Caye Caulker in Belize is a fantastic destination if you’re looking for a laid-back Caribbean island with colourful houses, amazing snorkelling and the opportunity to see the Belize Blue Hole.
We have already written a post about the best things to do in Caye Caulker, but we want to help you further in planning your trip. That is why we have put together this guide on how to get to Caye Caulker.
We’ll cover all options, no matter if you’re coming from home or are already in the area. Keep reading to find out how to get to Caye Caulker from Belize City, how to get to Belize in the first place and whether you should consider going via Mexico and what you need to know about flights to Caye Caulker.
How to get to Caye Caulker
If you’re coming from home
In this section, we’re going to cover your best options if you’re coming from further away. This doesn’t need to be from home. It could also mean coming from another country far enough away that you have to consider flying.
Travel via Belize City vs Chetumal
Unless you’re very lucky and live close to Belize (or maybe even in Belize), coming from home means that you need to take a flight.
Caye Caulker is an island, and you can find ferry connections to two international airport – Belize City in Belize and Chetumal in Mexico. In general, going from Belize City to Caye Caulker is faster than taking the ferry from Chetumal to Caye Caulker.If you’re planning on visiting Caye Caulker, consider travelling to more places in Belize.
However, the ultimate decision will depend on the flight connections available to you. You should be able to find good flights to Belize City, but if you can’t, then consider flying to Chetumal instead.
Chetumal is also an excellent option if you can find an awesome flight deal. The ferry from Mexico to Caye Caulker is more expensive, but depending on the airfare, with a good deal, it might still be cheaper than going via Belize City.
We usually use Skyscanner to look for cheap flights, as it compares across multiple platforms and finds the best available deals. Click here to look for flights to Belize City, or click here to look for flight deals to Chetumal.
If you go via Chetumal, you will need to continue by ferry. However, if you choose to fly to Belize City, you can either take a ferry from Belize City to Caye Caulker or research flights to Caye Caulker. We will cover all options in more detail in the upcoming sections.
How to get from Belize City Airport to Caye Caulker
If your plane lands in Belize City, it’s easy to travel onwards to Caye Caulker. As we already mentioned, you have two options. You can either take a ferry or a flight to Caye Caulker.
Belize City to Caye Caulker by ferry
The cheapest and easiest option for most travellers is to take the water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker. To do so, you have to first get from the airport to the ferry terminal.
The easiest option is to catch a taxi and ask the driver to take you to the water taxi to Caye Caulker. Make sure to agree on a price beforehand to avoid getting ripped off. The trip should take around 20-30 minutes, depending on the traffic.
As an alternative, you can book a shuttle in advance. You can check out the most affordable and well-rated option we found on Viator. Both the taxi and the shuttle will work fine to get to the water taxi terminal.
If you’re hoping to take a bus instead, we have to disappoint you. There’s no public transport option to get from the airport to the ferry, so you will have to go by shuttle or taxi.
From the ferry terminal, you can choose between two ferries. The first one is the Ocean Ferry Belize, and the other one is the Belize Express water taxi. Both go to Caye Caulker, both have multiple crossings a day, and both take approximately the same time.
You don’t have to book your ferry ticket in advance. We didn’t (we didn’t even properly look up the schedule), and we only had to wait for a bit more than an hour.
If you prefer, though, you can look up the schedule online and book your ticket. Click here to see the available tickets for the Ocean Ferry Belize and here to see the departure times for the Belize Water Taxi.
Prices are usually similar. Depending on the season, they can vary by a few dollars, so it’s worth checking both if you’re on a tight budget. If you already know you’re going back to Belize City, make sure to book the return ticket as it’ll save you quite a bit of money compared to buying two one-way tickets!
Belize City to Caye Caulker by plane
The Caye Caulker airport is tiny. That means that while you can find flights from Belize City to Caye Caulker, you usually have limited options.
Depending on the season, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air offer multiple flights a day. You can check out prices and availability here. Sometimes, if you’re fortunate, you can book a flight from your hometown to Caye Caulker with a stopover in Belize City.
That’s perfect because both flights are on the same ticket, and if your first flight gets delayed and you miss the connection to Caye Caulker, the airline will have to rebook you on the next available flight.
Usually, though, you will have to pay a lot more if you want to book both flights on the same ticket, and you’ll have to buy your flight to Caye Caulker separately. If that’s the case, make sure to leave enough time between your arrival and the next departure!
Often, that means having to stay overnight in Belize City. We know that flying sounds more convenient, but we honestly believe it’s more trouble and not worth it. You might as well go from the Belize airport to Caye Caulker by taxi and ferry; it’s much easier than spending a night in a hotel and going back to the airport the next day.
Plus, it’s also cheaper and more sustainable! Belize is a country with stunning nature, a fantastic jungle and an incredible underwater world, and we believe that we should all work towards preserving that beauty.
Chetumal Airport to Caye Caulker
If you’re flying to Chetumal, you need to take a taxi to get from the airport to the ferry pier. The ride is short, and you shouldn’t pay more than a few dollars.
At the pier, find the Caye Caulker water taxi that can take you to Belize. The ferry from Chetumal to Caye Caulker stops in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, where you need to get off the boat to pass immigration. After a short stop, you continue.
Altogether, the boat ride takes around two and a half hours. It’s 90 minutes to get to San Pedro, 30 minutes from San Pedro to Caye Caulker and approximately 30 minutes to pass immigration.Do you have everything you need?
For going from Chetumal to Caye Caulker, ferry tickets don’t have to be bought in advance. You can check out the schedule online to better plan your trip, and if needed, place an enquiry for ticket reservation through the Belize Water Taxi website. In general, though, it’s enough to show up at the dock and buy your ticket there.
Be aware that, even if getting the ticket is fast, you need to arrive at the pier with plenty of time to spare before your Caye Caulker ferry leaves. You need to pass through the border control and get your exit stamp from Mexico before you can board the boat.
If your plane arrives in the afternoon, you might have to spend the night in Chetumal before you travel onwards the next day. Click here to book your hotel in Chetumal now.
If you’re already in the area
Getting to Caye Caulker is easy if you’re already in the area. This section is for you if you’re in Guatemala or Mexico, or you are already in Belize but are unsure of how to get to Caye Caulker.
Mexico to Caye Caulker
If you’re already on the Yucatan peninsula, you have multiple options for getting to Caye Caulker. The first one is to take a bus to Chetumal and take the ferry from there; the second is to take a bus to Belize City and continue by boat.
Let’s go through each of those options and see why you might prefer one or another.
Mexico to Caye Caulker via Chetumal
The first option is to take a bus to Chetumal and catch a ferry from there. The boat from Chetumal to Caye Caulker takes around two and a half hours and leaves in the afternoon, so you arrive in Caye Caulker in the evening.
This option is perfect for anyone who comes from further away. If you’re wondering how to get from Tulum to Caye Caulker, then this is the way to go. It’s also perfect if you want to go from Playa del Carmen or Cancun to Caye Caulker.
The most well-known company that connects Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen with Chetumal is ADO Bus, but you might also find a few other bus companies travelling that way. We recommend that you compare the schedule and prices online and also get your ticket ahead of time.
Bus tickets to Chetumal don’t book out long in advance, but if you wait until right before your departure, you might find that the bus is already full.
In Chetumal, you have two bus stations. The first one is the large bus terminal just outside town. If you get off the bus here, you will need to take a taxi to the ferry terminal. Ask your bus driver if they continue to the smaller bus station in town. From there, it’s only a few blocks to the pier.
As we already said, the water taxi to Caye Caulker leaves in the afternoon. Click here to check out the exact schedule and get more information.
Mexico to Caye Caulker via Belize City
If you’re already in Southern Yucatan, you have another option for getting to Caye Caulker. You can take the bus to Belize City and catch a water taxi from here.
We wouldn’t recommend this option to anyone from further away. Getting from Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker via Belize City, for example, might be a little bit cheaper as the ferry costs will be lower. You will spend much more time on a bus, though, which makes this option much less enjoyable.
If you’re wondering how to get from Bacalar to Caye Caulker, on the other hand, then this is the perfect route for you. The ADO Bus from Bacalar to Belize City takes only around three hours. You can look up the schedule online, and we recommend that you buy your ticket at least the evening before your departure.
Once you’ve made it to Belize City, you can walk to the ferry pier or take a taxi for a very short ride. From here, you can then take the boat to Caye Caulker. We have more information about that ferry ride and which water taxi to take further below, in the section on how to get from Belize City to Caye Caulker.
Guatemala to Caye Caulker
If you’re coming from Guatemala and want to go to Caye Caulker directly, you have multiple options. The first one is to go from Flores to Caye Caulker via Belize City. The bus ride from Flores takes around 5 hours. We recommend that you get your ticket the day before your departure to ensure that the bus isn’t booked out when you want to get on.
You can also take a shuttle. Ask at your hostel or the available tour companies in Flores. Shuttles are more comfortable but also more expensive than regular buses.
Once you’re in Belize City, walk a few blocks or take a taxi to the pier, where you can then catch a water taxi to Caye Caulker. We have more information on the ferries below.
If you’re coming from anywhere else in Guatemala, you have to consider staying overnight in Flores or Belize. Getting to Belize, crossing the border and then catching the water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker likely won’t be possible in one day.
If you’re coming from Livingston, you can take the boat to Punta Gorda and get to Belize City from there. We highly recommend that you stop in Placencia along the way to break up your journey.
From anywhere else, you will likely go via Flores to reach Belize.
Belize City to Caye Caulker
If you’re coming from mainland Belize, you’ll likely go via Belize City. You can take chicken buses from all over the country that will take you to Belize City. We went from Placencia to Caye Caulker and found the process very easy.
Most chicken buses arrive at the central bus terminal in Belize City. From here, it’s only a couple of blocks to the pier, where you can then catch the ferry to Caye Caulker. You can walk or take a taxi if needed.
Once you’ve reached the dock, you have the choice between going with two different ferry operators, Ocean Ferry Belize and Belize Water Taxi.
Prices seem to vary as I’ve heard multiple people saying that one ferry is cheaper than the other. Which one it is, though, seems to depend, so if you’re on a very tight budget, check out both. The difference shouldn’t be more than a few dollars.
What’s definitely cheapest is booking a return ticket instead of two one-way tickets. It’ll save you lots of money.
You don’t need to get your ticket in advance, and ferries often leave, so you won’t have to wait for a long time. If you prefer, though, you can look up the schedule online and book your ticket. Click here to see the available tickets for the Ocean Ferry Belize and here to see the departure times for the Belize Water Taxi.
Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker
If you’re on Ambergris Caye and you want to travel to Caye Caulker, you’ll find it very easy. All you need to do is take the water taxi from San Pedro to Caye Caulker.
Just like if you were coming from Belize City, you have the choice between the Ocean Ferry Belize and the Belize Water Taxi. Multiple ferries connect both islands every day, and the ride only takes about half an hour. Travel to Caye Caulker is very easy if you’re already on Ambergris Caye!
How to get around Caye Caulker
Now that we have extensively covered how to get to Caye Caulker, you might still wonder how to get around the island. Unlike Ambergris Caye and San Pedro, Caye Caulker is very small. That means you can usually walk everywhere!
If you can’t walk much, you have the option of renting a golf cart. For most people, though, that won’t be necessary. You can find multiple golf cart rentals on Caye Caulker, and most shops are only one to two blocks away from the pier.
We hope you now have a good understanding of how to get to Caye Caulker. If you have any questions or comments, please leave us a comment below.
Make sure to book your accommodation before you arrive! You can often find a room on arrival, but you’ll find much nicer options if you take a look at hotels before you leave. Click here to see all available hotels, hostels and guest houses and book your preferred one.
Belize is a beautiful country that we are sure you’re going to love. We have a few more resources for you that will help you plan your trip, so make sure to check them out!
- The best things to do in Caye Caulker
- How to spend a perfect week in Belize
- Belize packing list – be prepared for your trip
- Discover the best beaches in Central America and Mexico
Until your next adventure!
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