Caye Caulker is an oasis of bold colours, palm trees and world class diving. With an official mantra of ‘Go Slow’, the low-key Rastafarian vibe and relaxed way of life here adds to the attraction. And it’s contagious; it is shocking how quick and easy it is to adapt to Caye Caulker’s slow pace, where all of the stressors from your normal life gradually fade from memory.

Caye Caulker Beach

Located off mainland Belize, Caye Caulker has been a popular spot on the Central American gringo trail since the 1960s. Whether you’re visiting Tulum, Mexico to the north, or Tikal, Guatemala to the south, Caye Caulker is a great, accessible addition to your itinerary.

Caye Caulker is a backpackers paradise, offering a diverse array of cheap and unique lodgings and a fun and energetic nightlife.

Caye Caulker Scuba Dive Turtle

Beside the island lifestyle, the primary attraction at Caye Caulker is its world class scuba diving and snorkeling. Clear water, shallow reefs, and underwater caves make it a great destination for novice and experienced divers alike. Divers boat about 1.5 hours to the reefs around the Turneffe flats, where they’ll encounter a diverse mix of marine life and corals. This was my primary interest in visiting Caye Caulker, and it was hands down the highlight of my time in Belize and the dominant motivator for a return trip.

We booked our trip with Frenchie’s Diving, a popular dive operator in Caye Caulker. I opted for a day of snorkeling and my husband chose to dive, which we did through a full day trip to Turneffe Reef. I was mesmerized by the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea and how vibrant the underwater world was here. It felt surreal and unlike locations I’d dived on previous trips. The bold colours of the coral and neon hued fish had me smiling all day. We also came across turtles, reef sharks, sting rays and French angelfish.

Caye Caulker Scuba Diving

The underwater life you can experience in Turneffe was described to us as more spectacular than the famous Blue Hole, which was a consideration in choosing this as our dive destination. While we would have loved to experience the Blue Hole, it is more expensive and many say it is in fact more beautiful to encounter it from above than to actually dive it.

Caye Caulker Tours

Caye Caulker has a ton of other activities to keep travellers busy if they so choose, such us a manatee tour, bike tours, fishing, yoga and sunset watching at the Spit, a popular beach spot and pier that also features a great bar. After sunset, there are many bars to enjoy a casual drink or join a raging party, which tend to take place nearly every night during the high season.


Due to the island’s popularity, there are a number of great spots to eat. While its hard to go wrong, I recommend checking out Rose’s Grill, where fantastic seafood is grilled right in front of you. Our daily staple was Fry Jacks, fried dough with an array of delicious fillings including my favourite of eggs, beans and cheese. A visit to Caye Caulker is also incomplete without tasting Marie Sharp’s famous Hot Sauce. You can purchase the sauce and take it home with you – we bought about twenty little bottles – or get the full experience on a tour of the factory.

Getting to Caye Caulker is relatively easy. You can take a water taxi from Belize City or from Chetamul if you are in Mexico. If it fits within your budget, there are flight options available from a number of cities in Belize, though the flight from Belize City is only 5-10 minutes in duration. Regardless of how you get there, one thing is for sure: your couple of days enjoying the island may quickly turn into a month, as you become increasingly accustomed to the slow pace of island life.

Caye Caulker photography by Theresa Lord.