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PLACES TO SEE > CAYES/ISLANDS > Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve

SAPODILLA CAYES MARINE RESERVE

The Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve covers an area of approximately 125 square kilometers and includes fourteen sand and mangrove cayes along the southernmost tip of the Belize Barrier Reef, nearly 40 miles due east of Punta Gorda.

The outer portion of the reserve is characterized by shallow water reefs which occur as a fringe around the cayes. The depth of water over these fringing reefs is often less then 15 feet, and some of them are exposed at low tides. The drop off east of the islands is gently sloping, in contrast to the near vertical walls further north and surrounding the outer coral atolls.

The outer reefs support a wide variety of fish. Often, large schools of jacks or spadefish will feed just off the outer slope. Nearer the bottom, angelfish, parrotfish and snappers begin to dominate. The waters are often spectacularly clear as water from the Caribbean washes over and through the reef cuts. The lagoon area is characterized by silt, sand and shallow seagrass beds. Some of the most pristine reefs of lettuce coral carpet the ridges which jut into the lagoon from the barrier reef. As the depth increases, the lettuce coral gives way to more coral diversity, and more sponge and algae species.

Half moon Beach at Sapodilla Caye, Belize

One of the most beautiful beaches in Belize exist on Hunting Caye. A high coral sand beach in the shape of a half moon lines the eastern shore. This beach is also a main turtle nesting site. A lighthouse, immigration post, and a BDF guard station are based on the island.

Lime Caye is frequently crowded by boatloads of tourists from Livingston. Frank's Caye and Nicholas Caye both have basic accommodations.

Hunting Caye, Sapodilla Cayes

Kayaking is a great way to explore each island. The Sapodillas have superb snorkeling and diving. The incredible reef system here with its healthy coral reef, supports many marine species including giant Whale Sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtles.

Expect to pay high prices for transportation. Because of the distance from Punta Gorda, try to make arrangements to spend the night. Secluded, shaded beaches are perfect for camping and picnicking.





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