Hopkins to Caulker- getting there and staying there

Costa Maya rooftop hammock- Real Life Recess

This year we wanted to stay on Caye Caulker for a few days to really get a feel for the place. We’d day tripped to the tiny island from Ambergris Caye last year and loved it but wondered if it was too small to entertain us for an extended time (we’re looking for potential places to live after all). Would we get bored? Is there enough to do on such a small swath of land? We were going to find out but first we had to get there from the mainland.

Obviously, time is your most valuable commodity when you only have about 10 days to explore a country so we once again splurged on Tropic Air flights to the island instead of traveling back to Belize City and getting a water taxi. Tropic Air and Maya Island Air are the two small carriers in the country and will get you pretty much anywhere you want to go in the country or even to Mexico, Guatemala, or Honduras. Their flights are easy and frequent albeit a bit expensive. A short 17 minute flight from Caulker to San Pedro runs around 50 USD per person one way. Our flight from Dangriga to Caulker was just over 90 USD per person one way. This was  for a 30 minute flight, a brief layover at the Municipal  airport and then a 10 minute flight to our final destination, Caulker.   A quick Google search can net you a 10% discount on your Tropic Air flights if you can find that month’s promotional code. I went to San Pedro blogger Tacogirl’s site.

But first we had to get to the airport from Hopkins Village.

So from Hopkins we took a cab to the Dangriga Airport; and we highly recommend Elwin for this short trip. Our host Rita at Hopkins Inn made the arrangement for us.


His van is nice (we came into Hopkins in a junker with a severely busted windshield and that sat so low to the ground we bottomed out in nearly every pothole) and he’s a lovely Garifuna man that will tell you about his family and how much he loves his beautiful Mayan wife (they were celebrating their 25 wedding anniversary the day we met). Elvin is a character and will make you smile, he might also make a pit stop at the bridge were the fishing boats come in and make you wait while he negotiates for a good price on Kingfish. But he still got us to the airport on time.

Once at  the airport you’ll check in and get a cardboard boarding pass for your 30 minute flight to the cayes.

Tropic Air boarding passes- Real Life Recess

Tropic Air from Dangriga- Real Life Recess

Probably the best part of flying via Tropic Air is the amazing view you’re treated to while flying.

Tropic Air View - Real Life Recess

Tropic Air view 2- Real Life Recess

Tropic Air co-pilot- Real Life Recess

If you’re lucky, you may even be an honorary co-pilot


Once we arrived in  Caulker we got a $7bzd golf cart taxi ride to our lodging at Costa Maya Beach Cabanas.

Caye Caulker Taxi - Real Life  Recess

Our driver readying our taxi for the 1 mile trip to our cabana

We chose Costa Maya mostly because it’s one of the only places on the island that has a website and this being our first time staying in Caulker, we wanted firm lodging reservations ahead on time. We realize now that this is completely unnecessary and you can probably find much better deals just walking around town and inquiring at places; and there are PLENTY of places to stay on the island from hostels to boutique hotels to yoga resorts to guest houses.

But for 90 USD a night, were plenty happy with our choice.

It’s on the main road (Playa Asuncion?) but down near the end of town, two blocks from the Split.

I also liked that our room at Costa Maya had a private balcony with a great view and a decent kitchen with a full sized refrigerator.

Costa Maya Beach Cabana  Cay Caulker- Real Life Recess

Up the spiral staircase to my left is the rooftop deck which is probably the highest point in Caulker. Amazing views

Costa Maya Beach Cabana - Real Life Recess

View from our balcony as a morning storm was passing through

Costa Maya sunrise- Real Life Recess

This was a more typical morning view from our balcony

Bring some coffee and filters from home and pick up some water (and beer or ingredients for cocktails)and snacks at a grocery to make your own sunrise and sunset refreshments to save money.

Costa Maya Beach Cabana sunrise- Real Life Recess

Beautiful sunrise from Costa Maya’s private dock

Costa Maya also has bicycles for guests to borrow for free- a great little perk since we would have paid to rent them. The last thing I’ll mention loving about Costa Maya is their rooftop deck; it’s the tallest on the island and is the best spot for a birds-eye view of the Split or sunset drinks in a hammock. We took so many pictures from up there.

The Split from the rooftop of Costa Maya- Real Life Recess

View of the Split from our rooftop, just minutes away.

Costa Maya rooftop- Real Life Recess

View of the back of the island from our rooftop


Caye Caulker narrow island - Real Life Recess

From here you can appreciate how narrow the island really is


Costa Maya Belize rooftop- Real Life Recess

Phil trying to get some color

Caulker sunset- Real Life Recess

Clouds kept ruining our sunsets from the rooftop…ugh


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.