Found just one mile west of the stunning Belize Barrier Reef and 10 miles south of sister island Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker is fast becoming a top Belize vacation destination. At least the word is finally getting out about it. For decades, it seemed that Caye Caulker would be almost forgotten in a way, Ambergris Caye surely handling the bulk of the area tourism demands in recent years. Caye Caulker Island is much like its sister island, only smaller and even more laid-back. When you are more laid-back than Ambergris Caye, that's saying quite a bit. Getting around by way of foot or golf cart is the norm on Caye Caulker Island, with cars pretty much non-existent, if not completely absent. Surely the top quality Caye Caulker diving is enough to warrant a trip. Caye Caulker is easily reached from Belize City by way of boat (water taxi) or plane, and you'll find numerous scheduled daily trips for both. You can fly between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, and there are scheduled boats that connect not only these, but a few other area cayes as well.
Caye Caulker's history is much like that of Ambergris Caye. It would fall under British control in the 1600"s, with buccaneers often docking here to replenish supplies and touch up their boats. In 1847, Mestizo refugees fleeing from war on the Yucatan Peninsula came to Caye Caulker, and some of their descendants can still be found living here today. The exportation of turtle meat was a top industry in the early days, that is until the turtle population was pretty much wiped out. In the 20th century, fishing and coconut processing were among the main Caye Caulker industries, with lobster among the most fished marine creatures. It was hippie backpackers who are credited with "discovering"Caye Caulker as a travel destination. They started coming in the 1960"s and 70"s, and you can imagine their joy upon finding this relatively unknown gem of an island. Since then, Caye Caulker has maintained its slow, laid-back fishing village identity, and according to those in-the-know, plans are to keep things that way. In other words, over-development is not something that locals are in favor of, nor too willing to let happen. Time will tell.
Since most of Belize is hot and humid year round, there really isn't a bad time to visit Caye Caulker, though if you had to pick an ideal time, it would be between the months of December and May. This is the dry season, and you're guaranteed more sunshine for starters. Also, the calmer dry season weather also helps to make the Caye Caulker diving at least a little more enjoyable. It generally means better underwater visibility. Since the Belize Barrier Reef is so close, you can already begin to imagine just how good the Caye Caulker diving is. Explore underwater tunnels and caverns, follow a steep wall drop for a while, or seek out native marine life such as turtles and rays. Dive sites like Coral Gardens, Sponge Avenue, and Caye Caulker North Cut are all easily reached from the Caye Caulker Island pier, which is where the diving charters shove off. For those who have Caye Caulker diving high on their lists, it's often possible to get a discount on your dive tour if you book a multi-dive package. Should you want to go for more than one day, not only will you get to enjoy some of the world's best scuba diving, but you'll also likely be saving some money on the side. There's certainly a good ring to that. If you have never scuba dived and would like to learn, you can always take lessons. In just 3-4 days, you could be enjoying a full-on dive! There's always snorkeling too, which is also a blast.
The fishing charters seem to be increasing in Caye Caulker Belize, which is good news for anglers who are coming here to relax and have some fun in the sun. Most tour companies and hotel agents can recommend a fishing charter/captain for you, and Belize fishing is always worth it, pretty much anywhere you go. Fly-fishing for tarpon or bonefish is probably the most popular here, and you can also arrange a deep-sea expedition as well if you desire. If you want to get out on the water without fishing, you might rent a kayak or another kind of watercraft, as rental companies are in pretty good supply here. The calm waters just offshore are mostly agreeable when it comes to such endeavors. There is also a pretty good number of Caye Caulker cruise options, such as half and full-day sailing trips with a crew. Perhaps a sunset or moonlight cruise will be ideal for you and that special someone. Bird watchers will enjoy Caye Caulker, especially for the 100-acre Caye Caulker Forest Reserve. Over 100 different species of birds have been spotted on Caye Caulker, so bring those binoculars for sure. Between enjoying the great outdoors here, you'll find enough simple, yet good restaurants in Caye Caulker Belize, and you can enjoy plenty of seafood. Come in early July during the Lobsterfest festival, and you'll probably eat more succulent lobster in one day than you have in the last year. This place is great, no doubt about that, so if at all possible, toss it on the itinerary. Since there are enough discount Caye Caulker hotels to choose from, you can hop over for a night or more even if you're low on funds.