About 1,500 or so native Hicaqueños (pronounced hee-kaw-KEN-yos; or “Caulker Islanders”) reside on this island 21 miles northeast of Belize City, just south of Ambergris Caye and less than a mile west of the reef. The island is four miles long from north to south. The developed and inhabited part is only a mile long, from the split to the airstrip.
Yes, there have been many changes and much development on the island as it has figured out its place in Belize’s evolving tourism economy, but Caye Caulker remains less expensive than San Pedro and as tranquilo and friendly as everybody told you it was.
Getting to Caye Caulker
By Air: Maya Island Air and Tropic Air make daily flights to Caye Caulker, flying to and from Belize City’s municipal and international airports as part of their San Pedro run. The airstrip on Caulker is simple—you wait under a tree or on the veranda of the small build-ing that serves all flights. Fares are US$35 one-way to the municipal airport (about 8 minutes) and about US$65 one-way to the international airport (10 minutes).
By Boat: The short cruise between Caye Caulker and either Belize City or San Pedro is the most common way to get to the island. There are three competing water taxi companies with alternating schedules and similar fares: Caye Caulker Water Taxi (San Pedro tel. 501/226-2194, Caye Caulker tel. 501/226-0992, Belize City tel. 501/223-5752, www.cayecaulkerwatertaxi.com), San Pedro Express (San Pedro tel. 501/226-3535, Caye Caulker tel. 501/226-0225, Belize City tel. 501/223-2225, www.belizewatertaxi.com), and Water Jets Express (San Pedro tel. 501/226-2194, Caye Caulker tel. 501/206-0234, Belize City tel. 501/207-1000, www.sanpedrowatertaxi.com).
The Belize City–Caye Caulker trip costs US$10 one-way, and Caye Caulker–San Pedro is also US$10 one-way. Many boats are partially open-air; a light wrap or rain jacket is handy for windy trips. The boats are often packed to the point of being overloaded. They are supposed to have a passenger limit, but it isn’t always observed.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition