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Caye Caulker is a sleepy backwater island nestled between the Belize coast and Belize Barrier Reef. With warm waters, cool breezes and friendly locals, it’s a little slice of Caribbean paradise – too small to accommodate a heavy tourist trade, but large enough to offer memories of a lifetime.

The well-deserved motto of Caye Caulker is “Go Slow.” Once you step foot on the island, the stress seems to melt away.

Getting there’s half the fun. The Caye Caulker water taxi runs out of Belize City. With eight scheduled runs a day, you’re sure to make the connection from the airport. Corozal, Belize also runs a water taxi to Caye Caulker via San Pedro Island at 7:30 each morning, and Tropic Air flies small single-engine planes to Caye Caulker daily from Belize City, San Pedro and Corozal. Want to rent a car while in Caye Caulker? You’re out of luck – only bicycles and golf carts allowed. (Yes, they’re both available for rent.)

Caye Caulker’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for a resort experience, you should look to the island’s larger neighbor, San Pedro.

You’ll find plenty of clean, modest accommodations on the island, along with simple, well-prepared food. Don’t be surprised if a local comes up and just wants to chat. There are no paved roads, and the two main roads do not need traffic lights. At night the stars come out with the sound of a child's laughter or occasional dog barking in the background.

While Caye Caulker is laid back, there are plenty of things to do. If you enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving, you’re in luck – some of the best dive and snorkeling sites are located minutes away at the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest reef in the world. Be sure not to miss the great blue hole, a natural limestone sinkhole that’s a quarter-mile wide and over 400 feet deep. The great blue hole was once featured in a Jacque Cousteau special and is considered one of the best dives in the world. If you‘ve never tried scuba diving, there are plenty of places with highly qualified instructors.

If getting under the water is not your thing, no worries. Caye Caulker also offers wind surfing, kayaking, sailing, nature tours and plenty of relaxation. Dining options are numerous and outstanding. Fresh seafood abounds in all that the sea has to offer. Try Rose’s – not much to look at, but some of the best seafood on the island. Rose’s does not have a menu; it just serves the tastiest seafood caught that day. For breakfast anytime try Tropical Paradise, serving well-cooked pancakes, French toast, omelets and eggs any style. Don’t forget the fresh-squeezed juice and tropical fruit.

For more information on Caye Caulker, go to: gocayecaulker.com.

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expdx April 21, 2010 @ 10:52 a.m.

Visited Caye Caulker (Corker) for a week in February of 1974. No air tanks available and only a daily water taxi available...the way it should be.

Culture at that time was scary: If a woman left her house she was "Inviting" rape by one of the locals. Our hostess had 22 children. A U.S. citizen who owned a small cafe was beaten and raped because she made a joke that "Slighted" a local man. The only reason he was prosecuted is because another U.S. citizen held him for authorities. The biggest movie hit was "Mondo Bondo"...hopefully the island has gotten away from the blood and guts catholicism it was steeped in. Rusty

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Jane Belanger May 20, 2010 @ 1:30 p.m.

Belize is on my list of places to go. Thanks for the insight!

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linze143 Oct. 14, 2010 @ 5:44 p.m.

My cousin and I went to Caye Caulker for Christmas and New Years of 2004 and had an unforgettable time. We are both attractive young female American's and I felt totally safe the entire time. We made friends with all of the locals, and I did not get a sense of anything that the first commenter said. Times have definitely changed if that's really how it was back then! My cousin recently returned to the island, this year, and had an equally wonderful time. The locals actually remembered my cousin and asked about me too. I have a new baby, but absolutely plan on going back as soon as I can to this enchanting little island! And recommend, if you would rather immerse yourself in the actual culture, rather than purely tourist activities, check out Caye Caulker, you won't regret it.

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