How to Get to Caye Caulker, Belize

How to Get to Caye Caulker Belize

There are a few different ways to approach the wonderful island paradise of Caye Caulker, Belize. This article will provide all that you need to know on how to get there, whether you are coming from near or far.

If you’re looking for information about what to do there, check out our post with all you need to know about Caye Caulker, Belize.

You can approach Caye Caulker from two main locations: Belize City or Chetumal, Mexico. Both have major airports, both have plenty of options to connect to Caye Caulker via air or boat, and you should weigh both options to decide which is best for you.

The water next to the ferry terminal in Chetumal Mexico

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Which Way Should I Go to Caye Caulker: Through Belize City or Chetumal, Mexico?

The answer on how to get to Caye Caulker depends on where you start from, what your budget is, and what flights best fit your schedule.

The quickest way for most vacationers to get to Caye Caulker is to go through Belize City. There are direct flights to Belize City from Mexico City and some major cities in the United States.

Once in Belize City, you can take a 20-minute plane ride from Belize International Airport to Caye Caulker. Or you can take a taxi from the airport to the Belize City marina and then a ferry to Caye Caulker for more budget friendly option.

It’s also best to travel through Belize City to Caye Caulker if you’re going on an epic road trip or renting a car and driving through Belize. Here is information on overnight Parking in Belize City.

However, if you’re already in Mexico (without your own car) or if you can fly to Chetumal cheaper/easier, you can take a longer ferry ride down to Caye Caulker, passing through San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.

TIP: Flying to from Mexico City to Chetumal might not show up when you search from many search engines. Use Skyscanner or Kayak to look for flights on Mexican budget airlines, like Volaris.

And don’t forget to bring reef-safe sunscreen and a travel towel!

Water splashing up on the ferry ride to Caye Caulker Belize
Sign for prices from Caye Caulker to San Pedro and Belize City

Belize City to Caye Caulker

If you’re coming into Belize City, then you can choose between flying for the last leg or taking a ferry from Belize City to Caye Caulker.

Of course, the prices fluctuate, but it typically costs around $100 USD per person to fly one-way from Belize City to Caye Caulker. Meanwhile, the ferry from Belize City to Caye Caulker is currently priced at $19-20 USD per person (as of Jan 2022), plus the taxi from the airport (up to 4 people).

Flying from Belize City to Caye Caulker

There are two airlines that fly from Belize City to Caye Caulker: Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. Both depart from the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) and land at the small airstrip on the southern end of Caye Caulker.

Use Skyscanner or Kayak to find the cheapest flights to Caye Caulker.

The flight only takes about 20 minutes and both agencies have about 4-5 flights per day during peak season.

The International Airport near Belize City

Taking a Ferry from Belize City to Caye Caulker

For a cheaper route, take the ferry to Caye Caulker. If you are coming in from the international airport, then you’ll need to take a taxi to the ferry terminal. The taxi association has set at a flat rate of $25 USD ($50 Belize dollars, or BZD) for this trip. It takes about 25-30 minutes depending on traffic. Prices may change, so make sure to verify the price in advance before getting in.

There are two companies that offer ferry service from Belize City to Caye Caulker: Belize Express Water Taxi and Ocean Ferry Belize. Belize Express is a larger company with bigger boats. We used this and had a great experience. But they have essentially identical service and locations.

The Belize Express Water Taxi’s terminal in Belize City is large and has many restaurants, bars, shops, and tour agencies. And on your way back, you’ll find plenty of taxis waiting to take you back to the airport.

Belize City to Caye Caulker Ferry: 2022 Schedule and Pricing

Below are the current prices for the ferry from Belize City to Cayer Caulker (subject to change):

Belize Express Water Taxi ($19 USD): 8 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30, and 5:30 pm
Ocean Ferry Belize ($20 USD): 8 am, 10:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, and 5:30 pm

The ferry terminal in Belize City Belize
The ferry terminal on Caye Caulker Belize
A ferry terminal on Caye Caulker Belize for Belize Express Water Taxi
The inside of the large ferry from Caye Caulker to Belize City

Overnight Parking in Belize City

If you are driving into town and need overnight parking, you have a few options. Edgar’s Mini Storage is the recommended option. This is a secure, indoor storage facility with reasonable rates for long term parking.

The international airport has parking, but a bit costly and you’ll have to take the $25 USD taxi ride into the city.

You can also park at the municipal airport in Belize City and take a taxi from about $8 USD ($15 BZD) to the ferry terminal. However, this lot is not always manned and some locals say it isn’t the safest option. There is a fence, but quite often the security goes absent.

The Fort George Hotel and Marina will sometimes allow long term parking. It is right down the street from the ferry terminals, about 5 minutes walking.

The ferry terminal in Chetumal Mexico

Getting from Chetumal to Caye Caulker (or San Pedro)

If you’re already in Mexico (without your own car) traveling to Caye Caulker from Chetumal by ferry is the best way to get there.

You can take an ADO bus to Chetumal (about 5 hours from Cancun). Most buses stop at both of the two ADO bus stations there, so if you stop at the large one outside of town, just ask the driver if you’re going to the next one too – then stay on. The small ADO station is in the heart of Chetumal, about 6 blocks from the ferry pier – long walking distance or a very short cab ride.

If you’re flying into Chetumal airport, you’ll need to take a taxi for about $50 pesos ($2.50 USD) to the main ferry terminal. It’s a short ride, but not a really walkable distance.

The Chetumal pier has a ferry ride from Chetumal to Caye Caulker on Water Jets International. It departs at 3pm and takes 3 hours and stops in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, after the first 1.5 hours, where you complete customs and immigration for entry to Belize. Then back on the ferry for another 30-minutes to Caye Caulker.

The ferry from Chetumal to Caye Caulker costs around $65 USD per person one-way.  They do accept USD and there is an ATM and currency exchange in the building. Verify the schedule in advance for these because they do not leave as often, usually with one company running a morning schedule and the other running in the afternoon.

The small ferry from Chetumal Mexico to Caye Caulker Belize
The seats for the ferry from Chetumal to Caye Caulker

Important Tips on Chetumal to Caye Caulker

If you go this route, there are a couple of VERY IMPORTANT things to keep in mind. When you enter Mexico, you will be provided with an FMM card. It’s just a small piece of paper. You MUST present this card upon exiting the country. It is essentially your tourist visa. If you happen to lose it, go to an INM office at least one day before you plan to depart the country for a replacement. We saw multiple people turned away from the ferry because they did not have this card.

Also, there is a Mexican tourist fee that must be paid before leaving the country (if you stay more than 7 days). As of 2022, it is about $30 USD. You might pay this fee when you buy a plane ticket to Mexico. If that’s the case, PRINT OUT the receipt showing your tourist fee as paid in full. You must have this printed and it must specify that it is for the Mexican tourist fee.

Michael and Kristina at the Caye Caulker ferry terminal
A welcome sign at Caye Caulker Belize

Regardless of how you get there, you’re going to love Caye Caulker, Belize. Either fly to Belize City and take a short plane or ferry ride, or go the budget option through Chetumal, Mexico and ride on a very nice ferry ride down to Caye Caulker. Now you know how to get to Caye Caulker!

Don’t forget your snorkel gear, rash guard, or sandals!

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How to Get to Caye Caulker

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