Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
This low-lying sliver of an island is an uninhabited and unspoiled paradise. The east side is strung with coconut palm-fringed beaches while the west end is covered by ziricote trees that serve as a nesting ground for a colony of rare red-footed boobies. Offshore reefs offer numerous snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Half Moon Caye Natural Monument is a protected park managed by the Belize Audubon Society. Visitors can get there as part of scuba and snorkeling tours or private boat trips from Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Belize City. Tours typically include dives at the Great Blue Hole, too. Once on the island, follow a nature trail to an observation platform, which overlooks the nesting area of red-footed boobies and frigate birds. Half Moon Caye can also be spotted from above during helicopter tours over the Great Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef, one of the three atolls in the Belize Barrier Reef.
Things to know before you go
- Half Moon Caye Natural Monument is a must for travelers who want an away-from-it-all experience, with its remote setting ensuring deserted sands and uncrowded reefs.
- Disconnect with civilization—there is no electricity, cell coverage, or Wi-Fi on the island.
- If you are prone to motion sickness, consider taking something to help with the sea crossing; the route from the mainland crosses open sea, which can be rough.
How to get there
Half Moon Caye is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the mainland. It can be reached from Ambergris Caye or Belize City in about 2–3 hours.
When to get there
Go in autumn to see the widest range of migrating birds. For divers, the calmest weather and greatest visibility is typically around May.
Wildlife on the Island
Half Moon Caye Natural Monument is a wildlife-watching hot spot. While the boobies and frigate birds are the main attractions, other creatures also capture visitors’ attention, including scuttling hermit crabs and iguanas as well as loggerhead, green, and hawksbill turtles, which nest on the island’s sandy shores.
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