Surrounded by diverse mangrove islands, seagrass flats, and pristine coral reefs, this 15-acre South Water Caye is an idyllic place for vacationers, adventurers and tourists alike. It has good off-the-beaten-reef diving and snorkeling sites with the most beautiful beaches in Belize. The southern end of South Water Caye is one of Belize's sandy beauties. South Water Caye has no airport, and so the only way to get to this island is by private boat charter. It will take you nearly 45 minutes to reach this destination from Dangriga or other coastal locations in Stann Creek. Since weather is beautiful all year round, any time is a good time to visit this small island atop Belize Barrier Reef. This Caye is the perfect place to disconnect from the outside world and indulge in adventurous activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, birding, sailing, sunbathing, fishing and more. We have listed here the best things to do and see in South Water Caye while on your next vacation.
Things to do and see in South Water Caye
• Tourist Attractions: Nothing would be more perfect than enjoying a day in a hammock on one of the magnificent beaches of South Water Caye while drinking rum punch and admiring the natural beauty. Take some time out from your beach combing and check out some of the tourist attractions in and near South Water Caye. Twin Caye and Pelican Range are mangrove islands where you will find a unique assemblage of invertebrates and fish species sheltering in the luxuriant mangrove roots. Go to the Man O'War Caye to see brown boobie (Sula leucogaster) and magnificent frigate birds (Fregata magnifiscens). This caye is one of only 10 nesting sites in the Caribbean where you will get to see these two rare bird species. Carrie Bow Caye is a great place to know about mangrove ecosystems. The beauty of Pelican Cayes is unparalleled in the Caribbean region. It has clear lagoons surrounded by flattering coral ridges, mangroves and thickly overgrown by layers of alluring colored organisms, such as sponges and marine plants. Healthy Coral Reefs surrounding South Water Caye are habitat to endangered species such as Nassau Grouper, Black Grouper, Hawksbill Turtle, and even threatened species – West Indian Manatee. Also, explore the sand bores and deep soles located between Wee Wee Caye and Carrie Bow Caye that are habitats to barracuda and rays.
• Diving and Snorkeling: The Belize Barrier Reef is located only a short swim from shore. The South Water Caye Marine Reserve was established as an important part of the Belize Reef in 1996 for its “outstanding universal value.” The reserve includes coastal and marine habitats for rare littoral forests, mangroves, seagrass beds, and different types of coral reefs. The reserve has been zoned to accommodate different types of usage by visitors: General Use Zone, Conservation Zone, and Preservation Zone. South Water Caye Marine Reserve is home to sea grass beds, patch reefs, mangrove habitat, sand bores, and over a dozen major cayes and smaller islets. Here divers and snorkelers can find pristine corals along with numerous turtles, eagle rays and sting rays. With visibility ranging from 60 to 100 feet, snorkelers can have close encounters with eagle rays, sea turtles, and a variety of exotic coral reef fish. The Marine Reserve also boasts abundance of lobsters, conchs, sea cucumbers, whelks, sea grass, 15 endangered species of fish and the vulnerable West Indian manatee. South Water Caye Marine Reserve along with Gladden Spit Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, and Laughing Bird Caye Marine Reserve comprise the Southern Barrier Reef Complex. These areas together have the highest biodiversity in the Caribbean area. If you are planning a dive trip with sharks in mind, then Gladden Spit Silk Cayes Marine Reserve is the place to be. Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve is a 48-acre protected area of reef, sand and mangrove cayes. Here bottom divers can find angelfish, parrot fish, snappers, giant whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtles. At Laughing Bird Caye Marine Reserve in Placencia, scuba divers and snorkelers will get the opportunity to explore unique coral atoll, a faro and a central lagoon.
• Fishing and Other Water Activities: South Water Caye is famous for fly fishing, trolling and spin-casting. Fly fishing for bonefish (catch and release only) is unmatched here, but you can also fly fish for tarpon, permit, and snook. Barracuda, jacks, grouper, snapper, mackerel and tarpon can be easily caught with spin casting and trolling. For some light fishing, you can use hand lines to fish right off the docks. Fishing is permitted in General Use Zone with a license. Only recreational fishing can be enjoyed by tourists in Conservation Zone, but no spear fishing is allowed. Boating, kayaking, snorkeling and fishing are not allowed in the Preservation Zone. If you are not interested in fishing activities, then you can indulge in sunbathing, swimming, birding, and kayaking. Swim and kayak right on the edge of the reef from a quiet, pristine beach. You can even troll for tarpon and permit while kayaking the South Water Caye waters. Birders can travel by boat to reach remote cayes such as Man O' War Caye to observe magnificent frigate birds and the brown boobies.
• Dining and Shopping: At Pelican Beach in South Water Caye, there is a restaurant that offers a variety of Belizean dishes, tropical fruits, and lots of seafood. Resort IZE offers accommodations and dining options in Dangriga. IZE's Karen's Cabana is nestled in the mangroves on the eastern shoreline of Pelican Beach. All the cabanas have private bathrooms with hot water showers, making them perfect for families, couples and honeymooners. IZE also offers Reef House, Swamp House, and Mangrove Cabana. Other restaurants to try Belizean dishes are located in Dangriga, including Riverside Cafe, Barracuda Bar and Grill, Ocean View Restaurant, King Burger, Stone Kraab Grill & Bar. Night clubs and bars in Hopkins include Pub 819, Tibet Corner, Samba Taste of Brazil, Mainstreet Bar & Grill Hopkins, Wild Boar Bar and Grill, Crossroads Delicatessen, China Palace Restaurant, and Arby's among others. There are not many shopping options available in South Water Caye. Visit Hopkins and Dangriga if you have an interest in shopping. In Hopkins, you can visit Village Store, the Turtle Gift Shop, Shop N Save Supermarket, Seashell Art By Alex, Palapa Gift Shop, Martinez Grocery Shop, and Ixchel Maya Gift Shop among others. Popular stores in Dangriga to buy little souvenirs include Marie Sharp's Factory Store, Dangriga Central Market, and Austin Rodriguez.
• Day Trips: When you're in South Water Caye, do not forget to explore Turneffe Atoll, Glover's Reef and Lighthouse Reef. Each of these Belizean atolls has their own unique charm and personality. Plan a weekend trip to Placencia and Stann Creek. They have everything you need for an enriching experience – beautiful beaches, magnificent reefs, and more. You can also take your private yacht or catamaran to Belize City and other nearby cities to explore Mayan jungles and ruins.
South Water Caye is packed with adventure and unusual experiences. Discover the beauty of this gorgeous Belizean destination and enjoy adventurous activities on a luxury yacht charter with us. At Yachts Belize, we provide a range of luxurious yachts to our customers interested in chartering a vessel for exploring South Water Caye and other atolls and cayes in Belize. Find out more about the Type of Luxury Yachts that you can charter for your Belizean vacation by clicking on the Our Fleet link provided here. You can contact our charter consultant by clicking here and they will assist you in selecting the best yacht or catamaran for your next charter vacation.