Like her neighbor to the north, Caye Caulker’s original settlers were fleeing the Caste War. Caye Caulker residents made a name for themselves with shipbuilding but the coconut has also featured prominently in the island’s history. Coconuts were once shipped to the mainland in large quantities for their delicious water but now there’s enough demand on the island to limit sales to residents.

And long before coconut oil was billed as a healthy alternative, Belizeans were using it in their kitchens. Coconut oil is now commercially produced on the mainland but Caye Caulker villagers still make their own for home consumption. The sweetest use for coconut is as the main ingredient for a plethora of delicious desserts found in local restaurants, delis and on vending carts. Naturalists who live on the island regularly offer educational and entertaining slideshows about the history of Caye Caulker as well as the wildlife and their habitats. Check posted notices on lamp posts and billboards for schedules.

Fishing, especially for lobster, remains the primary occupation on the island but many Caye Caulker residents diversify into tourism during that industry’s high season. Tour guides take pride in taking visitors to the island to premier snorkel and dive sites just off shore. Caye Caulker’s Shark Ray Alley puts adventurers in chest deep water alongside curious Southern Sting Rays, Nurse Sharks and schools of colorful fish.

Accommodations on Caye Caulker range from laid back luxury with modern conveniences to private beach camping grounds with incredible views. The moment you arrive in Caye Caulker, you realize that life moves at a different pace in this pretty place. Brightly painted houses line the beach and sand streets. Coconut fronds sway in the warm breezes. Children laugh as they play in the tide pools. Bicycle bells, not car horns, ring out as friends greet each other. The smiles are as contagious as the “no worries” attitude. The tangerine colored starfish (locally called sea stars) beam through the sapphire waters. Everything about this place cries out: “slow down”; “breathe deep”; “treasure the time.”

Getting Here

Passengers are ferried to the island from one of two marine terminals in Belize City: The Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association and the San Pedro Belize Express. For a shorter trip to the island, Maya Island Air and Tropic Air depart hourly from the Phillip Goldson International Airport as well as the municipal airport in Belize City.


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