Cayes and Atolls
The best of Belize comes in the form of its many islands located just off the coast - the Cayes are scattered across turquoise clear water and are home to colourful seafood shacks, coral reefs and a laid-back atmosphere to rival any Caribbean island. This is the place for world-class snorkelling and diving, fishing or simply relaxing and enjoying island life.
With over 450 small islands and atolls sitting off the northern coast of Belize you can be sure to find deserted palm fringed Caribbean beaches and crystal blue waters, creating the perfect mix for any beach getaway.
Accessed by a scenic light aircraft flight from Belize City, Ambergris Caye is one of the largest and most developed of the islands. The Caye runs parallel to the mighty Belize Barrier reef, a World Heritage Site and known to be the second largest coral reef in the world. This underwater world is undoubtedly the main draw for any visit to the Cayes and provides world class snorkelling and scuba diving as well as other water activities. At 185-miles long, the reef is incredibly diverse with over 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 400 species of fish and nurse sharks. With this in mind, it’s no wonder Charles Darwin described it as ‘the most remarkable barrier reef in the West Indies’ in 1842.
Excursions are widely available to Hol Chan Marine Reserve where you can swim with stingrays and sharks, or take a boat trip to meet the weird and wonderful manatees found in lagoons, estuaries and the coastal areas within the area. For the more experienced diver, one might be tempted to explore the largest sink hole in the world better known as the Blue Hole. Appearing as a dark blue circle in the turquoise sea, so distinctive it can be seen from outer space, this iconic dive site is more than 300 feet across and 412 feet deep and is home to a wide array of bizarre stalactites and limestone formations as well as mysterious marine life. As one of the top ten dives sites in the world it is not to be missed.
After an active Belize adventure, relaxing on one of the Cayes is the perfect antidote. To breathe the sea air, feel the fluffy powder-white sand beneath your feet, and see the warm tropical clear blue sea lapping the shore line will be pure paradise.