Going to the cayes can be expensive but you don't have to shell out money to watch a stunning sunset or swim at a nice beach.
Here are some activities that cost you zero dollars at Caye Caulker
The split is a division of caye said to have been created by a hurricane. Sadly this is just a popular story tour guides and locals tell foreigners because it sounds like a legendary tale. A hurricane splitting a caye in half with 100 mph winds (160 kmh) sounds a lot more exciting. The Split was actually a man-made drench created to provide passage for canoes which grew through natural erosion. Now it's a popular spot with clear blue and green waters perfect for swimming.
- Cost: Free
- Location: The Split
Sometimes I think you don't even need a guide for a place like Caye Caulker. It's a couple of streets with water surrounding it. But, Walking the entire caye, meeting locals, looking at unique wooden houses, mangroves, and birds is an experience in itself. It's a free walking tour. My partner and I took a simple route. We merely walked from the split all the way down the caye till we couldn't walk anymore.
- Cost: Free
- Location: End of the road
One of the magical things about cayes is that it's the only place in Belize where you can watch the most perfectly undisturbed sunset ever. Cayes are special because there are no buildings or mountains to get in the way of the sunset. The last time I was there, I watched it from the Iguana Reef Inn dock, and it was stunning.
- Cost: Free
- Location: Iguana Reef Inn
What's better than a caye sunset? An caye sunrise of course. All the colors are stunning on the caye and doing sunrise yoga on a dock is next level. I even managed to squeeze in a workout, completely undisturbed. You'll find many of the locals running their dogs too. And if you like doing yoga with people, Namaste Cafe offers classes by donation, so you can go in for free if you want to.
- Cost: Free
- Location: Choose any open dock
Paid activities can be fun too. Here's my opinion on some popular activities.
Everyone has a different travel style. Some people like doing the whole bucket list thing, but sadly the experiences aren't always what you expect. In this section, I'll give you my opinion about some popular paid activities I've seen in mainstream blogs. I'll be brutally honest as always.
Should you rent a bike or not? I think you should. Riding on a caye where there are mostly golf carts, is a special experience. Add the cool sea breeze, and you can get lost in complete freedom and relaxation. Squeeze in a beer after sundown and you'll be riding in the clouds haha. Remember to keep tabs of curfew in case corona season is around.
Bikes can be rented at any Chinese store, but I recommend supporting local vendors. West Coast Tours was quick and accommodating. Try them out if you'd like. The popular beach cruiser bikes even have a front basket for your bag.
- Cost: $7.50 USD for 24 hours
- Location: West Coast Tours
The north side of the caye is undergoing development at the moment, so it's somewhat of the wild side of Caye Caulker. In my recent trip to the caye, I visited the area on bike with my partner and a friend we met on the caye.
- Cost: $2.50 USD for canoe crossing per person
- Location: Catch canoe at the split
To be 100% transparent, I enjoyed the adventure of getting to the north side of the caye and exploring it, but there's not much on this side at the time. There's a handful of interesting locals living there along with a couple of small resorts and hotels.
The real reason I personally didn't enjoy the north side of the caye was because of all the garbage washed up at the shoreline. I took a picture to show you the reality of the garbage situation we're facing. Other blogs don't show you the dirty side of travel sadly.
Remember throwing garbage out doesn't mean it poofs into thin air. It's stays on the planet and eventually comes back full circle straight to our doorstep.
I've snorkeled at the reef a couple of times now, and I never really appreciated marine life until I had a guide explain to me how everything in the sea is a living breathing rainforest. Knowing how to swim and free dive makes exploring the beautiful underwater mazes so much more enjoyable. I felt like I was hovering through a blue rainforest.
- Cost: $45 USD per person (Half day tour)
- Location: Choose any tour company
I watched my partner go through her scuba diving refresher course in Belize, and it strikes me as a beautifully complex leisure activity. She went scuba diving at the Barrier Reef, but my friends told me that one of their favorite places was Lighthouse Reef.
The Great Blue Hole, a sinkhole, has also been declared as one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. I'm sure it's a special place since it was an old cave system but, my friends claimed diving at the blue hole was mostly dark.
Alternatively, you can ask your guide to take you to swim with manatees. We weren't lucky enough to spot any but I would have loved the experience. To have a connection with something so massive and peaceful would bring me so much peace.
And that's it! Go enjoy Caye Caulker now.