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Cayo Aguas del Sur Marine Reserve

Beach ClubsBeachesFishingToursWater ActivitiesWater Sports

With approximately 118,000 acres (47,750 hectares), Cayo Aguas del Sur is the largest marine reserve in Belize.


Cayo Aguas del Sur Marine Reserve 
With approximately 118,000 acres (47,750 hectares), Cayo Aguas del Sur is the largest marine reserve in Belize. In fact, it is one of the most accessible from the mainland, the western edge is located just 10 miles (16 km) from the coast. With lagoons, islands surrounded by palm trees and mangroves, the reserve is home to a wide variety of species. Visitors will find beautiful reef fish, manta rays and seabirds. Less common, but still possible to observe are sharks, manatees and crocodiles.
 
Most day trips depart from the coastal towns of Dangriga, Hopkins or Placencia, the boat trip takes approximately one hour. The channel that crosses the reserve is short, but it can be humid and rough depending on the weather and the size of the boat. Once inside the reserve, the reef provides a refuge with calm waters that is perfect for swimming, jumping or kayaking. With dozens of dive sites that range from shallow reefs or steep walls, divers will find other boats.


Not only a natural reserve 

While many of the best beaches in the reserve belong to private resorts and are not open for day trips, Cayo Tabaco, a small, sparsely populated island at the northern end of the reserve, is a frequent stop in most of one-day itineraries. Beachfront services are limited, but visitors can interact with the locals who inhabit the island, snorkel on the reef, talk to the scientists who work at the Marine Tobacco Station or relax at the oceanfront bar. The only food available to the public is a small snack shop. For those who plan to do a full day tour they should consider bringing food and water, if these are not included in the boat or transportation tour.
 
Most boat tours also travel through Man-O-War Cay, a mangrove island where hundreds of frigates and brown gannet establish their nesting sites.

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Cayo Aguas del Sur, Stann Creek

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