Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01

“There’s not much to do on Caye Caulker.” I heard it over and over again while planning my family trip there, and have read it and heard it more since departing. People don’t say it as a complaint, just a characteristic of this tiny, charming little island. If you’re looking for action, convention Belize tourism wisdom seems to say, head to Ambergris Caye.

But I disagree. Yes, Caye Caulker is an appealing place in which to do nothing, or to do not much. Stroll the dirt-road Front Street. Dangle your feet in the water at The Split, Caye Caulker’s answer to its non-existent beaches. Rent a bike and meander around the side roads. It’s all a dream. But assuming you’re craving a little more adventure, that too can be found on Belize’s favorite backpacker island! And it won’t put you in the poorhouse either. While boat tours are pricey compared to other Central American activities, there’s plenty of free and reasonably priced things to do as well. Read on for seven of them.

Caye Caulker

Note: Caye Caulker is so small and street names so obsolete I’m not bothering to put directions in this post — just walk the main drag and ask anyone to point you where you’re going.

1. Stand Up Paddle Around The Island

The flat, shallow waters surrounding Caye Caulker were made for Stand Up Paddleboarding — though the current will give you a proper workout in some directions! We found just renting SUP boards, along with windsurfing gear and standard surf boards (you’d need to boat out to an area with waves for the latter).

The afternoon we went for a paddle, we literally carried our boards over to the west side of the island and then paddled up around the northern tip, through The Split, and right back up to the shop’s dock on the east side. The last bit was extremely tough, and the guys at the shop looked somewhat surprised we’d pulled it off. But it was a great workout, and a beautiful way to get out on the ocean.

Cost: We paid $15 each for a one hour rental. Tours and lessons also available!

Stand Up Paddling in Caye Caulker

Stand Up Paddling in Caye Caulker

Stand Up Paddling in Caye Caulker

2. Hang Out With Man’s Best Friend

The encourages tourists to explore the island with a leash in hand. Show up, grab a shelter pup, sign your name in a composition notebook, and you’re off with a new loyal companion.

The morning that Olivia and I showed up to walk dogs, we marveled at what a great job the shelter was doing with obviously limited resources. No steel cages here — these dogs are living large in an big outdoor “pet park” with loving long term volunteers on hand. And we couldn’t stop laughing at the sign welcoming dog walkers, the general gist of which was, “you literally cannot eff this up.” Don’t like the dog they gave you? That’s fine, try another. Want to come back after ten minutes? Thanks for coming! Need to bring the dog into a restaurant or shop? That’s probably cool. The dog runs away? No worries, they always come back.

We loved our little stroll and struck up plenty of conversations with locals and fellow tourists alike because of it. An awesome activity for animal lovers!

Cost: Totally free!

Caye Caulker Humane Society

Caye Caulker Humane Society

Caye Caulker Humane Society

Caye Caulker Humane Society

3. Take a Sunset Cruise

Is there anything like watching a sunset from the hull of a boat? A was high on our priority list, and we weren’t disappointed by the all-you-can-drink rum punch that came along with ours. Also on the menu was fresh ceviche and guacamole, served up by a smiling and friendly crew. It was the perfect kick-off to a big night out on the island. They’ll even give you a rum punch for the road.

We were lucky enough to catch the surreal lunar eclipse the night of our sail.

Cost: $35, including unlimited drinks

Caye Caulker Sunset Cruise

Caye Caulker Sunset Cruise

Caye Caulker Sunset Cruise

Caye Caulker Sunset Cruise

Caye Caulker Sunset Cruise

Caye Caulker Humane Society

Caye Caulker Sunset Cruise

4. Do Rooftop Yoga

offers the only formal yoga practice on Caye Caulker. Taught by a friendly expat, the classes take place several times a week on the roof of a nearby hotel. But first, the group meets on the porch of the instructor’s cute purple house, where she also sells her hand designed t-shirts and illustrated children’s books. The laid-back sunset class was one of the highlights of our time in Caye Caulker.

Cost: By donation.

Caye Caulker Yoga

Caye Caulker Yoga

Caye Caulker Yoga

5. Snorkel or Dive

Caye Caulker is a hotspot for divers from around the world, though considering the length of our stay and my sister’s non-scuba diving stance, I was more than happy to snorkel instead. Trips to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, are the most popular on the island, and are known as one of the best snorkeling day trips in Central America for good reason! Other boat trips go to manatee reserve, to shipwrecks, and to more secluded reefs. Read my full post about our day of snorkeling with manatees, turtles, stingrays and sharks here.

Cost: $70 for a full day trip including a full lunch and drinks

Caye Caulker Snorkeling

Caye Caulker Snorkeling

6. Hop to Ambergris Caye

Caye Caulker vs. Ambergris Caye is the eternal debate of the Belize-bound traveler. These neighboring isles share dive and snorkel sites but differ greatly on land. I actually spent four days in Ambergris Caye after my sister left Caye Caulker — I anticipated I’d be feeling lonely after my family returned to the US and thought a change of scenery would help stave off the doldrums. Unfortunately I didn’t really love Ambergris Caye. While I enjoyed renting a bike and exploring more remote parts of the island, I found the capital of San Pedro charmless and concluded Caye Caulker was much more my scene.

That said, the islands are incredibly close and if you’re curious about comparing the two, each is an easy day trip from the other.

Cost: The ferry between the two islands is $9.50 each way

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye

7. Fly In or Out!

While technically this falls more under the transportation category than the activity one, we found the whole experience so fun I’d consider it somewhat of an entertainment expense.  Consider flying to or from Caye Caulker, and boating in the other direction. The views from the plane are fantastic, and the novelty of flying into Belize’s teeny municipal airports is well worth the price of admission. Later, in Honduras, I’d fly a terrifyingly old plane on a disorganized airline, an experience that made me appreciate how safe and well-run seemed in comparison.

You might even get to ride shotgun. And, bonus! It will make saying goodbye to this beautiful island paradise a little bit easier. Bye bye, Belize.

Cost: Flights start at $40 one-way between Caye Caulker and Belize City’s municipal airport

Flying Maya Island Air

Flying Maya Island AirYup… that’s an airport

.

Many thanks to Maya Island Air for providing me with complimentary flights within Belize.

.

Final call!

Right now is the perfect time to kick off or up your blogging game. Why? and are both on sale!

I rarely stop yacking about how helped me make Meihoukai in Wanderland what it is today — a financially successful and creatively fulfilling travel blog that just celebrated its fourth anniversary. It’s the first thing I recommend to those who write to me for blogging advice! Our secret member’s Facebook group gives me daily inspiration, feedback, and hearty laughs. Yes, the warmest community in travel blogging is on sale now! And now’s definitely the time to buy, as the course price will increase starting in August.

Bonus: Recently, Travel Blog Success launched an exciting new videography course. When purchasing the two, you’ll receive 10% off the combined price, an incentive that you can add on top of the current sale discount.

Click to receive 35% off all TBS memberships — a savings of $120 — no code needed! Sale ends Friday at 11:00 PM EST. Please note that I’m a proud affiliate of the program and thus will earn a percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. See you in the forums!

Double Bonus: This week, will be offering their hosting services at promotional prices as low as $3.49/month, exclusively for Meihoukai in Wanderland readers. That’s up to 42% off their regular price!

Click to receive an exclusive savings on all Bluehost hosting packages. Sale ends Friday. Please note that I’m also a proud affiliate of Bluehost and will earn a percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you.

And finally, my featured blogger program is going strong — nab one of the final spots for October or November now!

3-devide-lines
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY
86 Comments...
  • Evelina
    July 31 2015

    I’ve been thinking about going there, but now I know I will. WOW and the dog shelter.. I want wait to go!!
    Evelina recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Isn’t that fun?! I loved it! Wish more dog shelters in destinations like this would follow suit…

  • Katie
    July 31 2015

    Caye Caulker Animal Shelter — noted! Sometimes I just don’t know how much longer I’ll make it before heading back to the States for some home exploring with my own pup to join. I’ve looked into some similar programs traveling before, but this might be the most accessible I’ve come across yet!
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Me too! I’ve never seen anything else quite like it. I wouldn’t mind if it became more popular though!

  • Katelyn
    July 31 2015

    My friend actually ended up adopting a pup from the animal shelter! I’m pretty sure she would have taken them all home if she could. We planned on doing yoga too while we were there, but we were too sunburnt to even move. I learned a hard lesson in Belize: when you go snorkeling you wear a t-shirt and re-apply sunscreen every 5 seconds!

    And I totally agree about San Pedro. Wasn’t my jam either. Although I liked the chocolate shop and Licks on the beach.
    Katelyn recently posted..

  • Jenia
    July 31 2015

    Ohhh that airport looks so cute. Almost cute enough to get me off the beach. Doing nothing is such a luxury, and yet so few people really understand how important it is to indulge 😉
    Jenia recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I think it is actually the greatest luxury of all! Love it!

  • Anna R
    July 31 2015

    I’m going to Caye Caulker in December and can’t wait for the laid back vibe (even though I’ll only be there for 48 hours so not sure how laid back you can get in a weekend?). I was definitely planning to snorkel but after reading this I also want to squeeze in a trip to see the doggies! So fun.
    Anna R recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      We were only there a couple nights and we managed to get pretty chilled out 🙂 It’s a small place, you can cover a lot in a few days!

  • Seems like a very chill place, I wouldn’t pass it up. Gotta fly in, at least that’s what I’d want to do and I’m all over those dog walks, I’d go just to do that.
    Shaun’s Cracked Compass recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      For the price you just can’t beat those views on the flight!

  • Wandering Whit
    July 31 2015

    Your Belizean titles crack me up! Thanks for the smiles 🙂
    Wandering Whit recently posted..

  • Leah
    July 31 2015

    That dog shelter is the cutest! I would love to go walk dogs on a beautiful tropical island, especially with so little risk involved. I LOLed at “You literally cannot eff this up” 🙂
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      If only more activities in life were so fail free!

  • Justine
    July 31 2015

    It’s official. I’m in love with Caye Caulker. I agree with all the other commenters. The dog walking thing sounds awesome. I wish more destinations and shelters would do this!
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I know, right?! I guess the size of the island helps, but I would love for more shelters to get tourists involved like this!

  • Maddy
    July 31 2015

    Love these pics! The idea of going to a dog shelter and just borrowing a pooch for a day is SO fun. Wish SF had a doggy daycare like that. And I’m really impressed at the stand up paddleboarding from one side of the island around to the other! Maybe I’m overestimating the size of this island? 🙂 Or maybe you are all just badasses. Either way.
    Maddy recently posted..

  • Daryle Dickens
    July 31 2015

    Caye Caulker is one of my favorite destinations. My wife and I make a point of spending at least a week there whenever we are in Belize so I am glad to see an article that does the “Go Slow” island justice. I would add “Start your day with a fryjack” to the list.
    Daryle Dickens recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I’m honored you think I’ve done it justice 🙂 Thanks Daryle!

  • Camille
    July 31 2015

    I actually like places that don’t have too much going on so I can find a good balance between relaxation and activities without being plagued by FOMO. Caye Caulker sounds (and er, definitely LOOKS) like my kind of place!
    Camille recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I TOTALLY agree. When I travel to big cities I get totally overwhelmed by whether or not I am making the right choices and whether or not I am getting a “feel” for the place. Not a problem in a place like Caye Caulker!

  • Kacy
    July 31 2015

    I’ve been wanting to try SUP again and that seems like the ideal place! And what a fun yoga class! I love laid back places like that. There’s always something to do if you look hard enough 🙂
    Kacy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Indeed there is. And if anyone’s going to find it! It will probably be me!

      • Rob Winder
        February 9 2017

        Do you know how much would it be to spend a week their ?

        • Meihoukai
          February 10 2017

          Hey Rob! Unfortunately I didn’t do a budget breakdown post for Belize. However I’d be surprised if there’s not another blogger who has! I’d turn to Google to see if perhaps another blogger has written a post on it 🙂 Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

  • Kacy
    July 31 2015

    I forgot to mention, so awesome that they have a dog shelter on such a small island. That is missing from so many beach areas where wild dogs are running around starving.
    Kacy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I have mixed feelings on shelters in places like this… I actually think unless they have the creativity and the resources to create a place like this (open air, full of volunteers and love) than maybe it is better for those dogs to be on the beach as opposed to tiny steel cages with no interaction. But I do agree, this is the best case scenario!

  • Amanda
    July 31 2015

    Makes me want to go back ASAP!
    Amanda recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Site of a future blogging retreat? 😀

  • Victoria
    July 31 2015

    I’m a huge animal lover and I LOVE that you can walk dogs from the shelter! Never heard of that so thanks for sharing! The shelter “rules” are hilarious too, haha! And that is the cutest little airport ever 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I know, we loved it all! I’m a massive animal lover too so that was a highlight for me.

  • Julie
    August 1 2015

    Love that the dogs always come back. Now if that shelter isn’t doing a good job, point me to one that is! Dog lovers unite!
    Julie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Agreed. It’s really a gold standard! Wish I could point others in their direction to learn from them!

  • Jana
    August 1 2015

    I know, I’ve asked about your pictures before! Can you tell me which program you are using to work on your pictures? I am thinking about trying Lightroom but am not sure if is the best choice. Also, can you recommend any books, blogs or online courses to learn how to rework on your photos? Thanks in advance! 🙂
    Jana recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I use Bridge and Photoshop! I learned everything I know in photo editing classes at Pratt (where I got my degree) so I’m not too familiar with online resources. I used to look at Pioneer Woman’s photography posts and thought they were great, but I haven’t read them in years. Maybe someone else can chime in with a recommendation?

  • Jessica @ MJ Sailing
    August 1 2015

    Oh my gosh, I wish I would have known about the dog walking while we were there, those pups are adorable!!

    And no, nothing beats a good sunset from the hull of a boat. 🙂
    Jessica @ MJ Sailing recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I was definitely glad a friend had recommended it! If you don’t wander down that side street you might not know it’s there…

  • Mike Brakefield
    August 1 2015

    But try to find a long-term rental, say 1 year or more and your pretty much out of luck !

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      That’s too bad! I think for me Caye Caulker would be a tad small for a full year anyway 😉

  • Elliott
    August 1 2015

    Sometimes the places where “there isn’t much to do” are the best. It’s so nice to find somewhere relaxing, where you don’t necessarily have to be super busy every day seeing all the attractions and doing all the activities. It’s nice to just “be” and do whatever the hell you want once in a while.
    Elliott recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      I agree! I like a place with a few activity options and few sights to see every once in a while — no traveler guilt to abate!

  • Mary
    August 2 2015

    Wow! Looks like you had a lot of fun here! I really want to go and take a dog around the island with me. It must have been beautiful to go on that cruise and to be able to paddleboard through that pretty blue water!

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      It was! We absolutely adored Caye Caulker… one of the highlights of Central America!

  • Britt
    August 2 2015

    Caye Caulker has always been in my plans for Belize! I don’t even care that much if there was nothing to do- as it is one of those places I had planned to stop for a bit and just chill out. I feel that is important to factor into every trip.

    That said I have bookmarked this page for future reference! Thanks for all the great tips on Caye Caulker- it looks like my kind of place.
    Britt recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      You’re so welcome Britt! Perfect place to do nothing, but also there are options for those that want them 🙂

  • Naomi
    August 3 2015

    I had actually never thought about going here up until I read this ha. This looks like the perfect 2/3 stop to relax and just hang out and do all of the above. Awesome post!
    Naomi recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Always a win if I can add somewhere new to someone’s bucket list!

  • Joella
    August 3 2015

    I think it sounds like my ideal place! Scuba diving, yoga and sup? My favourite things!
    Joella recently posted..

  • Marni
    August 4 2015

    I would never want to the leave the animal shelter! Those dogs are so cute and it’s such an awesome way to spend some time. I’m jealous of your sunset cruise!

    • Meihoukai
      August 5 2015

      Both were highlights! It was a great long weekend.

  • Amy M
    August 5 2015

    That airport is beyond adorable.
    I love it when there’s more to do in a place than you’d expect.
    I guess with some places you just have to put some effort into finding them! xo
    Amy M recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 6 2015

      Indeed! And in Caye Caulker it’s well worth the search…

  • Camels & Chocolate
    August 6 2015

    I’ve always wanted to go to Caye Caulker! Looks like I need to start vacationing with the Baackes ladies.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 6 2015

      Now that we’ve already established Jeannie and Kathryn would be BFFs…

  • eric
    August 10 2015

    nice article! I was just on caye caulker a couple months ago and miss it dearly. the food was amazing and the scuba diving was great. I had no idea there was a dog shelter there, that would have been fun to spend some time with a furry pal 🙂 will check it out when I return!

    • Meihoukai
      August 11 2015

      Add it to the list! As if you’d need a reason to return 😉

  • Abi
    August 10 2015

    Wow, those colours in Belize match your blog (and my list of favourite colours!) And I LOVE the thought of a future blog retreat there!
    Abi recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 11 2015

      They do kind of match my blog, huh? How fun! 🙂

  • Tereza
    August 12 2015

    Dear Meihoukai, I enjoyed your post very much! Beautiful pictures!!! I am planning to visit Belize (and Quintana Roo) during Xmas and NYE with my friends. We have booked a place in San Pedro, EXACTLY because of the reason I’ve heard there is nothing to do in Cay Caulker… :-/ I plan to do 2-3 day trips there. Well, I can still change things, plenty of time till December… but I must ask: Did you like anything in San Pedro? I still prefer it due the fact we head through Chetumal later on to Tulum (for NYE). Thank you very much for advise 🙂 Greetings from sunny Prague, Czech Rep. 😉

    • Meihoukai
      August 12 2015

      Personally… no, I didn’t really like anything about San Pedro, other than the clean and cute hostel I stayed in! I just so vastly preferred Caye Caulker. But I guess that’s personal preference! I did enjoy riding my bike to the northern part of Ambergris Caye, up past the bridge. There were some nice spots there!

  • Leigh
    August 14 2015

    I love St Croix, because of the fact that there’s “nothing to do” there – so I’m pretty sure I would love Caye Caulker. Looks pretty perfect, if you ask me!
    Leigh recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      August 15 2015

      I want to see St Croix someday… okay, I want to see all of the Caribbean someday!

  • Kat
    October 18 2015

    Hi there, I love your article about Caye Caulker. I really need a week off somewhere and I am thinking of heading to Caye Caulker or Antigua in Guatemala. Now after your pictures and awesome to-do-list Caye looks really great to me, yoga, SUP, chill…awesome.
    Do you maybe know a good guesthouse too on Caye Caulker what you can recommend?

    • Meihoukai
      October 23 2015

      Hey Kat, I stayed in an AirBnB! So unfortunately I don’t have any guesthouses to recommend. Best of luck with your trip!

  • Pragati Bedare
    November 24 2015

    Stumbled upon your blog and loved reading through them. I would like to ask you what camera did you use, especially in and around the water? Also, I have similar plans as you… start from Belize, pass through Guatemala (Tikal, Semuc Champey and Antigua) and then head to Utila/Roatan for Scuba diving certification before flying back to the US. How safe was it to carry your laptop around? I am 29, female and will be traveling alone so wanted some tips/pointers on taking public transport and how many hostels did you come across where there weren’t lockers to store valuables?

    • Meihoukai
      November 25 2015

      Hey Pragati! Check out my obsessions page, it has info on all my camera gear. As for carrying my laptop, I bring mine everywhere. I do take Kensington laptop locks but I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a hostel without lockers. Overall I am just vigilant about keeping an eye on it, especially when in transit. Best of luck!

  • Lisa
    January 28 2016

    the picture of the little houses, how much to rent those on a monthly basis?

    • Meihoukai
      February 1 2016

      Sorry Lisa, I’m not sure. Maybe check AirBnB — link in my sidebar!

  • Courtney
    March 15 2016

    Where did you stay in Caye Caulker? And do you know the names of the colorful houses?

    Thanks!

    • Meihoukai
      March 17 2016

      Hey Courtney, I stayed in an AirBnB! I believe the colorful houses were private homes.

  • Guilherme Guiraud
    July 20 2016

    Great post. Very original! I’m heading to Belize this Friday and still not figured how I’m splitting my days, but for sure Caye Caulker is gonna be a big part of it and I’m looking forward for the Scuba Diving experience! I think SUP should be more explored over there, but good to know that at least one place rent it!!

    • Meihoukai
      July 25 2016

      So happy to hear this post was helpful to you! I LOVED Belize. I can’t wait to be back someday!

  • Taylor
    August 14 2016

    Hey Meihoukai!

    I really enjoy your blogs! I am planning a trip to Caye Caulker. I was wondering where you stayed on your visit? The cabanas in the picture look very inviting!!

    Thank you!
    Taylor

    • Meihoukai
      August 15 2016

      Hey Taylor! We stayed at an Airbnb that unfortunately I can’t recommend as we had a bad experience with the owner. I think the cabanas pictured are private residences. Good luck!

  • Lorenzo
    January 3 2017

    Cool post! You listed several of my fav activities in CC. However, I had no idea one could hang out with dogs! I’ll definitely have to include this whenever I’m recommending activities to do in CC.
    Lorenzo recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 11 2017

      Yup! Really nice way to slow down and see the island and also have some fun chats with everyone who wants to pet the pups!

  • Charish
    February 10 2017

    Love the post! Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’m especially excited to spend quality time with the shelter pets!

    • Meihoukai
      February 10 2017

      They are the best! You’re going to have a blast <3 Happy travels!

  • Becky
    May 1 2017

    Thanks so much for this post, which has helped me tons planning my own trip. I think you’ve convinced me to avoid Ambergris Caye but I’m having a little trouble convincing my friend, who is worried about the ‘no real beach’ thing. Are there places you can wade into the ocean, or not really? And do you think it’s worth spending a whole week in Caye Caulker?

    • Meihoukai
      May 11 2017

      Hey Becky! There are TOTALLY places to go swimming! The Lazy Lizard has a great dock for jumping off and lounging around — it’s the place to be with a frozen drink in hand during the day — and there are plenty of bars and restaurants with swings right over the ankle-deep water. Plus, you can take snorkeling tours, rent kayaks or paddleboards, etc. You’ll definitely get plenty of ocean! And I suppose it depends on what kind of traveler you are, but I’d happily spend a week in Caye Caulker.

  • Amanda Bucher
    October 15 2017

    Do you have any hotels/resorts you recommend in Caye Caulker? My boyfriend and I are headed to Belize early December and I’m on the fence as where to stay during the “beach” portion of our trip (we plan on spending 3 nights in the Cayo District) and the remaining 4 closer to the ocean. From reading your posts I think I’ve decided on Caye Caulker over Ambergris Caye, but Hopkins is still on the table too! (I hate making decisions!!) Thanks for any info!

    • Meihoukai
      October 17 2017

      Hey Amanda! I’d absolutely go for Caye Caulker, though sadly I have no accommodation tips. I will say we spent very little of our time in our room anyway — we were out and about and enjoying the island so much we basically just slept in our Airbnb. Good luck!