Caye Caulker’s official motto is “Go Slow” but, since ‘slow’ isn’t really in my vocabulary, I put together a list of awesome things to do in Caye Caulker so I could keep the blood circulating while I was there.
It’s worth noting that their Go Slow motto may be directed at your need to operate on Caribbean island speed; but it might also refer to the fact that Caye Caulker, Belize has two cemeteries and zero hospitals. Just something to think about when you get to No. 9 on this list.
So for when you’re visiting this tiny Belize island and are looking for ways to not go slow, here are 23 exciting things to do in Caye Caulker.
1. Go snorkeling
Snorkeling is always No. 1 on the list of the best things to do in Caye Caulker, Belize and for good reason: Caye Caulker is located just outside the world’s second largest barrier reef. (Just behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.)
While snorkeling in Caye Caulker you’ll get up-close and personal with:
- multiple species of sea turtles (the hawksbills are the cutest!)
- one absolutely massive sea turtle at Chato’s Place whom I’ve named Dave Matthews because he did, indeed, crash into me (Check it out in the video at the top of this page.)
- friendly nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley
- beautiful sting rays
- fish of all shapes, sizes, colors, and sharpness of teeth
- awesome eels
- seahorses and other cool creatures
- and all kinds of interesting and awe-inspiring corals
I thought it couldn’t get any better than snorkeling with wild dolphins and pilot whales in Hawaii, but snorkeling in Belize was honestly one of the most rewarding experiences. And I owe it all to Caveman Snorkeling Tours (and like millions of years of work by Mother Earth).
Caveman snorkeling tours
When choosing a company with which to go snorkeling in Caye Caulker, I can’t recommend Caveman Snorkeling Tours enough. They have the best guides, they really prioritize the environment and wildlife, and the value for what you get to see is incredible.
I’ve written an entire post on my incredible Caye Caulker snorkeling experience with Caveman Snorkeling Tours (click that link). It shows you all nine of the incredible stops we made and all the unbelizeable wildlife we encountered. It also gives you some background on the company as well as highlights some great things the staff did for us. Check it out!
2. Hang out at the Split
If you’ve done any research at all on things to do in Caye Caulker you’ll know that The Split is where it’s at and that’s absolutely right. I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d be all that into “hanging out” in a place where I’m supposed to “go slow” but, as it turns out, I totally was.
The Split is literally a small split in the island of Caye Caulker that was caused by Hurricane Hattie back in 1961. Today, it’s the most popular spot in town in which to hang out. There are fun bars, turquoise waters, and many ways to pass your island days.
Swim in the beautiful water, meet fellow travelers, watch the sailors, kayakers, paddleboarders, and crazy people jumping out of the trees into the ocean. But mostly go to the Split to…
3. Chill out at the Lazy Lizard
Arguably the most popular of things to do in Caye Caulker is hang out at the Lazy Lizard, at the Split. It’s the island’s largest bar/hangout where you’re sure to get tanned, drunk, and hustled at cornhole.
I stuck to my buckets of Belikin but everyone else was drinking these frozen green behemoths they called so unappetizingly “Lizard Juice.” Have you ever tried drinking a frozen green cocktail that close to the equator? It looks not unlike the Wicked Witch’s final moments and has you feeling the same feels: Ahh, I just paid $15 for this now it’s melting, melting! Oh, what a world, what a world…
The Lazy Lizard has the coolest shade on the island—the only spot where you can actually feel almost dry. You can drink in the ocean, swim in the currents, and chill out with some all-day reggae.
We passed almost an entire day here at The Split/Lazy Lizard and I was still sad when I had to be toted home in a bicycle basket.
4. Explore the island by bike
The island of Caye Caulker takes up a total of six square miles. No wonder their motto is “Go Slow.” If you go too fast you’re likely to just fly right off the end of it.
Our cabana (Colinda Cabanas) came with two bicycles for us to use for free during our entire stay. We pedaled everywhere: to the bars and back, to restaurants, to parts of the island no short-term visitor ever sees.
We saw so many cool places and animals and vegetation. It was a real Tour de Plants. By the end of my time in Caye Caulker I’d grown quite fond of the bicycle way of life and the resulting bruises, the lack of pavement, and having random puppers and doggos follow me around town.
Being that the island is so small, exploring it by bike is super easy, interesting, and definitely one of the best things to do in Caye Caulker. There are a few bike rental locations around the island but chances are your hotel/accommodations will have them for you either for free or to rent. If not, they can definitely help you locate some.
5. Go slow if you wish
If you did indeed wish to Go Slow during your time in Caye Caulker, then you’re probably my husband. I mean, this is something you can absolutely do and definitely still one of the most popular things to do in Caye Caulker.
The thing about this island… you can’t swing an iguana without hitting a hammock or two. (Don’t swing iguanas please.) Hammocks in your cabana, hammocks at the restaurants, hammocks by the shore, on the docks, randomly in trees in the main areas, at the bars, everywhere.
The Go Slow gods will appreciate your gesture and repay you with lowered blood pressure. And if not a hammock, how about a swing? Swings everywhere—at the bars, at the restaurants, by the beach, everywhere.
6. Take your picture at the Caye Caulker sign
It seems like every city has a colorful sign of giant letters for you to pose with now. And they’re not wrong in this = tourist magnet. Caye Caulker is no different and even adds a tropical twist to theirs. Don’t forget to seek this out! Here’s what the official Caye Caulker sign looks like.
7. Shop for local crafts
The island of Caye Caulker has a small crafts market (ok everything on this tiny island is small) in the Palapa Garden area. And in late 2020 it reopened expanded and upgraded.
Here you can get all your locally-made and wicked tropical goods. Clothing, bags, jewelry, home décor, woodcarvings, souvenirs, artwork, and miscellaneous other handmade crafts.
8. Meet some manatees
We saw manatees on our Full Day snorkeling tour but that was just a bonus. Our guides got word there was a manatee near our snorkeling stop so we quickly diverted to check him (her?) out.
I’ve seen plenty of manatees having lived in Florida and spending a lot of time at places like Tampa’s Manatee Viewing Center, but seeing them free-floating in the open ocean was incredible!
Caveman Snorkeling Tours also offers a dedicated Manatee Watch Tour. This tour includes a couple of snorkeling stops but also takes you to a nearby wildlife sanctuary to snorkel with some majestic manatees.
9. Try kitesurfing (or at least have fun watching)
During one of my many attempts at Going Slow, I sat and watched the kite surfers for quite some time and I was determined to do it myself! Even though I’m quite sure I would get picked up and blown completely over the rainbow.
I don’t know the first thing about kite surfing, but it looks like so much fun. If you’re not into water sports, it’s entertaining enough to simply watch them go back and forth—the experts doing awesome tricks and the newbies wiping out. It’s impressive nonetheless.
However, if you are the daring sort, why not try it out yourself (besides the no hospitals thing, that is)? You can rent full kite surfing gear and book lessons and check something very unique off your list of things to do in Caye Caulker.To try kite surfing yourself, check out these companies:
10. Take a sunset sailing cruise
Raggamuffin Tours’ sunset sailing cruise is incredibly popular. The cruises run every night and last about 2.5 hours. They include snacks and beverages and some of the best island sunsets.
The groups are limited to eight people and you get to sail through the Split. This is such an interesting way to see the island (and I always advocate for boat tours wherever I am).
If you suffer from motion sickness, check out my post on the permanent cure for motion sickness I thankfully discovered! This has helped me take all kinds of sightseeing cruises, snorkeling tours, and more.
11. Check out Lobster Fest
Lobster Fest is one of the best times to visit Belize and one of the tastiest things to do in Caye Caulker. It happens over three days at the end of June each year.
While it centers around consuming delicious Caribbean spiny lobster, Caye Caulker Lobster Fest also entails live music and performances, games and competitions, dancing, pageants, beach parties, and more.
Caye Caulker Lobster Fest is said to be Belize’s original festival and has been going strong since 1994 (with the exception of 2020). Also, half of the festival’s revenue goes back into the local community. Claws for a cause!
12. Chill out with some rooftop yoga
Caye Caulker’s Namaste Café offers not only coffee and fresh breakfast and lunch but also one of the most zen things to do in Caye Caulker—rooftop yoga.
If you want to center yourself on your hectic trip to Caye Caulker (totally kidding with that), head over to Namaste. They provide all yoga mats and blocks and accommodate all levels. The cost of these yoga classes is by donation.
13. Try your hand at Belizean fishing
I talk more about Belizean fishing in my post on things that shocked me in Belize. But what you need to know is that it is fishing at its most simplistic.
It’s basically a long piece of fishing line tied to some drift wood. Throw it out, reel it back in hand-over-hand. It was fun watching the locals do it, so we tried it too.
We asked our cabana manager if he had any fishing equipment we could use, and what we got was a stick with some string attached. And you know what? We actually caught some fish! They were the kind of fish you use to catch other fish, but still! It worked!
14. Go scuba diving
Snorkeling is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Caye Caulker, but it isn’t the only way to see the incredible sea life of the area. Fancy diving instead? You can do that too!
Snorkeling is popular because you get to visit such areas as Chato’s Place and Shark Ray Alley—shallow-water areas bursting with marine life. But you can totally go scuba diving instead if that’s more your thing.
The Blue Hole
Naturally, one of the most popular dive spots in Belize is the Great Blue Hole. The Blue Hole is a naturally-occurring marine sinkhole which would be a terrifying fact if it weren’t so gorgeous.
It’s about 43 miles off the coast of mainland Belize and 2.5 hours by boat from Caye Caulker. Diving the Blue Hole you’ll see sharks and interesting limestone formations as well as a whole lotta darkness.
Maybe this sounds exciting to you. Maybe you’re like me and prefer to get no deeper than five feet from the surface. Luckily there’s something for us both in the waters around Caye Caulker.
If you are interested in diving the Blue Hole, check out Frenchie’s Dive Shop.
15. Take a scenic flight over the Blue Hole
If diving is not your thing (guilty!) but you still want to experience the famous Belize landmark, book a scenic flight over the Blue Hole. (This has got to be even better, in my opinion.)
From above you get to see the Blue Hole is all its weird, otherworldly glory! These scenic flyovers typically last one hour since they have just the one objective, but I imagine it’s an hour like none other!
I didn’t get to do this on my last trip but I’m definitely adding it to my own personal list of things to do in Caye Caulker for next time.
Belize’s airline Tropic Air offers scenic Blue Hole flyover tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am from Caye Caulker. These flights take place on 3- or 11-seat aircrafts meaning everyone gets a window seat!
It’s also possible to charter your own flight if those days and times don’t work or you want a longer tour for more picture-taking time. Check out what Tropic Air’s Blue Hole scenic flight is like in this short (but stunning) video.
16. See the island by kayak
In a place surrounded by so much beautiful water, kayaking the island is definitely worthwhile.
Cruise on through the split, maybe have someone toss you some lizard juice. Paddle along the shore and out into the impossibly turquoise water. Simply lay back and let the current take you where it wants. It’s called Going Slow, right?
We had the option of using the kayaks offered with our room at Colinda Cabanas, but if your lodging doesn’t include these options you’ll easily be able to find kayak rentals when you get to the island. (Check in the main area and by the Lazy Lizard.)
Also, worth noting is that on Caye Caulker they often refer to them as canoes (but they’re still what we think of as kayaks).
17. Do some stand-up paddleboarding too
Equally as awesome an island experience is SUPing (stand-up paddleboarding). You’ll get to see the island in such a cool way and get some exercise while you’re at it. (Maybe you’ve had your fill of hammock-lounging?)
You can rent standup paddleboards at the Reef Break Surf Shop for different increments of time for great prices.
18. Check out the seahorse reserve
We got to see seahorses on our snorkeling tour but if you aren’t planning to snorkel you can still check out some itty bitty seahorses when visiting Caye Caulker.
Just outside the Iguana Reef Inn there is the small Seahorse Ranch Reserve. It may require some real concentration to spot these camouflage experts, but it’ll be so rewarding when you do! Plus, they call it a ‘ranch.’ Too cute.
The small sanctuary is free to visit and may not look like anything special at first but if you see the signs you’re in the right place. The Iguana Reef Inn and the Seahorse Ranch are on the western side of the island, about a 7-minute walk south of the Split.
19. Hand feed the tarpons
Also on the west side of the island is the fish feeding dock where you can hand feed the tarpons. And it is A RUSH. Tarpons are large fish and incredibly fast. For a few Belizean dollars you can buy a bucket of sardines with which to feed the local tarpon population.
Hold the sardines just slightly above the water in between two knuckles and they’ll jump up and snatch it from you. Just the anticipation is an adrenaline rush for sure! You can see what I mean in the snorkeling video at the top of this page. (Skip to 2:30)
20. Check out Caye Caulker’s north island
As I said earlier, Caye Caulker used to be one long island until a hurricane split it in half. Today, the tiny south island gets all the tourism glory while the north island is virtually untouched.
However, you can get there via the Split-to-Split ferry. Or take your kayak or paddleboard. Or swim it if you’ve got that gold medal swimming spirit.
Things to see in Caye Caulker – north island
There isn’t a whole lot to see or a lot of things to do in Caye Caulker’s north island, but that’s the beauty of it! Ever wanted to spend some time on a deserted island in the Caribbean? Consider this your (incredibly safe) chance to do so.
Check out Northside Beach Club at the We’yu Hotel (formerly Koko King)
The Northside Beach Club features an enormous gorgeous property on the turquoise waters of Caye Caulker. It features a restaurant and lounge, Full Moon parties, lots of water activities, private cabanas, a water trampoline, and it’s basically on its own private island. I mean, yeah.
This is also one of the few actually sandy beaches in Caye Caulker so if that’s something you’ve been missing since you’ve been in Caye Caulker, here you go.
Check out the Palapa Pineapple Dome Home
Completed in 2020 is this quirky beachfront pineapple shaped house, decorated with pineapples, covered in a thatched roof. It’s so fun! And I want that pineapple door!
Just be in nature
Walk the dirt paths and check out this Caribbean island in its natural form. (Only in 2016 did the island actually get electricity.)
The northern portion of the north island contains the protected Caye Caulker Forest Reserve. Expect to see all kind of beautiful birdlife here—Belize is actually one of the top bird watching destinations. For more on what you can expect to see, check out this article on the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve.
Be sure to bring your binoculars and a good zoom lens! For all the best gear to pack for your trip, check out my complete Belize packing list here and get the free printable version too.
21. Go island tubing
Does it get any better than the island tubing tour from Anda da Wata Tours? Methinks not. Chill out in an inner tube, sipping on your favorite beverage, while they tow you around the island the through to Split to enjoy the sunset.
Bartender included! Okay now this is one of the most unique things to do in Caye Caulker. (They also clarify that if you want to be pulled not-so-serenely, they can accommodate that too.) See? Not everyone wants to Go Slow!
22. Eat fabulous island food
I kind of didn’t know what to expect as far as food when I set out for Caye Caulker, and now I know why. What I got was a mix of seafood, fried food, street food, and lots of BBQ chicken. As you’ll discover, there really isn’t a Caye Caulker cuisine standard.
Caye Caulker restaurants
Nevertheless, you can eat some really great meals in Caye Caulker. And you should check out allll of them. Just remember to Go Slow, there’s nowhere to go if you choke on a chicken bone.
Here are some of the most popular places to eat in Caye Caulker.
Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks
Fry jacks are a totally Belizean food that you’ll find more prevalent in Caye Caulker than you will farmers’ tans. It’s a sort of fried dough that’s stuffed with any variety of things.
We went to Errolyn’s for breakfast and got fry jacks stuffed with egg/cheese/chicken. Errolyn’s is delicious, fast, cheap, and portable!
Brisas del Mar
Another great spot for breakfast is Brisas del Mar. Good, appropriately-priced food, great coffee (Belize coffee is fabulous in general), and worth the views alone. Every morning should start like this, no?
Plus, you gotta love a restaurant without a floor but with tables that swing from the ceiling.
Auntie’s Take Out
The walk-up window at Auntie’s is fast, friendly, cheap, and delish! That fresh natural juice is one of a kind. It’s simple food to-go so you can, presumably, eat your lunch from a hammock.
The Lazy Lizard
Look, if you’re going to spend an entire day drinking in the sun at the Lazy Lizard, they better sell food. And thank God they do.
Their menu is pretty bar-typical but just embrace it. Grab some conch or some coconut shrimp or some of their other closely related items. It’s decent beach food.
Pizza al Taglio
Pizza al Taglio has great pizza, gelato, and views. It’s located right outside the Lazy Lizard in case fried conch fingers aren’t your jam. (The hours are limited though).
This island may seem a world away and unlike any other destination you’ve visited, but it’s still Central America. You can most definitely get street tacos, BBQ chicken, and more from a street vendor. It’s cheap and tasty. No complaints here.
More Caye Caulker restaurants
There are actually a ton more places to eat on this tiny island. Get more ideas here on Tripadvisor or simply wander the island and discover them for yourself!
23. Stay at an awesome beachside cabana
There are some really great Caye Caulker hotels, but for this trip I decided to go with a private beach cabana. I have no regrets. You get your own tiny house near the beach in a more secluded area of the island. What’s not to love?
I stayed at Colinda Cabanas and it is perfect for your stay in Caye Caulker. It just so happens to be the most highly-rated place to stay in Caye Caulker too.
It’s right on the water on the quieter end of the island and they stock you up with everything you need: towels, Belizean coffee beans, five gallons of water you’ll empty every single day, shelves of books, and a life-giving, high-powered wind machine.
There’s a hammock on the deck, two complimentary bicycles for your entire stay, kayaks and snorkeling gear on loan, a safe in the room, and “two geckos” as per the list of amenities. They have a private pier with lounge chair and, you guessed it, more hammocks.
The managers here are the nicest and most helpful and will accommodate you to no end. I honestly can’t say enough good things about my experience at Colinda Cabanas!
Caye Caulker hotels
For more options on where to stay in Caye Caulker, check out these highly rated Caye Caulker hotels and resorts:
Sea Dreams Hotel
I absolutely love the true island vibes at the Sea Dreams Hotel. The property has a bar and rooftop terrace and free WiFi throughout the property. (But try not to use it—you’re on island time now.)
They offer free bikes and kayaks for guests as well as their own dock for fishing, swimming, and sunset watching (aka Going Slow).
The Sea Dreams Hotel has an “Awesome” rating and reviewers absolutely rave about the staff. They also love the location, the property, the breakfast, and just the whole experience.
Weezie’s Ocean Front Hotel and Garden Cottages
Weezie’s Ocean Front Hotel and Garden Cottages is a scale up from the others and offers modern guestrooms, garden cottages, oceanfront suites, studios, penthouse suites, and more. In short, they have a room that’ll suit you.
Weezie’s is located in a quieter part of the island. It has a beautiful pool area and is simply a well-kept gorgeous Caribbean property. They offer kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkel gear for guest use free of charge, and have bicycles for rent as well.
Reviewers’ favorite parts about staying at Weezie’s are, again, the incredible staff, the great rooms and views, the cleanliness, and the oceanfront massages. Basically, people are obsessed with this place.
Caye Reef Condos
Another beautiful place to stay in Caye Caulker is the Caye Reef Condos. They have a nice outdoor pool, air conditioning, a kitchen, free WiFi throughout the property, and an “exceptional” rating!
They offer various sizes of multi-room apartments for fabulous rates. Bikes are available and, yes, so are hammocks.
Past visitors also rave about this place—the staff (long story short, people in Belize are the best), the comfortable rooms, it’s location near great bars, restaurants, and activities, and the ocean views.
Enjoy your visit to Caye Caulker, Belize!
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