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The Snake Cayes consist of a group of four small islands - West Snake Caye, Middle Snake Caye, East Snake Caye, and South Snake Caye. The name was inherited from an abundance of boa constrictors that once lived on one of the islands. These cayes are not a part of the barrier reef system, but instead lie on an isolated coral ridge growing on a limestone ledge that extends several miles into the inner lagoon of the Belize Coastal Zone.

Snake Cayes

Most of these cayes are swampy mangrove ranges, but a few have enough high ground to support significant numbers of coconut trees and other vegetation. The endangered manatee and hundreds of sea birds live in this area. Great swimming, snorkeling and diving can be done off the islands as well. At least three diving sites have been established by tour guides.

West Snake Caye Beach

East Snake Caye was first known as "Lighthouse Caye" many years ago. A lighthouse was built on the island to help fishermen navigate their way after sunset. Today, two lighthouses are located on the caye. A new lighthouse was recently constructed beside the old one.

Middle Snake Caye lies in a preservation zone and is known for its bird life. This is a major nesting site for the Brown Noddy and the Bridled Tern.

South Snake Caye has no beach, but local fishermen dive the area for fresh lobster and troll for barracudas.

Aerial of Snake Cayes

West Snake Caye is the most popular for swimming, picnicking and snorkeling. The south west side of the caye has a wide clean coral beach made of pure white sand. The beach tends to shift depending on the time of year. Just off the beach, a small thatch roof palapa is hidden among the tall mangroves. The island also has a small inland lagoon.

The Snake Cayes are only 17 miles northeast of Punta Gorda and 45 minutes by boat. Tour operators out of Punta Gorda and Monkey River Town offer day trips to these cayes. A picnic lunch can be arranged in advance.

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