Backpackers Guide to Caye Caulker, Belize

Despite the islands famous ‘go slow’ pace, this small Caribbean island of Belize is quickly becoming a top tourist destination. A slice of tranquility contrasting the hustle and bustle of Central America; no cars, no traffic, just authentic island life.  

Things to do in Caye Caulker, Belize:

  • An absolute must do is go snorkelling with some of the most incredible and diverse marine life; including Sea Turtles, Sting Rays, Octopus, Manatees, Sharks and the cast of Finding Dory! Recommend ‘Anda de Wata’ Snorkel shop (little purple shack). At $65 its one of the cheaper options and includes lunch, Shark Ray Alley, other marine animals and includes underwater photos!
  • Also check out the famous Great Blue Hole, where you can either Scuba Dive, Snorkel or even take a helicopter ride over it.
  • Take a Kayak around the island
  • Drink rum out of a coconut with the locals
  • Have your hair braided
  • Eat your body weight in Lobster
  • Take a boat to San Pedro Island
  • Have a beach massage and relax!
  • Check out the street markets, selling home made jewelry out of shells, beads etc
  • Join the Reggae vibe and drink a few rum and cokes at I&I Reggae Bar, (on the southern side of the island). Really cool bar with swings hanging from the ceiling to sit, cool lights, intimate dance floor and a rooftop.

Best Places to Eat:

Everywhere you walk down the main street, restaurants and locals will be grilling whole fresh Lobster for a cheap $25/30. You can’t leave without getting one! Most restaurants will offer cheap local rum drinks. Halfway between the boat docks and the split along the main street, there is a small table and chair set up, where a local lady grills great tasting food and included free, that’s right, free unlimited rum drinks! La Cubana restaurant, located opposite the ‘Belize Express’ ferry dock. This place is always packed from breakfast through to dinner, good food, good price. Virtually opposite you’ll find The Art’s café. Here you can find great bagels and good food in a quirky artsy setting. The cinnamon toast is a must get! Blue restaurant opposite the ‘Anda de Wata’ Snorkel shop (purple building), excellent breakfast and always have great special offers for dinner! Another great option is the Rainbow Grill and Bar. Perfect location, good food and stunning scenery with the ocean as your backdrop! Calling all chocolate lovers! At some point, take a moment to visit this little blue shop. Rich, locally made chocolates- the Belgian truffles are a must! If you’re looking for some sweet drinks check out Ice and Beans. Fresh coffee; including caramel lattes and mochas! Fruit smoothies and donuts. Also, if you’re lucky, there’s an old Caribbean man who rides around the island some mornings and sells banana bread- definitely grab a slice…or two!

 Must see Beaches:

The Split

Here you will see the literal split of Caye Caulker island, resulting in two islands and oh yes two beaches! You will find loads of cute cafes and restaurants (including the famous Lazy Lizard) surrounded by sand, palm trees and kayak shops. To get here, when you step off the boat arriving in Caye Caulker, take a right and follow it straight till you hit the beach- you can’t miss the huge ‘THE SPLIT’ sign (which also makes for a great gram picture).

Things to do at ‘The Split’ beach

  • Play Volley ball with friends or the locals on the beach
  • Get yourself a beach massage, typically $25 per session
  • Rent a Kayak and take it over to the other island (10 minutes) or around the main island
  • Catch sunrise and sunset on the beach
  • Test your adrenaline diving off the diving platform into the sea!


This white sand, clear water beach is located 5 minutes from the Split beach on the main island. It is a separate small island that was separated by a hurricane and now boasts a luxury haven for tourists. Relax in their cabanas, ride a rubber ring, play volley ball or chill in the pool. Enjoy a drink and eat at KOKO Kings only bar and restaurant. Serving great cocktails which offer a 3 for 2 or happy hour every day! Get yourself the perfect gram pic on one of their sea view swings! To get there, take the free return boat over to the island. You will need to buy something, around 10-30 Belizean dollars to get a wristband to be taken back to the main land. Don’t listen to the boat drivers who tell you there is a minimum spend of 50 Belize dollars per person. As long as you support the island in some way, some drinks or food etc you will be fine!

Where to stay on the island?:

This is a great place to stay cheaply if you are a solo traveller! There are plenty of single bed options around. Pause Hostel around $10. Includes a private beach and free rental of Kayaks (great offer as Kayaks are not the cheapest to rent for a solo person). If you’re looking for a private room, most rooms will ask for around $50. However, La Cubana Hostel/Restaurant is a Cuban restaurant opposite the ‘Belize Express’ boat dock, (you can’t miss it, there’s CUBAN signs everywhere). They offer a private room above the restaurant for only $25! (50 Belize dollars). A bargain find for Caye Caulker, plus their food is great! Also, if you stay with them you also get a 10% discount on a Hol Chan tour. Drifted Coconut Hostel, reasonable price. Centrally located and breakfast included. Other options for those looking for a more luxury holiday can include private beach hotels. For example, La Isla Resort has a pool and is centrally located.

Getting there top tips:

If you end up staying in Belize City for a few nights before you catch the ferry to Caye Caulker, there are several options but by no means cheap. A mid-range price, and 5 minutes’ walk from the ‘Belize Express’ ferry dock you will find the Sea Breeze Guest House. Great if you want to be near to catch the ferry and the touristy pier and is not as overpriced as some of the others, a private room being around $30. In the city, a little bit out of the centre (10 minutes’ walk), there is a hostel located within the local neighbourhood. Not known to many tourists but they offer private rooms for $20! Not to mention are some of the kindest people. Definitely recommend this hostel if you’re looking for a comfortable stay on a budget. There are two ferry services that go from Belize City to Caye Caulker. The most popular is in the heart of the tourist pier called ‘Belize Express’. It’s definitely the more expensive option, around   Remember, ‘no shoes, no problem’!  

Karina Enrile

I’m a fun, bubbly young woman who, although is supposed to be studying for my degree, spends all my time day dreaming that I was in a new country, on a trip, on an adventure, thinking when can I book it to go. I’m studying Spanish and history at the university of Nottingham, which allowed me to spend a year abroad in South, Central and North America! I spent 8 months living and working in the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle! Last summer I interrailled Europe plus have been to several other countries with loads more on an never ending list! I love to get a real local experience to find the truth about a place and the best spots to eat! I love to write and travel!