Caye Caulker Main

Divers and fly-fishermen know Caye Caulker well, but it's only in recent years that the island has become a popular Belizean getaway for that vast tribe of savvy travelers who judge a place by the availability of hammocks, cold beer, and time for a good book.

The island, which sits less than a mile inside Belize's long barrier reef, is just four miles long and the streets are white sand (which helps explain why golf carts are the most popular way of getting around). Locals say that if you want to know what San Pedro, the main town on neighboring Ambergris Caye, 12 miles to the north, was like a generation ago...well, just spend a day on Caye Caulker.

Looking for a little water play? Rent a kayak for a trip around the island or out to the nearby barrier reef. That reef also provides shallow, protected waters for snorkeling, windsurfing (expert board sailors can head for bigger waves outside the reef) and sailing. Nature lovers can look for ospreys, manatees, and saltwater crocodiles. And at the end of the day, you can cruise into one of the two dozen or so restaurants (lobster and conch on the menu, naturally), maybe listen to a little "Punta" music from the local Garifuna culture...and get ready for the next day in the sun.