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Harry Kikstra/Getty Images

Key Info

Caye Caulker

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Just about 20 miles north of Belize City sits Caye Caulker, a 4-mile-long, sun-soaked island that boasts superb diving and snorkeling spots and a relaxed tropical ambience. Though the island is mostly uninhabited by locals, visitors flock to the restaurants, shops and hotels perched at the northern tip near the Split (the area where Hurricane Hattie parted Caye Caulker into two halves in 1960). 

Like Ambergris Caye, this remote island offers a broad range of snorkeling, scuba, sailing, kayaking and fishing services to nearby sites located along the surrounding barrier reef. There are also some unique attractions like the manatee preservation site, Swallow Caye.

Even if exploring under the turquoise waters isn't for you, those who visit the caye say it's the perfect place to leave your watch behind, walk around barefoot and dine on fresh seafood. 

You can reach Caye Caulker by water taxi or plane from Belize City. For further details, consult our guide to Getting Around Belize.

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#1 Ambergris Caye

With its plentiful outdoor activities, this 25-mile-long island off the coast of northern Belize caters to the snorkeling and diving set. The island was originally inhabited by the Mayans to serve as a far-extending trade route, spanning from present-day Mexico to as far south as Honduras. Today, Ambergris Caye welcomes thousands of visitors seeking easy access to the barrier reef that surrounds the island. Snorkelers and intrepid divers alike will want to explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Most of the diving and snorkeling shops and instructors are found in San Pedro, including the Belize Pro Dive Center, Tuff E Nuff Tours and Scuba School Belize, which all offer a variety of daily excursions. Prices vary depending on the type and length of tours, plus any certification fees for diving.

When you're not underwater, explore San Pedro, Ambergris' main town. Here you'll find beachside restaurants, lounges, shops and luxury hotels. You'll notice the difference between this tourist hub and the more urban Belize City as soon as you step onto its cobblestone streets, which are filled with golf carts and bicycles, rather than cars.

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