San Pedro vs. Caye Caulker: How to choose your ideal Belize beach spot

front street main street of caye caulker

You can’t go wrong with the cayes of Belize (pronounced “keys”), but you can potentially go wrong when choosing between San Pedro and Caye Caulker. They’re both super popular destinations for American beach-goers, but they have distinctly different vibes.

To be completely honest, my husband Billy came up with the idea to create a quiz that helps people choose where to go. But these five questions will easily help you decide whether San Pedro or Caye Caulker is a better fit.

They both have beautiful beaches, rum drinks as far as the eye can see, and easy access to snorkeling (an absolute must do if you go to Belize). San Pedro is slightly closer to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, but Caye Caulker is probably only another 10 minutes away. (If you want a more detailed description of snorkeling at Hol Chan, click here)

Without further ado, here are five easy questions to answer to help you decide where to book your Belizean beach vacation.

1. When you’re on vacation, you want to:

A) Go slow.

B) Hustle and bustle.

2. To get around, you prefer:

A) Walking or riding a bike.

B) Driving.

3. An hour-long, off-road drive to a beach sounds:

A) Potentially overrated.

B) Like a fun adventure worthy of exploring.

4. When it comes to dining out, you need:

A) Just a few tasty, local spots.

B) A new place to try every night.

5.  Your lodging must be:

A) Affordable and cool.

B) A luxury resort.

If you answered mostly A’s:

Caye Caulker it is! This sleepy beach town is the ultimate chill beach vacation spot. The island’s motto of, “Go slow” permeates everyone there, local or tourist. If you want to spend as much time as possible in a hammock with a rum drink, you’ll be right at home.

Jaw-dropping teal water beaches are a 10-minute water taxi ride away at Koko King, you can walk or bike anywhere, there are delicious local spots to eat, and affordable lodging abounds in this backpacker’s paradise. Don’t worry, if you want a step up from a hostel, there are plenty of other options that won’t break the bank.

How to spend three days in Caye Caulker >>

If you answered mostly B’s:

San Pedro is the place for you. This small, but bustling city is a 20-minute plane ride from Belize City.  You’ll like San Pedro if you want the beach, but you also want a little hustle-bustle.

There are dozens of dining and nightlife options if you like to try a new place each night. Taking on the streets of San Pedro as a pedestrian could satisfy your sense of adventure, but you’ll find the off-road drive to Secret Beach a worthy journey.

How to spend three days in San Pedro >>

Still have questions? I can answer them! Let me know in the comments what you’re trying to decide on.

Published by Laura Cardon

Laura Cardon moved to Colorado as an adult and quickly realized how difficult it was to get started exploring the outdoors in a state full of experts. She founded Outdoor Beginner in 2014 to fill the gap in beginner-friendly content for camping, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. In addition to Outdoor Beginner, she coaches beginner trail runners and works at Runners Roost in Golden, Colorado, where she lives with her spouse and toddler.

5 thoughts on “San Pedro vs. Caye Caulker: How to choose your ideal Belize beach spot

  1. Love this post we are thinking about going. Did you book the small flight from Belize in Advance? How did the ferry look and do you book it in advance? Thanks Valerie

    1. Hi Valerie! We booked our flight in advance, but not the water taxi. We just bought water taxi tickets when we got there – you can look the schedule up online or just stop in once you’re in town. The water taxi was much bigger and more comfortable between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. The one we took from Caulker back to Belize City was a little cramped and crowded. But both were perfectly safe and clean!

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