Caye Caulker

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Northern Cayes: Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye
Belize’s top two tourism hotspots, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, are its two most populous islands, some 21 miles off the coast of Belize City. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye’s main town, is a place where tourist days are filled with diving, snorkeling, and fishing: The coral reef’s white froth is visible less than a mile from shore. Nights are for partying and bar-hopping. The southern and northern ends of Ambergris are more suited to seclusion and romance. Sister island Caye Caulker is a smaller, laid-back Caribbean version of the two. Sand-only streets—no cars here—and more local eats than fine dining, and a deeply rooted Creole culture. Caye Caulker's offshore adventures and treasures include a marine reserve, mangroves for kayak exploration, and breathtaking sunsets. Hop on the ferry to experience both.
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No cars on Caye Caulker; locals go barefoot or by bike. Two Belizean school kids stop for a smile and a photograph.
The tiny atoll's motto is "Go Slow." I found 13 ways to do that while eating lobster, kayaking, snorkeling the Belize reef, the world's second largest, and hanging out with locals at the local soccer field.
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Morning view
Enjoying a lazy sunrise from a hammock at the end of a palapa.
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No cars on Caye Caulker; locals go barefoot or by bike. Two Belizean school kids stop for a smile and a photograph.
The tiny atoll's motto is "Go Slow." I found 13 ways to do that while eating lobster, kayaking, snorkeling the Belize reef, the world's second largest, and hanging out with locals at the local soccer field.
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The Split, Caye Caulker
The coral island of Caye Caulker has the motto "go slow," which is reflected in the attitude of both visitors and locals. We arrived at the Split by speedboat from Ambergris Caye. The narrow waterway that divides the island in two provided the perfect opportunity for snorkeling, where we saw tropical fish gathering around the remnants of a crumbled wall that’s fallen to the bottom of the sea. The docks that criss-cross the water are made for sunbathing and soaking up the sociable atmosphere of the island. It also happens to be one of the best places on the island to enjoy the Caribbean sunset. Drinks are provided by the nearby Lazy Lizard, famous for its delectable piña colada made with local rum. Swimming is easy on either side of the Split, but be wary in the deeper water of strong currents and the frequent speedboats that zip through, often with little regard for swimmers. If you’re willing to risk the hazards though, you’ll be rewarded by watching schools of colorful fish, huge starfish and rays swim in the vicinity. The absolute calm of the island allows you to relax in the shallows of the lagoon, where you can hear nothing but the lapping of water and the occasional shout from one local to another. It’s easy to forget that time even exists here.
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Drift Away Under the Sun and Go Island Tubing
All you have to do in this tour is jump into the water, snuggle into the inner tube, kick your feet up and enjoy. Oh yeah! You also get to sip on some refreshing rum punch as it is reeled your way while you are leisurely tugged around the island of Caye Caulker, Belize. The concept is simple -- string eight inflatable tubes behind a skiff and drag along a party through the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy island life at its best! The tour starts on the front side of the island where you cruise through the famous Caye Caulker Split and then head for the tarpon pool at the back of the island. It’s really exciting and a great opportunity to spot wildlife, such as tarpons and ospreys. It's also a way to see the island from a unique perspective -- floating eight inches above the water!
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Eat at Caye Caulker's Lobsterfest
While Ambergris Caye’s Lobsterfest celebration spans a week, Caye Caulker’s festival is just three days in late June, usually a week after San Pedro’s event concludes. It’s worth sticking around the Cayes if you can for both Lobsterfests as they are entirely different celebrations. Caye Caulker is more causal and features local vendors set up along the beach selling lobster specialties versus the daily organized events in San Pedro. Best recommendation is a whole grilled lobster, but go early as they run out by late afternoon!
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Morning Rides Down Caye Caulker
The island is only 2-miles long and a half-mile wide but there's no shortage of things to do. We spent our mornings riding bikes from the northern tip, called The Split, down the southern loop. You can also walk or run, but I'd recommend biking so you can make quick stops at all the docks and coconut trees along the dirt path. Don't be intimated by the heavy forestry, the path is safe and a great start to the days. If you enjoy a morning swim, hop in the water off any of the public docks; the dark-colored water is just sea grass and the teal colored water is the white carribean sand everyone hopes for.
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Caye Caulker, Belize