South Water Caye Island is sized approx 0,02 mi2 (0,06 km2) and is one of Belize's most popular island beach vacation destinations. Cruise ships to South Water Caye (Belize) usually do scenic cruising in the Marine Reserve.
South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR) is Belize's largest Marine Reserve, located in the country's southern part, approx 15 mi (25 km) southeast of Dangriga (fka Stann Creek Town). SWCMR covers a total area of 184 ml2 (477 km2).
Since Belize's Government included SWCMR in the "Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site", it is obligated to conserve and protect this marine area. The reserve is managed directly by Belize's Fisheries Department, assisted by a reserve advisory committee (private/public body). The Fisheries Department employs a total of 5 staff at the reserve - manager, biologist, caretaker, and 2 rangers. They all are based at Twin Cayes ranger station. The staff enforces the department's regulations, carries out patrols, surveillance, research, also collects the visitor fees. The public advisory committee is comprised of private landowners, fishermen, community members, tour operators, also various government agencies.
SWCMR includes various coastal and marine habitats, including rare littoral (marine) forests, coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, In order to accommodate different types of tour activities, the reserve is zoned as follows:
- Man Of War Caye Island is a nesting site for brown boobies and magnificent frigate birds. This is one of the Caribbean's only 10 nesting sites.
- Healthy Coral Reefs are habitat to critically endangered species (Nassau Grouper, Black Grouper, Hawksbill Turtle), also for threatened species (West Indian manatee).
- Twin Caye Island and Pelican Range harbor are mangrove forests sites.
- Carrie Bow Caye Island is the site for coral reef and mangrove systems.
- Pelican Cayes islands have a unique nature and a huge diversity of marine. These isles feature deep lagoons encircled by steep coral ridges abundant with colored organisms.
South Water Caye cruise terminal
Cruise ships to South Water Caye Island dock at the Blue Marlin Beach Resort. The resort's 4-night vacation package (priced around USD 1000 per room) includes Meet & Greet in Dangriga, boat transfers (between Dangriga and Blue Marlin), welcome cocktail, 12 meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners), airconditioned accommodation (Seaview room with en-suite bathroom / running hot water). Resort amenities include daily housekeeping, beach hammocks, and sun loungers, sea kayaks, water floats, Wi-Fi Internet, library, outdoor bar lounge.
The South Water Caye Island activities are perfect for adventure travelers and include reef snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, fly fishing.