Finding a hotel on Caye Caulker is rarely a problem, but if you’ve never been there before it’s important to know what to expect before you choose. Yes, the small 5-mile-long by 1-mile-wide island off the coast of Belize City is considered a resort island by many, but it’s not the sort of “resort” most people think of when they use that word.
There are no paved roads on Caye Caulker and a permanent population of only about 1,300. There are no chain hotels there yet, so you won’t find hotel names you’ve ever heard of before. The recent tourism boom has brought the number of places calling themselves hotels up to about 60, but there are still fewer than 1,000 rooms available in total. So doing the math, this means the average “hotel” has fewer than 20 rooms, and in fact many of them are just two or four units.
Probably the best news is that hotels in Caye Caulker generally range from cheap to moderate. There are a few higher-end places that are basically full house rentals – often with a one-week minimum – but most places tend to offer few frills and are geared towards international budget travelers and the backpacking set. It’s also worth noting that many of the accommodation options – often calling themselves guest houses or cabanas – can’t be booked online.
There are loads of places that would be considered budget elsewhere, but we’ll call them midrange on Caye Caulker because the cheapest beds are at Yuma’s House Belize (site here). For around $US10 per night you can sack out in one of their five bunkrooms, or if you are a couple you might be able to reserve one of their two private rooms with double beds for around $US20. The place is very popular and gets great reviews.
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The Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel offers 32 rooms with all the standard hotel amenities you’d expect, and low-season rates start at just US$49/night. In the high season, rates start at US$70/night. Each room has its own private en suite bathroom, cable TV, mini-fridge, A/C, and WiFi. Some rooms have private balconies.
The Vega Inn and Gardens (site here) sits on a large piece of land near the center of the village and offers rooms from around $US50 and up. Again, the more basic rooms only have a ceiling fan, but with the tropical breezes that is usually enough.
The Belize Odyssey Resort (site here) is near the southern tip of the island just past the airstrip, but tell them when you’ll be coming and someone will meet you at the Water Taxi in a golf cart. They offer air-conditioned rooms that are quite plush for Caye Caulker, starting around $US65 per night.
The Auxillou Beach Suites (site here) is an example of luxury on Caye Caulker. Starting around $US99, each unit has one bedroom, a kitchenette, a balcony, air conditioning, wireless internet, and cable TV.
For even more privacy, rent an entire house (site here). You can find them starting at around US$85/night, and many have several bedrooms and multiple bathrooms.
As long as you can spend $US20 per night or more for each person, there are plenty of options in between the ones mentioned above. The vibe on Caye Caulker is very laid back and very Caribbean. If you are looking for something more luxurious than the high-end on this island you’ll want to try Ambergris Caye next door. It has much less of a backpackers feeling and the pricier properties there are more in line with chain hotel standards, but usually with prices to match.