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The Great Barrier Reef, longest in the western Hemisphere, shelters the best stocked light-tackle fishing grounds of the Caribbean. The water is warm and crystal clear ideal for a great variety of water sports, fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving.

You should visit the impressive Mayan Centres, like Altun Ha and Xunantunich ... and bring along your camera for some memorable shots. Unauthorized digging is prohibited by law.

With more than 500 species of birds, this country is a bird-watcher's paradise. There are also numerous animals, which can be observed in wildlife refuges.

The extensive limestone system gives rise to really fascinating and unexplored cave systems, often with evidence of use in the dim past by the Mayas.

You will find a congenial atmosphere at clubs and restaurants with tasty food, easy conversation and tropical- style entertainment. Village fiestas are frequent. Other highlights are the gala marathon St. George's Caye Day and Independence celebrations in September; Columbus day in October; Garifuna Settlement Day in November and the National Festival of Arts in November.

You are encouraged to get your souvenirs and craft-items from department stores, hotels, specialty stores or the Cottage Industries, the National Craft Centre and other workshops for carvings of mahogany and zericote, jewelry, straw hats, handicrafts, postcards, etc. Please remember that the removal of black coral or the sale of black coral novelties by any unauthorized person is illegal.

Biking - Bicycles are available through your hotel or rental centers located throughout town.

Golfcarts - Numerous businesses offer hourly and daily rentals.

Bird Watching - Wildlife watching is fast becoming a rage on this Caye. Visitors can be seen with binoculars glued to their eyes stepping quietly down the sandy streets in search of that special bird. Crocodiles, raccoons and a vast array of birds can be seen along the lagoon or along small mangrove cayes scattered in the north of the island.

Many other birding trips can be arranged, such as to Bird Caye near Ambergris Caye. Check with local guides.

Golf - At last -- Belize has a championship golf course. Caye Chapel Golf Resort & Marina -- this is the name currently being used, though it may not be the final name -- is being developed.

Diving (day, night and overnight trips) - Ambergris Caye's biggest claim to fame comes as a dive destination. Most visitors to Ambergris Caye visit because of the superior diving and snorkeling sites found close by. Local dive shops rent full gear, offer all levels of certification by PADIand NAUII and have daily trips to the reef and all local dive sites. Trips can be one, two and three tank dive trips including night dives.

Guided trips to numerous sites, including trips to Hol Chan Reserve, Mexico Rocks, the Blue Hole, Turneffe Reef and Glover's Reef.For a wealth of information on diving on the island, click here.

Snorkeling (day or night) - For those who do not dive, and even if you have never snorkeled, the Hol Chan Reserve, Shark Ray Alley and other coral gardens can provide an equally euphoric experience. Snorkel in 3 ft. of water with brightly colored parrot fish or drift over 60 ft. of Caribbean Sea outside the reef and marvel at the whole other world this marine paradise presents.

Numerous dive shops can arrange trips, highly recommended is Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a popular five square-mile underwater park accessible only by boat, is located four miles southeast of San Pedro Town on the Belize Barrier Reef and is rich in marine life and coral. Inside the reef the clear shallow water is ideal for both snorkelers and divers who will see a wide variety of fish including sharks, stingrays and moray eels. Night diving is popular to see a variety of nocturnal sea creatures that are completely different than those seen during the day.

There are many other snorkel sites easily accessible from the island, such as Shark-Ray Alley. This shallow cut in the reef south of Hol Chan is a popular dive spot for those who wish to see sharks and rays up close and personal. Snorkelers can also enjoy this spot. It is definitely a disconcerting feeling to have these creatures rub elbows with you. Once you do get used to these friendly creatures you're sure to have the time of your life. Skin Diver magazine describes it as one of the seven great animal dive sites in the Caribbean. Tours to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley are common and easily arranged with local tour guides. Wear a bathing suit, light cover clothing, towel, sunscreen, and bring snorkeling or diving equipment.

Click here for photos of Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley.
Click here for more information on diving and snorkeling these amazing waters...

Water Sports - Jetskis, Waverunners, Supersnorkel, are available through some resorts. Just take a walk, most businesses are located on the beach.

Windsurfing - The Caye is an excellent spot for all levels of windsurfer. Winter months can offer 20 plus days of 6.5 winds or better. October through March is generally the windy season, although in 99 may and June turned out to be 5.5 weather almost daily. July to September tend to be the calmer months. typical winds are cross- on or onshore

The warm clear water is protected by a coral reef about a half mile offshore. The water in between provides great bump and jump conditions and flatwater speeding with runs of upto 5 miles on each tack. Most of this area is 6-8 feet deep. Outside the reef in the deep blue there are big waves and swells.

There are several other islands which are within sight of Caye Caulker. It is possible to sail to them. Locals never do this alone- at least three sailors is best- with at least one sailor who knows the coral reef well. It is common to get separated during these crossings and boat rescue is unreliable when you are out sailing on the frontier.

Sailing, Canoeing, Kayaking - rentals are available through most hotels or dive centers. SaylKing has rentals, and can help you whether you are an expert, or a beginner. Either way, they can help you make the most of this glorious Caribbean island! Click here for their website...

Sailing tours can also be arranged with local guides. Sailing trips usually last the entire day and encompass a tour around Ambergris Caye as well as other nearby cayes such as Caye Chapel and Ambergris Caye often with lunch being a beach barbecue.

Exploring by Land - Take a golf cart ride (golf carts are rented for a fee and are the most common means of island transportation) to the very end of the island (south).

Exploring by Sea - Charter a boat with guide to go around the island or rent a kayak to explore around the northern part of the island and lagoon. Beautiful scenery, solitude and silence...

Fishing - Whether you just want to have a little fun or you are an avid fly or sports fisherman,the right tour guide can be found on the island. Catch your supper with a part-time tour guide/fisherman or inquire at your hotel for the highly skilled fly-fishing guides who closely guard their "secret" fishing grounds. Interested in big gamefish? - several hotels offer deep sea fishing and the country has several tournaments annually.

Guided half and full day trips can be arranged. Some include a picnic on the north end of the island where the fish you catch is cooked for your lunch.

Night Life - There is always something happening on Ambergris Caye, whether you want to go dancing or just enjoy good music. There are two major dance clubs in the town where local DJ's provide a wide range of music both local and foreign. Kareokee is held about twice a week at one of the local dance clubs.

Watch the sun explode into magnificent colours each evening before it sets in the sky. Enjoy sunset cruises along the island's coast, while sipping a delicious tropical drink and enjoying fun and romantic music.

There are discotheques, a variety of bars; from outdoor bars, or just simply enjoy a quite evening under the moonlight.

Many restaurants and bars provide entertainment for their customers including bands, solo performers featuring country and rock as well as local "Punta" music, a unique drumbeat from the Garifuna culture which will set your feet tapping. If you visit during a national holiday more than likely the town will be holding a concert or event to commemorate the occasion. Make inquires at your hotels front desk to learn more about what events or special celebrations are taking place during your stay.

Dining - Our restaurants caters to all tastes from seafood to burritos; from Italian, Chinese or just a sandwich. Of course, many restaurants feature Belizean cuisine (fish, bar-b-que, rice and beans, etc.) Whatever you are craving, you can find it at any one of the several restaurants. For a list of restaurants on this site, click here.

Shopping - Caye Caulker does not have great big shopping malls but rather a few quaint little gift shops and street side venders that are more than willing to help you to take a little piece of paradise home with you.

Most gift shops sell tropical apparel, eyewear, shoes, sunscreen and lotions and hats as well as the work of local artisans. These include local paintings, pottery, sculptures, handmade dolls, hats, baskets, beach chairs and hammocks. Worrying about packing it up and taking it back home? Most business can provide safe shipping back home for you for a fee.

In addition there are street vendors will probably give the best price on woodcarvings and handmade jewelry.

The shops are open til 9 or 10, sun goes down about 6, 6:30, then one can go to dinner, and after dinner you can wander around town, and all the shops are open, there is plenty of time to shop after dark. Have fun!!!

While reading material is not extensive there is usually a selection of new novels and magazines as well as a wide variety of post card to send home to your friends and family or just to take back as souvenirs.

Relaxing - It's OK here. If you're not in the mood for any strenuous activity then you find a beach towel, hammock,or lounge chair, on your balcony, on the beach or under a shady tree and enjoy the view, work on your suntan, read a book, take a nap or just do nothing.

Local Airlines - Hourly flights to International Airport and Municipal Airport in Belize City. Check with local airlines for scheduled flights to other destinations in Belize and neighbouring countries. Click here for the Island Air website.

Mainland Tours - Tours to ruins, the zoo and other parts of Belize can be arranged by any of the several travel agencies on the island (click here for island travel agencies) or through your hotel. Try any of these:

  • Altun Ha
  • Caracol
  • Chechem Ha Pottery Caves
  • Ix Chel Farm
  • Lamanai
  • Tanah Mayan Art Museum
  • Tikal
  • Xunantunich

Natural Wonders: Belize Parks Home
Bacalar Chico
Bird Sanctuaries
Burdon Canal Nature Reserve
Blue Hole National Park, St. Herman's Cave
Great Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef
Chiquibul National Park and Caracol
Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary, Jaguar Reserve
Columbia River Forest Reserve
Community Baboon Sanctuary
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Five Blues Lake National Park
  Glover's Reef Marine Reserve
Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Laughing Bird Caye
Marco Gonzales
Mexico Rocks
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
Payne's Creek National Park
Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area
Shark Ray Alley
Shipstern Nature Reserve and Butterfly Farm
Turneffe Atoll

Lagoon - Accessible by boat ride or kayak, this lagoon the largest on the island offers visitors the opportunity to get a glimpse of a crocodile, raccoons which inhabit mangroves, and countless magnificent bird species. Take a boat ride to the north of the island past the cut and have lunch at one of the quaint restaurants in the area. The atmosphere of the north differs because of the littoral forests with its associated plants and animals. Iguanas and Wish- Willies are common to this area.

Caving - Belize is an ideal location for the formation of caves. With abundant limestone and a wet climate, caves abound in many places throughout Belize. Chiquibul, at 600 ft. wide by 1600 ft. long, is the largest known cave room in the western hemisphere.

Caving is a dangerous sport, and it is advisable to check with the locals before exploring any caves on your own. Because of the isolation of many caves, they have not been thoroughly explored. in fact, many caves are closed to public exploration because:

  • most have archaeological significance
  • many caves systems are subject to sudden flooding
  • few maps exists
Having said all that, there are a number of caves that are safe and easy to visit. These include:
  • Che Chem Ha - Cayo
  • Rio Frio - Mountain Pine Ridge
  • St. Herman's - Hummingbird Highway
  • Barton Creek Cave - Cayo
  • Blue Creek - Toledo
  • Ben Loman's - Manatee Lagoon

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