Just a 35-minute boat ride from Dangriga, South Water Caye has been toted as ‘one of the most beautiful and exclusive islands in Belize’ by Rough Guides. The tiny 15-acre coral island is found within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR), Belize’s largest marine reserve. Practically atop Belize’s Barrier Reef, it is no surprise the caye offers an abundance of incredible things to do both on and offshore.
For those lucky enough to visit South Water Caye, Blue Marlin Resort has curated a list of the top things to do on the island. This award-winning, family-run resort has been hosting an exclusive number of guests for over 30 years. Without a doubt, they know the island better than anyone. So, here we turn to experts for their top 4 things to do on the island.
Marine Reserve Discovery Tour
This half-day tour, led by local guides at Blue Marlin Resort, will introduce you to the diversity and natural history of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. On the tour, you’ll explore groups of small islands within the reserve, each with its own unique habitats.
Visit Bird Island, or Man O’ War Caye, a nesting site for osprey, frigate birds, brown footed boobies, and various other marine bird species. Search for manatees in the shallow seagrass beds and discover the importance of mangroves for the health of the reef and as marine nurseries. Learn about the history of the islands from pirate days, the daily life of a fisherman’s camps, Caribbean ghost stories, and the effect of hurricanes on geography.
Following head to the neighboring island, Carrie Bow Caye. A Smithsonian Research Station is dedicated to studying coral reef ecology and rehabilitation. Learn about the plethora of marine life and end your tour with a snorkel in the translucent Caribbean waters, where fish and coral create a colorful and diverse underwater world.
Snorkel Just Off the Island Shores
Due to its location, this caye offers some of the most beautiful snorkeling opportunities in the country. This snorkeling tour by Blue Marlin Resort will take you to the best spots around the island. Some of which are just wading away from the sandy shores. Whilst underwater, you’ll see much colorful coral and an abundance of local reef fish. These include brilliant parrot-fish, regal angelfish, a variety of snappers, and grunts. Other common sitings include moray eels, lobsters and conch, anemones, nurse sharks, and several species of sea turtles, including loggerhead and hawksbill. You might even get lucky and have a pod of dolphins follows the boat back home to the resort.
Try your Hand at Sustainable Fishing
There are amazing fishing spots all along the inner and outer reef of South Water Caye. For example, in the inner reef along with coral patches and turtle grass beds, you can learn about traditional handline fishing. Alternatively, try your hand at catching sardine bait with a cast net in the mangroves. On the outer reefs, you can also try trolling, spinning, spearfishing and deep-sea fishing.
The resort practices sustainable fishing. In essence, they give due respect to all the environmental laws. These include catch-and-release of protected species, diving for lobster and conch only when in season, and fishing only in mixed-use zones, avoiding protected and “no-take” zones. Even better, they encourage you to catch your own lunch or dinner!
DIY Island Activities
Beach volleyball, kayaking, paddle boarding – you name it and Blue Marlin Resort most likely to have it. Moreover, there’s yoga to start the day. Or beachfront massages to soothe the soul after a day of adventure. And for those that want to just chill, you can do just that in a number of postcard-perfect locations.
More about Blue Marlin Resort
While its location makes it perfect for day trips from nearby coastal towns, South Water Caye is best experienced for an overnight (or three). For those keen to stay once the sun sets, Blue Marlin Beach Resort is the perfect place. Think seafront accommodation, on-site dining and a full-service PADI center. Even better, the resort is currently offering complimentary cocktails, big discounts and flexible bookings for 2021 travelers.