Belize’s Laughing Bird Caye: Find Tranquility on this Tiny Atoll
If a Belizean tells you that Laughing Bird Caye is for the birds, it’s okay to believe him. This little isle situated within an azure lagoon is a popular place for visitors and residents who appreciate the nation’s ecological wonders. If you’re eager to see how it feels to perch on an island that’s just 1.4 acres in size, put this destination atop your Belize itinerary. That said, don’t let the size of this caye fool you because there’s lots to do here: swim, picnic, scuba diving or do nothing but lie on the white sand. You won’t be the first visitor to find contentment staring up at palm trees and cotton-candy clouds.
Laughing Bird Caye
First, show your friends how smart you are by referring to Laughing Bird as a faro rather than a caye. What’s the difference? The first is attached to the continental shelf. Surrounded by deep channels rather than ocean, this atoll has an astonishing array of natural wonders including coral expanses in so many shapes, colors and configurations, they’re only surpassed by the wide range of marine life just beneath the surface of surrounding waters. Will you spot any birds laughing hysterically over man’s foibles? Not really. But you will spot a nice array of serious birds who make their homes here.
Why you have to visit Laughing Bird Caye
Lots of locations throughout the Caribbean lay claim to the most number of fish and amphibian species within their boundaries, but you would be hard-pressed to find a location this tiny with as much diversity, thanks, in part to its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. Marine treasures in and around this geologically-rich slice of land are so precious, Belize declared Laughing Bird Caye a protected area in 1981–long before the nation’s environmental protection efforts were as stringent as they are today.
Where in Belize is it located?
This little atoll is found on Victoria Channel’s western side. Only 11 miles off the Placencia Village coast in the Stann Creek District, Laughing Bird Caye has the distinction of being the southernmost island in the Barrier Reef lagoon.
When is the best time to go?
There’s no best time to visit Laughing Bird Caye—unless the weather happens to be awful. Picnics obviously require a hospitable climate or a tent, but as long as there’s no lightening threatening your day, you can scuba dive in the rain if you like.
Best way to get to Laughing Bird Caye
Hire a guide in Hopkins, Placencia Village or elsewhere on the Placencia Peninsula to enjoy your Laughing Bird Caye outing to the max. Tour fees cover the boat ride from Placencia Village to the Caye and back. Depending upon your desires, everything from a picnic lunch to scuba gear can be provided by your licensed tour operator.
Best way to experience Laughing Bird Caye
The best way to start your Laughing Bird Caye adventure is by acknowledging the many statutes governing this National Park so you obey restrictions. A typical day might be snorkeling to observe fish and turtles beneath the lagoon surface, lounging on the beach, indulging in a barbecue lunch and spotting birds who dwell in this area. Osprey, Green Herons, Melodious Blackbirds and Brown Pelicans who long ago made their peace with human visitors are happy to share their atoll with you when you come for a visit.