"Go Slow" on Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker is surprisingly close to the touristic hubbub of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. It is a much smaller and quiet destination than the latter, located just nine minutes by air from Belize City, or roughly 45 minutes on the Caye Caulker Water Taxi service. In spite of the growth of tourism, the town's tagline, "Go Slow," still seems to be obeyed by many.

Tropic Air to Caye Caulker

Rick LeBlanc

Geographically, this is a sandbar atop of a coral reef. It is flat and makes for easy walking or zipping around Caye Caulker by bike. With knees like mine, this is something to appreciate. No cars here, although a golf cart taxi may meet you at the airfield or water taxi berth to offer you a lift.

We began with a Tropic Air flight from Belize City Municipal Airport to Caye Caulker. No co-pilot on this nine-minute hop.

Belize City has both international and municipal airports, with the latter being a convenient jumping off point to the cayes.

Caye Caulker Airstrip

Rick LeBlanc

The signage is a little weathered, but no issues with a smooth landing. On the return journey we asked how early we should arrive. Ten minutes! Now if we can only get some of the other airports on board with that! It is unlawful to walk or ride your bike across the landing strip during operating hours.

Caye Caulker Lodging a Short Walk from The Airstrip

Rick LeBlanc

Just a short walk from the Caye Caulker air field (walk to the end of the air field and turn left) we found our accommodation, Colinda Cabanas. The resort office is at ​the bottom, right. We stayed above, in the ocean front cabana. The price for the ocean front is around $150 U.S. per night when we went. Cabanas a few steps further away from the water were substantially ​less costly.

Gathering at the Caye Caulker Split

Boats passing through the Split. Rick LeBlanc

The Split separates the main part of Caye Caulker from the mangrove predominant abd very lightly inhabited northern section. Hurricane Hattie created the split in 1961. The channel was deepened initially by villagers to allow larger craft navigation. The ocean current has kept it that way.

Just Wait Here

Rick LeBlanc.

 The Lazy Lizard is beautifully situated at the Split, and when we were there in March 2015, was in the process of being updated. We were enjoying a Belikin Stout when a young woman arrived with a pooch in her bicycle carrier. She asked if we would watch it while she grabbed a beer. She reappeared 20 minutes later, with an apology for the impromptu babysitting assignment. She had bumped into some friends.

Waiting for Sunset at the Split


 As sunset approaches, onlookers gather to the west of the Split. As the onlookers watch the sunset, well, they just gather to watch it as they savor their rum punch or Belikin. No applause for the beautiful sunset, like in Oia (Greek island of Santorini), San Pancho in Mexico, or other destinations.

The Split Still Busy After Sunset


Even after sunset, the Split is a popular spot for expats and tourists alike, a flux of people finishing off a beach day watching the sunset, and others in rendez-vous mode prior to making other plans for the evening.

Morning Coffee in Caye Caulker

Rick LeBlanc.

At Colinda Cabanas, we find our body clocks quickly tuning in the daylight hours. A quick pot of coffee and then out on the dock as sunrise approaches.

Shopping for Souvenirs

Rick LeBlanc

Charming Caye Caulker Village has a handful of interesting shops and stands to pick up souvenirs, a new swimsuit or other needs. The operator of this stand finally breathed a sigh of relief when my wife  finally purchased a mask she had been coming back every day over the prior week to scrutinize.

And Did I Mention Diving?

db2stock, Getty Images

The leading attraction of the cayes in general, and no less of Caye Caulker, is the great snorkeling and diving. Unlike my wife, I am not much of a diver, but the Caye Cauker Marine Reserve in particular was not challenging, with a lot to see. We took a half day tour to Caulker Reserve, including snorkeling and chilling with the sting rays and nurse sharks in Shark-Ray Alley, as well as a full day tour to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, off of Ambergris Caye.