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Caye Caulker

Travel Guide Central America Belize Caye Caulker

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Introduction

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker

© All Rights Reserved mtlgal

Caye Caulker is a small laid back Caribbean island 35 kilometres northeast of Belize City. With its dusty roads, many of which don't have names, complete lack of cars (instead they use golf carts!) and turquoise waters it is easy to see why Caye Caulker has such a favourable reputation among backpackers.

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Geography

The small coral island measures only 8 kilometres (north to south) by 2 kilometres (east to west) and is essentially a sand bar over a limestone shelf.
The Split, a narrow waterway, divides the island. As a result of a hurricane in 1961, a passage of a few inches deep was left. Villagers then dredged it to provide a convenient passage from the west to east side of the island. Natural erosion has continued to grow the opening to a current depth of over 6 metres.

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Towns

  • Caye Caulker Village (or Santa Elena) is main settlement on the island.

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Sights and Activities

Lobsters on a BBQ at Lobsterfest 2008

Lobsters on a BBQ at Lobsterfest 2008

© All Rights Reserved elliemike

Possibly the best place to spend time on the island is the swimming area known as 'The Split' which is at the northern tip of the island. There is a diving board, bar, picnic benches in shallow water and sun bathing area to keep everyone entertained.

There are numerous companies that offer diving and snorkelling trips which most people seem to go on at some point during their stay. Popular trips include dives to the Great Blue Hole, a 125-metre deep sinkhole in the Belize Barrier Reef.

There are also 2 or 3 day sailing and camping trips available that take people to surrounding islands.

There is a small forest reserve area just to the north of the airport called the Cayo Hicaco Park. Many crabs, lizards and birds can be spotted on the shady paths through the small park.

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Events and Festivals

In the third weekend of June the annual Lobsterfest takes place which is well worth making the effort to attend. They have music, games, ceremonies and most importantly, copious amounts of lobster in every form imaginable.

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Weather

Beachfront Road, Caye Caulker

Beachfront Road, Caye Caulker

© All Rights Reserved GregW

The temperature is generally between 20 °C and 30 °C. The spring sees the least rain.

The hurricane season in the Caribbean runs from June 1st until November 30th of each year. During this time the island could be impacted by large tropical storms.

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Getting There

By Plane

Caye Caulker is a short flight from Belize City. Tropic Air and Mayan Air provide flights to Belize City and other destinations in Belize and to cities in the neighbouring countries of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

By Boat

Water Taxis from Belize City and San Pedro, Belize run frequently. Caye Caulker Water Taxi and San Pedro Express are the two companies providing services. The trip is about 1 hour from Belize City, and costs $BZ 20 one way.

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Getting Around

The island is quite small, and easily accessible on foot. For longer journeys or if you have a lot of luggage, a golf cart taxi can be hired. These can be flagged off the street, or they will be on hand to meet the incoming water taxis.

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Eat

There are a number of restaurants in Caye Caulker, as well as roadside food stands during the day. Specialities include seafood, especially lobster and chicken dishes. Chinese food is also available.

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Drink

Lazy Lizard bar patio

Lazy Lizard bar patio

© All Rights Reserved GregW

Most restaurants also have bar sections, and beer and mixed drinks are widely available. There are a number of food stores on the island where drinks can be purchased for consumption at your hotel or other public areas.

Popular drinking establishments include the Sports Bar and Bamboo near the water taxi dock, and the Lazy Lizard bar near the split.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Rauls Rooms and Apartments#1 Traveller's Palm StreetHotel84
Island Magic Beach ResortFront Street/Beach FrontHOTEL-
Pause1 Pasero StreetHOSTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés can be found at most major tourist destinations around Belize. Wi-Fi is also increasingly common, and many hotels are offering it for free. Rates at cybercafes run between BZ$2 and BZ$10 per hour.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency number is 911. The country calling code to Belize is 501 and to make an international call from Belize, the code is 00.
Belize has a standardized seven-digit phone numbering system. There are no city or area codes to dial from within Belize.

Payphones are the most common public phones and accept pre-purchased phone cards.

If you bring your own cell phone, avoid roaming charges, as the bill for internet can add up quickly. Instead, use only wifi or buy a local SIM card.
Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL) and their cellular division DigiCell have a virtual monopoly on cellular service in Belize. Luckily, DigiCell does have affordable packages for SIM card activation.

Post

Belize's postal service provides services throughout the country. Services are not very reliable though and it might take weeks for a postcard or letter to arrive at your destination. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, with a one hour lunch break starting around noon.
Most hotels will post a letter for you, and there are post offices in the major towns. It costs BZ$.80 to send a letter to the United States, and BZ$1 to send a letter to Europe. Postcards to the same destinations cost BZ$.40 and BZ$.50 respectively. If you want to send a package, it's better to use international companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx, as they are fast, reliable and not too expensive.

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Contributors

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Caye Caulker Travel Helpers

  • cocoderass

    I have lived here for many years and i am always welcoming people to experience the island life and enjoy it...but as well help us to conserve it :) It's all about the good times in Caye Caulker!

    Ask cocoderass a question about Caye Caulker

This is version 20. Last edited at 8:26 on Jul 23, 14 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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