View Map

Overview

Belize's Northern Cayes (rhymes with bees), are clusters of island oases sprinkled along the Western Hemisphere's longest barrier reef. The well protected 180-mile-long reef is home to fantastic coral colonies, underwater geological formations, and spectacular marine life that have long been a magnet for divers and snorkelers. Nurse and whale sharks, sea turtles, giant rays, and manatees all call this area home and are standard fare on dive trips here. Outlying cayes and atolls, including Half Moon and Northern Caye (of Blue Hole fame), boast especially rich underwater life. The two population centers are upscale Ambergris Caye and the more ...

Belize's Northern Cayes (rhymes with bees), are clusters of island oases sprinkled along the Western Hemisphere's longest barrier reef. The well protected 180-mile-long reef is home to fantastic coral colonies, underwater geological formations, and spectacular marine life that have long been a magnet for divers and snorkelers. Nurse and whale sharks, sea turtles, giant rays, and manatees all call this area home and are standard fare on dive trips here. Outlying cayes and atolls, including Half Moon and Northern Caye (of Blue Hole fame), boast especially rich underwater life. The two population centers are upscale Ambergris Caye and the more modest Caye Caulker — nearly all visitors base their holidays on one of these islands. Fishing, mostly catch and release, is another major attraction here with the water running thick with bonefish, tarpon, sailfish, snapper and grouper. Deep-sea fishing for marlin is also a possibility and birders notch their belts by visiting the colony of red-footed boobies on Half Moon Caye. This area has struggled, successfully by most accounts, to balance development with local sovereignty and cultural issues.

Conner Gorry
About the Expert

Conner Gorry is a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks and is the lead writer for Lonely Planet's Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala guides.

view full overview

Conner Gorry for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Central America
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Currency: Belizean Dollar
  • Research: Belize
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year except the heart of hurricane season late August to early November