will leave you mesmerized.
The island’s sleepy vibe means some visitors are hesitant to stay overnight since there isn’t a lot to do once the sun goes down. Fortunately, it’s easy to visit as a day trip. Many tours such as the Caye Caulker snorkeling excursions offered by Tuff E Nuff include a two-hour visit to the island in their itineraries, or you can simply hop on one of the numerous ferries that stop there to make a day of it. Getting to Caye Caulker is easy on the fast ferry, which is only a 45-minute ride from either Belize City or San Pedro.
Caye Caulker Realestate
Caye Caulker is also noteworthy for its tradition of shipbuilding. The Young and Alumina families historically are known as skilled shipwrights constructing wooden sailboats with frame construction. Caye Caulker remains a shipbuilding and boat racing center of Belize with the Alumina and Young families still prominently active in these endeavors. The Belize Marine Terminal and Museum has an excellent exhibit of the Caye Caulker shipwrights, their tools, and the boats they have built.
Fishing continues to be an important industry, but tourism has gradually become an important force on the caye as well. Since the ’60s and ’70s, when small numbers of hippies found their way to the caye, tourism has grown each year and many islanders now also operate restaurants, hotels, or other businesses in the tourism industry.
Despite the growth of tourism, Caye Caulker remains a small village with a distinct cultural flavor not necessarily found in large-scale tourist development. Almost all the businesses are locally owned, vehicles larger than golf carts almost never roam the streets, and lodging is small scale and relatively inexpensive compared to many other tourist destinations. We prefer to keep it this way. We frown upon large-scale development and focus upon the preservation of our unique heritage.
Belize Caye Caulker
The island is made up of a sand bar over a limestone shelf. An underwater cave named Giant Cave is found below the Caye in the limestone. In front of the village, a shallow lagoon, between 6 inches (150 mm) and 14 feet (4.3 m) deep, meets the Belize Barrier Reef to the east. This reef is known as a dry reef with the reef exposed at the surface, while further north the reef is a deep reef and lies under 2 to 8 feet (0.61 to 2.44 m) of water. The area is popular with windsurfers.
A narrow waterway known as the Split divides the island in two. Some people state that the Split was created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 which devastated Belize City; however, this is largely untrue. Villagers who actually hand dredged it maintains that it is largely a man-made feature. The Village Council Chairman at the time, Ramon Reyes, recounts that he and others dredged the waterway by hand after Hurricane Hattie opened a passage a few inches deep. This made a practical water way between the west and east sides of the island, intended at first for dugout canoes. The increased flow of tidal water has dredged the opening to 100 feet (30 m) deep, fortuitously now allowing passage for larger boats. The natural erosion continues to this day and threatens the soft sand banks of the waterway.
Is Caye Caulker expensive?
Based on our own experiences, it is possible to travel on a budget of $42.00 USD per person a day or less in Caye Caulker if you are careful and manage your money well (especially if you minimize your intake of alcoholic beverages).
Is Caye Caulker safe to travel?
Yes, crime rates are high in Caye Caulker. This isn’t the safest place to vacation, so keeping someone with you at all times is a good suggestion to follow.
What is there to do on Caye Caulker?
- Snorkel with Sharks. You heard me.
- Eat Barbecued Seafood at Wish Willy.
- Dive the Blue Hole.
- Chill at the Split.
- Stay at Popeye’s Beach Resort.
- Groove to Reggae Music.
- Go Sunset Sailing.
- Try Street Tacos.