OK, so it’s more of an island than a city, but it’s still worth talking about. It’s a hammock-lovers paradise.
Set off the coast of Belize, Caye Caulker is paradise. It’s small, it’s beautiful, it’s youthful. Everyone here is friendly, and no one moves quickly. There are no cars, only little golf carts, and the island’s motto is “Go Slow.” The tempo will have you running on island time before you know it.
Years ago, the island was a lot bigger, but a hurricane ripped through, splitting it in two and destroying a lot of the dock area. But the island has rebuilt itself and is still one of the major destinations for travelers to Belize.
However, the disaster created the island’s best feature – The Split. The Split is a deep trench that allows for excellent snorkeling and swimming. You can jump right in and see stingrays, sharks, and a huge variety of fish. It’s better than any tour you’ll pay for.
The Split is where all the action is. Though the island has a great eastward facing beach, everyone walks down to the Split. There’s a small beach there, and the old dock provides an excellent place to sprawl your towel out. The young and the pale come out here to sun and snorkel all day, with a nearby bar serving ice cold drinks and music.
The main street is lined with fabulous seafood restaurants, ranging from budget to very posh. A few of the houses around the island turn themselves into little barbecues, with Wish Willy’s being the most famous. Set out right in front of his house, this place is a Caye Caulker landmark, serving amazing food delivered by a cool Rasta chef. There’s no menu – they serve whatever they have that day – but you can’t go wrong with whatever you get, and a free drink is included. For a more expensive meal, head to Don Corleone’s for some pretty good Italian food.
This is a young, spirited island, and a good portion of the tourists are young, party-minded travelers. You’ll see them partying all night long at the local bars and the incredibly sketchy but amazingly fun after-hours club.
With great beaches, atmosphere, a kicking nightlife, great seafood, and “The Split”, no trip to Belize is complete without a visit to Caye Caulker. A lot of people head to the more upscale Ambergris Caye, but Caye Caulker is the better pick of the two.
Despite having traveled to dozens of islands, this place remains one of my favorite destinations.