Free or Cheap Things to do on Caye Caulker

We spent about a month living on Caye Caulker and covered, I think, every square inch of the island (not really much of a feat because it’s only about one and a half square miles).  They do a great job of packing so much charm and beauty into such a small place; it reminds me alot of Placencia but on a caye instead of a peninsula.  If you are a runner you will need to circle the whole island AND zig zag up and down every street to make some miles but you’ll receive tons of friendly “good morning’s” and maybe one or two “hey baby, Go Slow”- the island motto!

You don’t have to drop a load of dough once you’re here (it’s traditionally a backpackers haven and budget traveler destination but some new higher-end resorts are changing things up) to enjoy the laidback island lifestyle.  This post is all about free or free-ish things to do on CC.

First- Wander around!  Walk the town and window shop the gift stores, restaurants and bars but don’t stop there- head south, way south past the airstrip.  You’ll find a sandy drive that follows the shoreline and eventually peters out in to a nature trail of sorts complete with narrow boardwalk through the mangroves.  Don’t get scared- yes, you are off the beaten path but the path DOES circle around and get you to the airstrip again.  Along the route stop for a photo op at the shell wall.  I haven’t verified if it is indeed the “world’s largest.”

After the effort of your stroll you deserve a rest and maybe a frosty adult beverage.  Throw your swimsuit on and head to The Split for a nap in the sun and the requisite Lizard Juice.  It’s hazardously green and not particularly tasty but it’s cold and you just HAVE to #doitforthegram

After a swim and a belly full of green slime, take the kids over to the park for some playground time (you should know by now I’m a sucker for a decent playground).  It is in a picturesque setting across from the sea and just behind those beautifully painted concrete letters everyone is taking a picture at.

After the playground mosey over to the back side of the island for tarpon feeding.  How cool!  Ask around if you can’t find the spot; its a very unassuming dock and the local family there will sell you a $5 bag of bait to feed the big fish.  I would recommend this for older kids and teens but a lady we rode the water taxi with told us not to let our toddler try because they might “snatch that baby down” off the dock.  I was skeptical until I saw the size of these suckers!

A little further along from the tarpons, you’ll come to Iguana Reef Inn where they have set up a seahorse sanctuary of sorts.  They created a habitat from netting that seahorses flock to.  They’re difficult to spot because they’re so small and they blend in but with a bit of patience and persistence you’ll be guaranteed to see a few here.

It also happens to be a hot spot for pelicans so if the area isn’t too crowded with people, let the little ones make their best attempts at “sneaking up” on the big birds.

The hotel has a lovely open-air sunset lounge that is perfect for happy hour and my FAVORITE free Caye Caulker pastime: watching the sunsets!

It’s a daily affair- tourists make their pilgrimage to rooftops or docks on the leeward side of the island for a cold drink, a cool breeze and “the show.”  Can you imagine anything better than a rum punch in your hand, a gentle breeze stirring the palm fronds and a gorgeous sunset over the Caribbean sea?

Gratuitous sunset pictures:

Ahhhh life is good!


About the author

Megan Rodden

never met a vacation she didn't like. Megan is a self-centered, snarky, unambitious derelict... like most of her peers.

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© 2014 Megan Rodden and Phil Nagengast.