Why the Port Honduras Marine Reserve is a Must-See in Belize

by Larry Waight

Punta Gorda‘s coastline may not be classed as a beach, but just offshore from Toledo lie some of the most pristine cayes in the entire country. Specifically, the Port Honduras Marine Reserve’s marine life boasts incredible snorkeling, as well as trolling, bottom fishing, and fly-fishing in these world-class waters. While in Belize, be sure to add Port Honduras Marine Reserve as a must-see spot.

Pure and Pristine Waters

The area around Port Honduras was once a Maya trading site. Recent excavations have unearthed ruins of a trading hub that profited from the abundant fish and other resources here. Established in 2000, Port Honduras includes almost 850 square miles of coastal Caribbean waters, 135 mangrove islands, several large cayes, estuaries and a section of the Belize Barrier Reef. The reserve extends through seven jungle-lined rivers to the Caribbean basin. The clear, untouched waters of the reserve have created thriving fish nurseries. Only sustainable fishing practices are allowed in the reserve.

Things to Do in Port Honduras

The lookout at Abalone Caye. Photo by Hickatee Cottages

The reserve’s Snake Cayes are renowned for their incredible beauty. Snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming on West Snake Caye is an unforgettable experience. Swim with reef fish, sea turtles, dolphins and manatees. Sapodilla Caye and Moho Caye are popular with locals who want to spend a day on the beach. Climb the observation deck on Abalone Caye for an unforgettable view of the Bay of Honduras, gorgeous offshore islands and the coastal areas of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Some fishing anglers refer to Port Honduras as the permit capital of the world.

Visiting Punta Gorda

Photo Courtesy: Belizing


Port Honduras Marine Reserve is in Punta Gorda in the Toledo District. Punta Gorda may not be as popular as Placencia or San Pedro, but it is a charming seaside town with its own quiet, unspoiled stretches of beach. This port town is the capital of the rural Toledo District in southern Belize. Punta Gorda serves as a business and social center for many of the surrounding small villages. Punta Gorda is the gateway to Toledo’s attractions and excursions. It’s a great launching place for your adventures in southern Belize. Punta Gorda has a population of about 5,500. The town has an airstrip landing, tour operators, charter boat companies, restaurants, shops, hotels, government offices, banks and a farmer’s market.

Besides, the best way to visit Port Honduras is to arrange a tour with a tour guide in Punta Gorda. Enjoy your adventure in this gorgeous marine reserve. 

Photos courtesy of Hickatee Cottages.

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