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Tobacco Caye: Your Island Getaway

By Luis Manzanero, Angela Wu 5/8/2018 3 minutes

Just thirty minutes away from Dangriga Town, a hidden paradise waits for the adventurous soul who’s seeking an experience in Belize’s barrier reef and all its underwater wonder. Away from the green terrain of Belize’s mainland, and certainly away from the busy islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, Tobacco Caye is the ideal getaway to experience relaxation and leisure at a next level. This quaint island holds the size of only five acres with a population around fifty residences. There is no need for roads, cars or sidewalks. Staying in Tobacco Caye gives you direct access to the beach and the sea for the full “sand, sun and sea” experience. Everything is at walking distance; but, be careful! You might be wandering into someone else’s yard! No need to fret if this happens, you’ll more likely be greeted with warm smiles and hellos from locals and other visitors.

Belize’s remarkable marine life is the epitome of all ecological services provided by the barrier reef. Since Tobacco Caye lies right on the edge of this magnificent stretch of corals and marine ecosystems, it is one of the few islands that thrive on Belize’s barrier reef. As mentioned in a previous blog, “10 Things You Should Know About Belize,” the Belize barrier reef is currently the longest living barrier reef and the second largest in the world. With the proximity of Tobacco Caye and the barrier reef, Belize’s rare and exotic underwater beauties can be easily accessed. While we encourage any visitor to swim in the area and experience the reef, we would also like to encourage the “see but don’t touch” rule as the ecosystems that exist along the reef are very delicate and must be protected at all costs. Despite this, you are guaranteed to see a colorful array of coral formations, fishes and mangrove ranges under the crisp, clear Belizean waters.

This tiny island that is off the coast of Belize can offer any visitor an adventure of a lifetime in just one weekend! There are already several activities that can be done on the island or by the shore. Kick back on a beach chair and soak up the warm sun. Enjoy the serenity of the crashing waves harmonizing with the wind rustling through leaves of the coconut trees. Or take a dip into the warm sea water. But, don’t stop just there! If you would like to go further from the island, there are a few tour operators that can take you on a boat ride in deeper waters for fishing adventures and see a wider variety of aquatic species.

Along with being a great vacation location, Tobacco Caye is also an excellent place for researchers and students to conduct studies based on the marine life and ecosystems that exist. At different times of the year, student groups from all over the world come to experience everything that the island has to offer and participate in educational research. Since Tobacco Caye is part of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, you can expect to visit nearby islands that are essential for the biodiversity of many species around that area. For example, just a five-minute boat ride from Tobacco Caye, you can experience the famous “Bird Caye” or formally known as Man O’ War Caye where there is a prominence of habitation by many bird species. You can also go island hopping from Tobacco Caye, to Bird Caye, the South Water Caye and lastly Carrie Bow or “Caribow” Caye in just one day.

If you are lucky, you might be able to spot a few manatees near these islands, as this is something common according to the tour operators that reside in Tobacco Caye. Many have even seen dolphins up close while on these tours; and, if you are extremely lucky, you may see manatees and dolphins on the same trip! Certainly, a full day of these adventures awaits you on the little island of Tobacco Caye.

After you have spent most of your day snorkeling or going on tours, there are two bars to where you can unwind and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. Usually, you can expect live drumming to start off the night, and then move on with electronic or any other genre that the crowd desires. Since most of the island is powered by generators, you can also expect to be in complete serenity after midnight when most of the cabins shutdown the electricity. This means that you may not be able to experience all the luxury of a five-star hotel that includes air conditioning; but, we can guarantee that you will have a five-star experience in adventure and relaxation while you are there. This is an ideal escape from all things technology-related and to just enjoy the wonders that nature has to offer. You may not even have time to use your phone or other electronic devices. But, if using those devices is a necessity for your stay and you need an Internet connection, there is WIFI available for a small fee of $5 BZD.

There is also a small store where you can get snacks for your adventures, and a restaurant when you get hungry. If cooking is something that you would like to do on the island, there are cabins available with kitchens where you can prepare your own food.

With all that said, if you are looking for a REAL getaway, start Belizing today and visit Tobacco Caye. It is a unique getaway relaxation and adventure location. From Tobacco Caye, there are many other adventures you can experience while you are in southern Belize; and, we encourage for you to use Belizing.com as a platform to help you find your much-needed adventures. We cannot wait to hear about your Belizing adventure at Tobacco Caye!
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Tours/Activities
$
90
-
$
145
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Travel on a short boat ride with our experienced guide as you journey to the many fishing spots along the Belize’s southern barrier reef. ... more

Belize’s coastline affords the ideal ecosystem for a wide variety of marine life to thrive. Rivers, mangrove lagoons and islands serve as nurseries for aquatic species. While abundant flats and the Belize barrier reef provide a playground for game fish to thrive.

Start your trip off by catching fresh bait with cast nets near the mangrove formations. Then venture further along the Barrier Reef where our local guide will lead you to the drop-offs ideal for catching king mackerel, barracuda, grouper, jacks, and a variety of snapper.
$
100
-
$
150
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Get the most bang for your buck with our fishing and snorkelling combination trip. Start your trip off by catching fresh bait with cast nets near the mangrove formations then spend ... morethe morning fishing along the barrier reef.

As the day warms up, stop for a lunch break at Bread & Butter Caye. From here, jump into the water for some world class guided snorkelling. This is a perfect day for those wanting to experience both fishing and snorkelling in one trip.
$
75
-
$
110
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
 (2)
Our snorkeling tour takes you on a 30-40 minutes boat ride to the Southern Barrier Reef which offers several different snorkeling sites within the reserve for beginners and experienced ... moresnorkelers.
Our experienced guides take you on an underwater adventure. Snorkelers often have close encounters with eagle rays, sea turtles, a wide variety of exotic fish, and even dolphins or friendly nurse sharks! Experience a bit of island life on this snorkel adventure as we normally stop at Bread and Butter Caye for some beach-combing.
$
130
-
$
200
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
 (1)
Cook your catch on the beach! What’s better than a full day trip of snorkeling, fishing and beach cooking on a secluded beach in Southern Belize? It’s intimate, fun, tasty and very ... moreinexpensive.

You are taken out on this adventure trip on one of our boats to the southern barrier reef for snorkeling and fishing.

Your captain will take you to his favorite spot for your chance at catching snapper, grouper, barracuda, lionfish, lobster (seasonal) and conch (seasonal). After snorkeling, you’ll get on board and your guide will whisk you away to a private island where you will be able to cook your fresh catch! 

Your guide will cook your catch right in front of you on the beach ensuring the freshest & best cooking experience possible. Feast on your freshly grilled catch and delicious sides. After lunch, relax on the beach and enjoy an afternoon swim or snorkel, before heading back to the mainland. 

You come to the beach, eat, drink and be merry. It’s that simple.
$
40
-
$
75
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
 (7)
Top Hopkins Area Tour *seasonal tour* (Mid December to May) Head out on the 5-minute boat ride to Anderson Lagoon on the Sittee River. The night sky is UNBELIEVABLE. ... more

Thick with stars all the way down to the tree line. Using high powered flashlights to spot the eyeshine of crocodiles, kinkajou, coatimundi, raccoons, birds, resting iguanas, and much more!

Go through the tiny cut to the lagoon and you are surrounded by the giant mangroves and then shoot out into the lagoon which boasts bioluminescent plankton that lights up with any disturbance in the water.

It’s pitch black, the guide’s flashlight beam cutting across the lagoon is the only light and then he turns it off, the boat picks up speed and the wake glows to blue light. As the boat picks up more speed, the tiny algae, which settle in the lagoon during the dry season, get agitated and glow. It’s absolutely unbelievable.

Our guide will stop the boat and you just stare into the water. Schools of fish or any marine life swimming through the lagoon create a phosphorescent trail which can look like a glowing cloud in the water. Hundreds of jellyfish pulsating in the water. They feed on the algae – it’s all along their edges and inside them.

Just moving your hand around in the water is miraculous. You leave aqua blue glowing blue bubbles.

A swim in these waters is almost irresistible so we recommend you wear your swimwear and bring along a towel.
$
150
-
$
200
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Our friendly and knowledgeable guides will transport you to calm turquoise water about 35 minutes away around South Water Caye and it features a large seagrass lagoon, teeming with ... morecoral shoals and pristine flats. Whether you are an avid, intermediate, or novice fisherman, our local guide is ready to take you on the trip of a lifetime where they can be as hands-on or as relaxed as you need.

Huge schools of bonefish spread out over the lagoon. Tailing these large bonefish schools will provide hours of fly rod action at your own pace.

When the tide is just right, your guide will take you to cast on neighboring mangrove flats, home to permit up to ten pounds in size. Try your hand at snook and tarpon. Tarpon often reaches 75 pounds in the inner channel of southern Belize.

Luis Manzanero, Angela Wu

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