Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Getting to Caye Caulker
Our flight was scheduled to arrive into BZE at 3:45 PM. The last water taxi to Caye Caulker is at 5:30 pm, and I was concerned about not making it in time. None of the places on the island offer free day-of cancellation, and we really didn’t want to stay in Belize City, so we didn’t have a place booked for the first night. We made sure there were plenty of options in both Belize City and Caye Caulker, including availability at the place we were staying at for the other 3 nights. So we felt good about trying to get to the island if possible, and staying in the city if our flight was late or we missed the water taxi for some other reason.
We made it in plenty of time and were to the water taxi terminal (25-30 minute taxi ride from the airport, $25 US or $50 Belize) by 5. You can buy tickets at the terminal and we took the San Pedro Belize Express Boat. It’s a 45 minute ride to the island and then a 10-minute walk to Caye Caulker Condos (check the map to see where everything is, including the water taxi terminals). We got settled into our condo and went back out for dinner. Caye Caulker is very small and everything is walkable. They have golf cart taxis available, but we didn’t need or use them at all. It was a long day and the kids needed to get to bed, so we settled for a quesadilla and burrito from a street vendor (just ok).
- Errolyn’s House Of Fryjacks
- Koko King Beach
- Ana’s Genie
Started the day at Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks, which we were excited about. Did not disappoint and we ate here for breakfast 4x on this trip. You can get a lot of different combos (eggs, ham, beans, and cheese was our favorite) in a folded-over elephant-ear-without-the-sugar like dough. Very cheap, too. It’s caddy-corner from the Atlantic Bank, and there is a fresh fruit stand right next to it.
We went back to our room and got ready to go to Koko King Beach (now called the Northside Beach Club). Caye Caulker is split into 2 islands (hurricane in the 60s). There isn’t a true, good beach on the southern section – there is a lot of sea grass so you’ll see a lot of piers that provide access into the water. Koko King has a free boat that will take you to their restaurant/beach (2-3 minute ride, very quick) and it leaves every 30 minutes (sign says every 15, didn’t find that to be true). The dock to catch the boat is on the leeward (west) side of the island, pretty much exactly across the island from the main water taxi dock that goes to Belize City and San Pedro. The dock to catch the water taxi to other islands and Belize City is at the east end of Calle del Sol and the dock for the Beach Club is on the west end of the same road.
They have free beach chairs and you can pay $10-15 for either covered chairs or a swinging bed for the whole day. Thought it was definitely worth it to pay for some shade, especially with the kids. They have a covered restaurant on the water, too, but they’ll come and take your order/deliver food and drinks to your area. I’ve read about hours-long waits to get food, but also heard if you pay for covered areas (what they consider VIP areas), you get your food quicker. We were there twice and our food came out within 25 minutes each time. Food was excellent, huge portions. Kids loved the inner tubes, jungle gym, and trampoline in the water and we spent most of the day here. There’s also a palapa at the end of a pier that has swings for that picture everyone wants.
Went back and ate at Ana’s Genie Restaurant (Jordanian food), which was amazing and right beside where we were staying. It doesn’t look like it’s open anymore, unfortunately.
Day 3: Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Fry jacks and fruit to start, then started asking about tours for the day. There are tons of tour operators – while we didn’t need to book ahead, it might be a different story in high season. We preferred to wait and talk to them in person to compare and get a feel for the tour guide, worked out great. Ended up booking with Rainbow Tours (part of Rainbow grill/Rainbow Hotel and right by them) since their full-day tour was less time than most others (4.5 hours instead of 5-7) and they gave us the best rate for the kids. We really wanted to go to Hol Chan Marine Reserve to see the marine life since it’s widely considered one of the best place in the world to snorkel (if not THE best), and none of the other half-day tours go there. We were hesitant to take the kids on a boat for the longer tours, so it worked out great. We took the kids to the island playground, which is right beside Caye Reef Luxury Condos on Playa Asuncion, to play before the 10:30 am departure.
There were 6 stops on the trip, and it was definitely worth it. It was a little difficult since we had the twins and they’re too young to snorkel, but both my wife and I got to take turns snorkeling for shorter periods of time. Saw a manatee, huge loggerhead turtles, nurse sharks, stingrays, and so many awesome fish. The kids enjoyed seeing sharks and fish from the boat, which was great.
Walked around for a bit after getting back, just did dinner on our balcony with leftovers from yesterday’s lunch at Koko King.
- Ice and Beans Cafe
- Sip N’ Dip
We planned on spending this day around The Split (where the island was split in two), which is the most popular area and right by where we stayed, but since the kids had so much fun at Koko King and the food was great, we decided to go back there. Same breakfast except we stopped at Ice and Beans Café as we discovered they have bubble waffles, which the kids love. Great place, and still went to get fry jacks of course.
There’s a place called Sip N Dip, which is right across the “street” from where we stayed, and they have swings and hammocks over the water, a volleyball net, and slides that go into the water. Great spot for pictures and relaxing in the water with a drink (if you didn’t have 2 year olds with you?). Played here for a little bit then went back over to Koko King at 11. We wanted to get one of the covered areas and the place starts filling up after noon. Had a lot of fun, kids actually napped there and went back to Ana’s for dinner cause it was so good and close.
Day 5: Heading Home
Had bubble waffles, fruit, and fry jacks for breakfast (again) and walked around for a few before we had to catch the 9 AM ferry back to Belize City for our flight.
Caye Caulker is a great destination for families with young kids – you can walk everywhere and it’s an affordable destination. Would highly recommend, and you should stop for at least a day trip if you’re going to the nearby, more famous island of Ambergris Caye (where San Pedro is). It’s another 45 minute water taxi ride from Caye Caulker to get to Ambergris Caye. Caye is pronounced the same as “key.”
Traveled in April 2018