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The Cayes and Atolls Travel Guide

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Plan Your The Cayes and Atolls Vacation

Off the coast of Belize, more than 400 "cayes," or islands, dot the Caribbean Sea like punctuation marks in a long, liquid sentence. Ambergris Caye is Belize's largest island and the country's top visitor destination. Travelers come to the cayes for its excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, palm-lined beaches, and laid-back vibe.

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Scuba Diving. Dive destinations are often divided into reefs and atolls. Most reef diving is done on Belize's northern section, particularly off Ambergris Caye, but head to the atolls for some of the world's greatest diving opportunities.
  2. No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem. Unlike some parts of the mainland, the cayes are all about relaxing. "Go Slow" street signs dot the sandy roads, and you spend a lot of time lazing in hammocks or sipping beer in a beachside palapa alongside vacationing Belizeans.
  3. Snorkeling. You don't have to don scuba gear to enjoy the colorful fish and psychedelic vistas under the surface of the sea. Some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean is off the coast of Belize. Jump in a boat for a short ride out to the reef or to patch coral.
  4. Good Eats. Because they attract so many free-spending tourists, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker have more restaurants than anywhere else in Belize, and some of the best, too.
  5. Beaches. While not your typical wide, sandy spreads, they're still classic postcard material, with windswept coco palms facing expanses of turquoise, green, and purple waters. You'll usually have a front-row seat, because most hotels in all price ranges are actually right on the beach.

When To Go

When to Go

Island weather tends to be a little different from that on the mainland. The cayes are generally drier. Storm squalls come up suddenly, but just...

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