Travelling to Caye Caulker, Belize

Are you considering travelling to Caye Caulker in Belize? Our Caye Caulker Belize travel guide will give you all the available options to get to Belize City and Caye Caulker from Flores in Guatemala, the USA and Mexico.

Our article will also assist you in what you need to know about travelling from Flores in Guatemala via Belize City to Caye Caulker by land and through the borders of Guatemala and Belize. We share with you our own experience travelling from Flores.

We would recommend planning your visit to Belize in advance and not leave it to the last minute.  There is so much to see and do in Belize you want to make sure you have it all covered. Swimming with sharks in the Hoi Chan Marine Reserve, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking and enjoying the local cuisine at the local fish restaurants.  Caye Caulker is that paradise that you have dreamed of. A small island only 8.2 km in length with one of the best laid back vibes we have ever experienced.

What can you expect? A small island with lovely pastel-painted houses, laid back restaurants and street food, the local supermarkets run by Chinese families and the Caribbean feel with Rastafarians and their music played along the dusty streets.

Our top tip is to ‘go slow’ it is definitely a place to chill out, take afternoon siestas and enjoy the island vibe.

A word of warning: choose your accommodation well and read all the reviews you can

(latest update 2020)

FAQs on Visiting Belize

What is Belize famous for?

In July Caye Caulker holds it annual Lobsterfest. Check out this article for the latest dates.

Can you eat the street food in Caye Caulker?

Street food is excellent on Caye Caulker and cheaper than eating at local restaurants.

When is the best time to travel to Caye Caulker?

October to April is the busy tourist season, you may want to consider travelling outside of these months.

The best weather is during the months of February to May.

Can you enjoy Happy Hour on the island?

Drinks can be expensive on the island so happy hour will help keep your budget in check.  Head to The Split for happy hour and a relaxed vibe.

 

Where is Caye Caulker Belize

There are over 450 Belize Islands or Belize Cayes (cayes – pronounced keys) and the most favourite ones with travellers are Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.


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Flying into Belize City

Belize Airport (BZE) is about a 30-minute drive from the city. There are flights available from US cities, the Yucatan Peninsula and Flores in Guatemala.

You can take a taxi to the port. There is a flat rate of USD25.00 or  BZD 50. (Belize Dollars)

Flight Deals 

We would recommend looking at flights from Chetumal, Cancun and Mexico City in Mexico.

From the USA look at flights from Houston, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale.

For the latest flight deals compare prices on Skyscanner here:

Travelling from the USA – click here

Travelling from the UK – click here

Travelling from Australia – click here

Travelling from the rest of the world – click here

Flying Into Caye Caulker

Maya Island Air and Tropic Air operate the 15-minute flights to Caye Caulker from Belize City.

Chetumal Mexico to Caye Caulker

You can travel from Chetumal in Mexico to Caye Caulker with Belize Water Taxi services.

Travelling To Caye Caulker from Flores via Belize City

If you are staying in Flores there are many small travel agents that offer the shuttle bus journey from Flores to Belize City.

Pro-Tip – Would you like to visit Tikal National Park?

The same travel agents in Flores can assist in arranging your visit via shuttle bus to Tikal National Park where you should stay the night and book the sunrise and sunset tour to the Tikal Ruins.

There is a day tour available with lunch to visit Tikal National Park from Flores.

Caye Caulker Hotels

Best places to stay in Caye Caulker are:

Island Magic Beach Resort on Avenida Hicaco has a pool, beach, bar and lounge and is a non-smoking hotel.

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Jan’s Hotel at 52 Hicaco Avenue Front Street is locally owned, close to restaurants and shops, it has a pool, beach and offers free WiFi.

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Rainbow Hotel on Front Street is a 3-star hotel that is non-smoking and has a beach, rooms are air-conditioned and offers free WiFi.

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Caye Caulker Hotels – further options:

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Airbnb Caye Caulker

Airbnb Caye Caulker has properties to suit all types of travellers and budgets.

 

 

Where to stay in Belize:

Great House Inn at 13 Cork Street is 100 m from the ocean.  It is a colonial 4-star hotel that offers free Wifi.

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Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina at 2 Marine Parade has a pool and a bar and offers free WiFi.

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The 3 star Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza is only 8 minutes from the airport and offers a gym and pool at Mile 3 Northern Highway Belize City.

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More Belize City Hotels:

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Airbnb Belize City

Airbnb Belize City has a range of accommodation that suits all types of travellers to Belize and their budgets.

 

Our journey to Caye Caulker from Flores in Guatemala

Our day started with a very early departure from Hotel Casona de la Isla in Flores at 5.30 am. Our expectations that our shuttle bus would be a medium-size bus that would be comfortable for the 7-hour journey to the waterfront of Belize City for our water taxi to Caye Caulker were shattered. The minibus arrived, yes mini shuttle bus, full of very sleepy or very hungover travellers and we managed to squeeze into the last two seats. Open windows became the air conditioning. Very squashy it was! A journey that we would not want to repeat again.

Check availability and prices in Flores for Hotel Casona de la Isla

Travelling to Caye Caulker

Travellers were talking amongst themselves as we got on, we could hear that some paid GTQ150 for the trip, others GTQ90 and we paid GTQ250 for two persons = USD 33.

In 2019 the journey costs USD35.00.  For information click here.

To Travel Too Tip

We certainly would recommend shopping around at the several travel agencies in Flores to see who offers the best price for this journey.

We travelled for 90 minutes through the beautiful countryside of Guatemala, very green and serene in the early morning sunlight.  Two kilometres from the border a local boarded the bus eager to change our Guatemalan Quetzal’s for Belize dollars at a competitive rate.  He informed us there are were ATMs at the border crossing.  We definitely were a captive audience.  Did we change some money? Yes, but just a small amount, enough to get by in case we needed it.

To Travel Too Tip

Check the daily exchange rate before you travel from Flores to Belize  (Quetzal to USD)

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Our shuttle bus

 

On arrival at the border, the driver informed us that we had to take our suitcases with us and queue at the departure counter and then walk the bags across the border to the Belize Immigration building.

 

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Heading to immigration

After checking out of Guatemala we headed towards Belize Immigration.  As we entered a man asked us to write down our passport details on a form, we had no idea why but everyone did it, so we did it as well warily.  Hopefully, this was not a scam, as by now this man had enough information from us to be used in identity theft.  He was also a great salesman and suggested that if we do not have tickets for the journey from Belize City to Caye Caulker he was able to assist us in purchasing these tickets. As we were about to board the bus our man turned up again to sell tickets on the San Pedro Express to Caye Caulker at a reduced rate, as we had some USD left we paid him for two tickets.

 

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Belize here we come

1.5 hours later after travelling through the countryside, we arrived at Belize City at the Water Taxi Terminal. Talk about confusion as we got off the shuttle bus!  There were two companies that offer a water taxi service to Caye Caulker from two different terminals.  The terminal we had been dropped off at was not the one that San Pedro Belize Express left from.

Caye Caulker Water Taxis are more than slightly annoyed that we had already purchased tickets on board the bus for San Pedro. We grabbed our bags quickly from the bus and walked them about 1km to the terminal and arrived ten minutes before the service departed. Talk about stress! What Belize Water Taxi will you book? To be honest, from the look of both of them, they are much the same as each other.

NB: Water Taxi companies have recently changed please refer below to the new companies.

For latest prices on Belize Water Taxi Journeys click here.

For latest prices on Ocean Ferry Belize Journeys click here

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

San Pedro Express Terminal

 

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Tickets need to be revalidated prior to boarding

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Inside the water taxi

 

These water taxis are by no means comfortable.  If you have a phobia of being in confined spaces, this is not the way to travel. You are seated in a small hull with lots of people pushed in beside you.  There are no open windows and one hatch that everyone enters and leaves from. That alone is a scary thought, how do you get out if there is an issue.   If you sit at the front you get a thumping ride as the taxi hits the waves full frontal.  It was also very hot down there.  45 minutes later we arrived at Caye Caulker and the ride was quickly forgotten. Ahead us was paradise, turquoise green water, silvery sands a tropical island paradise.

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Our first glimpse of Caye Caulker

We collected our luggage and headed towards the shore of paradise.  There are no cars on Caye Caulker only golf buggies and they were all queued up waiting for us.  Clifton, a local buggy driver, approached us and took us to our hotel De Real McCaw.  All transfers are a set price of USD5. Check the latest prices and availability here. BTW look at the photo of the hotel and we occupied the bottom corner of the hotel, with the long verandah and ocean views.  We loved it so much we extended to 7 nights. Reviews in 2019 have sadly not been too favourable for this hotel.

Travelling to Caye Caulker

 

 

 

Guatemala to Belize, Caye Caulker Bus, Water Taxi

Clifton our Buggy Driver

How much did the journey cost?

Cost of shuttle bus from Flores to Belize City GTQ125 per person total cost AUD32.00 (USD34.00)

Departure tax Guatemala GTQ40 = AUD5 (USD5.45) per person

Water Taxi Cost: USD15 for the both of us (current price as of 2019 USD18 per person)

USD5 for a golf buggy to hotel

Things to do in Caye Caulker:

Check out how we swam with sharks in Belize.

Full-Day Tour to The Hoi Chan Marine Reserve

3.5-hour tour to the Hoi Chan Marine Reserve

Our return journey from Caye Caulker to Chetumal

For our return journey out of Caye Caulker to Mexico we travelled by water taxi from Caye Caulker to Chetumal. Was it as rough? Yes, and it was longer.  Plan some extra time at the Mexican Immigration.  It can be a nightmare, they leave you standing out in the hot sun whilst they slowly check all your documents.

For more information on travel to Caye Caulker Belize check out our recommended Amazon Guide Books.

 


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4 Comments

  • Anne says:

    Great detailed blog, thank you! The only thing I was unclear on is what your bus cost covered, was the 250Q to two just to Belize City or did it include the boat too?

  • Nomadess says:

    Thanks for the post! Curious as you said the boat cost 15 for 2 people. That would be 7.50 each but I’m hearing it’s 15 a person. And is it cheaper if you purchase round trip tickets?
    Regarding your travel to Mexico after, I see you took the boat but I is by land cheaper and do you know anything about that? Thanks!

    • Hi
      The price we paid back in 2013 was the USD15 total for both of us. I just checked and it is now USD18 per person with at USD28 return. As we were on a budget it worked out cheaper for us back then to get the water taxi to Mexico and travel into Tulum that way. Current costs one way from Caye Caulker to Chetumal is USD55 per person – you can check on this link for more details.http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/book-now
      Hope that assists in your travel planning.

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