You’ve decided on Belize for your vacation, and you want an island destination. Should you pick Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye? Here are some pointers on making the choice that’s right for you.
Ambergris Caye is an island in the northeastern part of Belize. With its own municipal airport, it’s easily reachable by local airlines from Belize City, Hopkins, Corozal, Placencia, and other towns. This large island – the country’s largest – boasts beaches, world-class resorts, and plenty of tourist amenities. The main settlement of Ambergris Caye is San Pedro Town, a major magnet for travelers, expats, and Belizeans alike. San Pedro has earned the title of being Belize’s “party town” having a good mix of beach bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.
Ambergris Caye’s popularity as a tourist destination means you’ll find many dining and lodging options including high-end, luxury resorts. Most of the travelers you’ll see are couples on a romantic getaway, families and older travelers. A high number of retirees and expatriates from the US and Canada live on the island.
What’s Not Great About It?
Ambergris Caye tends to be pricier than other locations in Belize. It’s also not a good choice if you want to get away from crowds. San Pedro is not Miami Beach, but compared to other towns in Belize, it is busier. It has a high number of tourist-oriented businesses.
What’s Great About Caye Caulker?
This tiny island is known for its “Go Slow” motto. That’s a necessity on an island where there are no cars, no large office buildings and no reason to stress yourself out. Caye Caulker has long been a center for shipbuilding, coconut farming and lobster fishing in Belize. Those industries now mix with a growing tourism industry on this rustic, charming island. Caye Caulker has gorgeous beaches, quirky stores, outstanding seafood and a good selection of places to eat, drink and party.
Caye Caulker is more affordable than Ambergris Caye. As a favorite among backpackers, divers, and eco-travelers, Caye Caulker has a mix of beach hotels and friendly, low-cost options including hostels. You’re likely to see young travelers, cost-conscious families and solo travelers here.
What’s Not Great About It?
If you crave luxury and world-class beach resorts or a busy town, Caye Caulker might not be the place for you. Luckily, there are frequent, daily water taxi runs that travel between Caye Caulker and the mainland as well as Ambergris Caye.
Pick Your Island
You can’t go wrong with either of these options, or any of Belize’s beautiful islands. We know you’ll enjoy your stay on either one.
Featured Photo by ROEming Belize.
Editor's Note: This article was first shared on February 26, 2020.