The Cayes and Atolls: Places to Explore

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Tobacco Caye

Tobacco Caye is at the northern tip of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, a 62-square-mile (160-square-km) reserve that's popular for diving and fishing and has some of the most beautiful islands in Belize. Visitors to the South Water Caye Marine Reserve pay BZ$10 a day for up to three days, or BZ$30 a week, park fee. Rangers come around and collect it from guests at the Tobacco Caye hotels.

The island has no shops or restaurants, except those at the hotels, and just a couple of bars, but there is one small dive shop. Boats leave from the Riverside Café in Dangriga for the 40-minute, BZ$40–BZ$50 trip to Tobacco Caye. Get to the Riverside by 9 am; most boats leave around 9:30 (though at busy times such as Easter they come and go all day long). You can get information on the boats, as well as breakfast, at the Riverside Café.

If you don't want to pay a lot for your place in the sun, Tobacco Caye may be for you. It's a tiny island—barely 4 acres, and a walk around the entire caye takes 10 minutes—but it's right on the reef, so you can wade in and snorkel all you want. Though the snorkeling off the caye is not as good as in some other areas of Belize (some of the coral is dead and most of the fish are small), you can see spotted eagle rays, moray eels, octopuses, and other sea life.

Tobacco Caye at a Glance

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