I have written in the past about the many ways to get to Caye Caulker from the Belize City airport, but things have changed this past year.
As you may have read on the internet the Caye Caulker Airport is closed. To be frank the airport has needed maintenance work for years and in 2017 the two primary airlines that service the island (Maya and Tropic Air) finally told the country that the airport was too under-maintained to continue to use.
As is typical for Belize (and Central America in general) the country procrastinated the renovations until finally both above mentioned airlines stoped servicing the island.
How can you get to Caye Caulker?
Some things have not changed, the water taxi services that I talked about last year continue to work just fine. You can grab a cab from Belize Airport and go to the water taxis easily. From there it is a 30 minute boat ride to the island. The downside to this is if you are landing after 4:00 pm. The last water taxi leaves at 5:30 pm and getting to the water taxi by that time (if your arriving latter than 4:00 pm) can be a challenge.
What should I do if my flight is late into Belize City?
At least one airline (Southwest) runs a flight after 4:30 pm into Belize City and others have been known on occasion to run late due to issues. If this is your situation then there are a couple of options I can give you. None of these are perfect but all of them will get you to Caye Caulker eventually!
You can stay in Belize City.
One option is to spend a night in Belize City. There are a few hotels in the city that are good and if you know you will be arriving late this is probably the cheapest choice. With a little searching you will find many hotels around $50-$75 per night.
To get to your hotel I recommend the taxi drivers that you can find just outside the doors of the airport.
Fly to San Pedro.
About 20 minutes north of Caye Caulker (by water taxi) is Ambergris Caye. On the island the main town is San Pedro. This is a bigger and busier island but a better alternative, in my opinion, than spending the night in Belize City. The airport on Ambergris is still operating and you can fly directly from the Belize City airport. If you know your going to be running late perhaps you might want to consider spending a night at one of the great hotels on Ambergris Caye and then take a water taxi during the day to Caye Caulker.
Although this is not a cheap option it does give you a day or two on another island and this island is very easy to get too via Tropic Air or Maya Air.
There are night Water Taxi’s to Caye Caulker
There is a water taxi charter that runs at night from Belize City to Caye Caulker. This is Nautilus Express Water Taxi. This is more expensive than a traditional water taxi service (at the time of this writing it costs approximately $85 per person one way) but if you already have a reservation on the island this is probably cheaper than paying for two taxi's (one from the airport to your hotel in Belize City and one from that hotel to the water taxi the next morning) and the cost of the hotel in Belize City.
Helicopter to Caye Caulker
Yeah, I know what your thinking, "I thought you said the airport is closed"? Yes I did say that but that does not mean you can't still fly to Caye Caulker. Astrum Helicopters offers a flight to the closed airport on Caye Caulker.
This will cost you (and up to three friends) $1350. Be warned however that there is a weight restriction of 1300 lbs. Just another reason to pack light as you travel.
You might be interested in checking these folks out for other reasons. They do a great tour to the Blue Hole, and many have said it is the only way to go.
Well, there are some of your current options to get to Caye Caulker during this airport craziness. I would love to be able to give you some idea when this might end but frankly there is a bunch of controversy on who is paying for the airport update. I don't imagine the airport will be up and running anytime soon so I hope you find some of these ideas helpful.