Caye Caulker is a very small, yet popular island destinations that can be found off the coast of Belize. It sits about 1 mile to the west of the internationally renowned Barrier Reef with an estimated population of 1400 residents. Most of the people that live on Caye Caulker are of Creole, Mestizo and Garifuna descent. It’s also a favorite destination amongst backpackers and other travelers in search of an affordable holiday since the island has low prices when compared to the other cays. The one downside to the island is that it doesn’t have the amazing beaches that the other cays have but it’s affordable, has lots of bars and restaurants and is close to the Barrier Reef which works in it’s favor. Activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving are the most popular activities here and some of the most popular diving sites are Spanish Bay, the Barrier Reef and Caye Chapel. You will also find tour operators here that will take you to other diving sites which are a bit further away such as the amazing Blue Hole and even Turneffe Atoll.
A Map of Caye Caulker
Things to do on Caye Caulker
The cays usually attracts beach lovers, snorkelers and scuba divers. Sadly, the beaches here are not as great as those found on the other cays, however the island is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are also a number of other internationally renowned scuba diving sites located very close to Caye Caulker such as the Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole.
Visit the Forest Reserve
If you travel north on Caye Caulker you will find the Forest Reserve which mainly consists of very dense mangroves. The reserve is just over 100 acres in size and tourists can enjoy the natural scenery here and bird watchers can make use of the local tour operator to go on organized bird watching tours.
Dive the Blue Hole
The world famous Blue Hole is an hour away by boat from Caye Caulker. It’s the most famous scuba diving site in the world and attracts scuba divers from all around the world because of it’s stunning tropical fish species, sharks and coral reefs. The Blue Hole has a circular shape, is almost 100 feet across and just over 400 feet deep.
See the Shark and Ray Alley
There are tour operators that will take you to shark and ray alley where they will normally throw food in the water to attracts large amounts of sting rays and enormous nurse sharks. Most people think that nurse sharks don’t bite but they do. It is very rare for them to bite humans but these ones are used to people so it’s highly unlikely for them to bite, so if you’re feeling brave enough you can even go swim with them.
Recommended tour operators on Caye Caulker
Belize Diving Services
Belize Diving Services can take you on diving expeditions to the Blue Hole, the Barrier Reef and Turneffe Atolls. They have been in business since 1978 and is run by Dawn Williams and Kathy Dalton.
I wouldn't say crime is non-existent. On our 2nd to last visit there (Feb '12) someone came into the office of the property manager we used while we were there to report a break in and loss of various electronic items.
Last visit (Nov '12) the property manager gave us a stronger warning including being careful while riding our bikes as someone had gotten pushed off and had items taken. The house next door to where we stayed was boarded up because the place was broken into and ransacked while no one was there.
And on that same visit a neighbor came over to tell us he chased some teens away from where we were staying who where hanging around. So from what the neighbor said (it's getting worse and didn't used to be like that) and the property manager said (recently there was a 'town meeting' about it but he didn't expect things to change) it would seem break-ins and theft is increasing quite a bit on Caye Caulker.
I like visiting Caye Caulker but it's not a good feeling to worry every time you go out if your stuff will be there when you get back.