Split, Caye Caulker
The Split is a popular places for visitors to hang out, sunbathe, and swim. You’ll read that The Split, which divides the island into Northern and Southern halves, was created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. This is only part of the story. The hurricane only cut a five foot channel through the middle of the island. Since then people dredged it to make it much wider, so boats could go through. Its appearance is very third-world – just a few spots of sand, with a lot of concrete with steel girders broken up by the hurricane and never repaired. No wide sandy beach here! Very undeveloped and laid-back. A bar called the Lazy Lizard calls this spot home, and serves up a great piña colada made with the local rum.
The remnants of the concrete seawall a short distance from the Lazy Lizard seems to be the preferred place for catching a tan on Caye Caulker. When you overheat, it is a simple matter to either go for a swim in the Split or wade around in the shallow lagoon on either side of the structure. There is not much room to move around on the seawall, as we could see people gingerly stepping over the various outstretched bodies.
A few other visitors were snorkeling in the shallow water on either side and another was fishing into the deeper water of the Split itself. The second photo shows the remains of more of the seawall, damaged in October, 2000 when Category 4 Hurricane Keith lingered over nearby Ambergris Cay with 155 mph (250 kph) wind gusts for several hours . The photo also shows the distant Lazy Lizard and a large boat entering the Split.
There are different stories as to how the Split came into existence, but most have to do with the 1961 Hurricane Hattie that hit Caye Caulker, killing 13 people, destroying all but 8 houses, and splitting the island in two. Although it wasn't originally as large as it is now, the Split was gradually made bigger by hand as people realized it would make for a very convenient waterway. Over the years, it has also become a very popular spot with both the tourists and locals for swimming and snorkelling since lots of fish gather around the remnants of a torned wall that has fallen to the bottom of the sea. Strong currents and fishermen make it somewhat hazardous to swim, but if you're careful enough you'll enjoy watching schools of colourful fish swim by, while huge starfish and rays move around in the sometimes shallow, sometimes deep water. There usually is even more action out of the water, as people lie on the newly created beach area and on the remnants of the wall to soak up the sun and make short trips to the Lazy Lizard, the Split's bar, to freshen up their drinks. A really cool place to go when you feel like mingling with people on Caye Caulker!
The island was originally much longer, but in 1961 it got split in half by the hurricane Hattie. Much of the island got destroyed by the hurricane, but they cleaned up and built new houses. The only place where you can see traces of the hurricane is in the split. You see the concrete blocks are twisted and the ocean is much deeper at the split than around. The currents here can also be quite strong, so take care if you go swimming.
There is a bar called Lazy Lizard located right at the split. This is a great place to hangout at any time of the day. You can read more about it on my nightlifetips. Many tourists come to the split to take sun and go swimming, and there are many places on the island where you can be all alone if you prefer that. The best places are on the south side of the island, but there are also many hotels that have their own docks.
You will definitely visit the Split while you are on Caye Caulker. There is always alot of action around here, except perhaps in the early morning when I took my photo.
The Split was created in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie literally ripped the island in two. Locals continued what Hattie begun and dredged out this new channel to be deep enough for boats to pass through. You can see the otherside of the Split in my photo. This part of the island is undeveloped. You will find alot of birdlife here among the mangroves.
There is a long cement pier at The Split and although it is partially dilapidated, it is still a very popular place to hang out in the day time to catch some rays, or from which to watch the sunset in the evening. You can also see a few fish and starfish if you snorkel alongside the pier.
If you feel like a swim, you can do so in the shallow sheltered swimming area by the pier, or you can swim across the Split. Beware that there is a strong current through the Split and boats often zooming through.
This place is very popular, it is all about location. Located right along the Split, it is a great spot to buy a cold drink and escape the sun for a bit. If you are on a boat trip with Ragamuffin Tours, they will deposit you here at the end of the tour, so you can have a drink with new friends.
At night, there are large lights that illuminate the Split and you can watch the fish jumping out of the water. There are often fishermen here at night also and it makes for exciting entertainment if one of them happens to land the big one.
You will not find that many useful beaches on the island, but in the north it is possible to take a swim, this gap in the north is a split from a hurricane some years ago, you can snorkel here but the real thing is out on the reef. Sunbathing is possible everywhere, you will find some huts or what to say some shadow from ...., yaahh - look at picture no 3 in this tip.
Caye caulker was divided in two by hurricane Hattie in 2001 (I think or maybe 2000). The portion of the island beyond the split is mostly undeveloped. There is a beach bar and a small ‘beach’ there. The water is fairly deep so it’s a good place for swimming.
The Split is the best place on the island to swim or sunbathe. You can get a Belikin (beer) at Lazy Lizard and lay out or take a dip in the beautiful water. Swim acorss the Split to the other island and see some fish along the way. But, beware of the current and other boats passing through.
There are a ton of little fishes under the sea. Get a mask and dive in the water. They're very colorful and all over the place. You won't be disappointed. I found a ton of them over by the broken wall. Again, though, be careful of the current. It can carry you out farther than you'd like.
Everyone in town gravitated to this place, including us. It does get crowded but there's always room to lay your beach towel. The Split was caused by a hurricane some years ago that started out at sea and divided the island where it once was one and now because of what the hurricane did, it is now split in two. An aerial view can best show you where the hurricane started, went through and then ended. Magnificently beautiful!
The Split is a channel between the North and South Cayes ( the north caye is mostly uninhabited). Its the only real swimming/ snorkelling spot on the island and even here currents can be strong. However on a good day is crowded.
The Split was formed in 1961 when a storm surge caused by Hurricane Hattie cut through the island, destroying most buildings and killing 13 people in the process. Today it is the 'public beach' on Caye Caulker. It's also a nice place to snorkel at your own pace, even if the marine life by the shore may not be as thrilling as on the reef. The Lazy Lizard (restaurant/bar) is located here, so you can have a cool drink while you laze in the sun.
Caye Caulker really do not have beaches. So the "split" is the place where people go and hang out to swim. There you will find picnic tables, clear water to swim in, a few trees for sitting under & of course the "Lazy Lizard Bar" (which plays great music & good food) Great place to go snorkling as well. There is a lovely couple there that rents chairs&umbrells for you to use if you wish for 5$ belize (I think)
To get to the split you just turn right as you come off the pier and when you hit water you are there!