Belize is a natural beauty filled with an array of diversity. In Belize islands are commonly called ‘cayes’, pronounced ‘keys’. This tiny English speaking country is certainly blessed with many beautiful and immaculate islands, which are but only a short distance away from one another. My top three must visit islands are: San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Laughing Bird Caye National Park.
San Pedro Ambergris Caye is known to be the largest of Belize’s offshore islands and the most developed island- here you can dive the Christ of the Abyss. The town, San Pedro, is where you will find the most populated part of the island, equipped with an array of lodging, dining, shopping, and nightlife. The island is known as ‘La Isla Bonita’, translated in English as, ‘The Beautiful Island’, a nickname given by Madonna’s hit song, ‘La Isla Bonita’. Tours and activities on the island range from easy, moderate, to strenuous. Choose your adventure: have a relaxing sunset cruise with your loved one, or take a short boat ride out to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, to snorkel or dive. San Pedro is said to have been a Maya Trading Post, and the evidence of this exist today, be sure to visit the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site, and unfold the mysteries of the Mayas. With all this said, sure enough it is no surprise that this island has been rated the #1 Island in the world on TripAdvisor.
Take it easy and simply ‘Go Slow’ visiting Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is located nearby to San Pedro Ambergris Caye, but it is a distinctive atmosphere to San Pedro- here be sure to dive the Hol Chan Marine Reserve for a great reef experience. Looking for paved roads? This cannot be found in Caye Caulker! Kick off your shoes and experience the island life, strolling on the sandy streets. This island has a laid back Caribbean vibe and is popular amongst backpackers, budget travelers and lately even honeymooners, looking for an island escape. The friendly people of Caye Caulker gives Caye Caulker the nickname, ‘La Isla Carinosa’, translated in English as, ‘Charming Island’, and charming it is. Many locals as well as visitors enjoy the entertainment and swimming at ‘The Split Beach’, a narrow channel that has divided the Island in two. I definitely recommend experiencing the true meaning of Caye Caulker’s motto, “Go Slow”.
This upcoming ‘must visit’ island takes you to Southern Belize. Laughing Bird Caye National Park is located approximately eleven miles off the coast of Placencia Village, Stann Creek District. What is most unique about this island is that it stands on an elongated ridge of reef (faro). Due to its location and form it attracts an abundance and variety of coral habitats and marine life. Unlike, San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker, this island is secluded, and uninhabited by humans. Laughing Bird Caye is a protected area and is also listed as a World Heritage Site. Diving, fishing, and snorkeling in this area, is a true natural marine experience that can easily be arranged through licensed tour operators such as: Splash Dive Center Belize.
Belize is a natural beauty and is filled hundreds of picturesque islands. However, if you are planning to experience Belize we do recommend visiting these top three ‘must visit’ islands.