The Northern Cayes
By the 17th century, pirates discovered that the plentiful cayes (islands, pronounced “keys”) around the Belizean mainland were perfect for lying low, riding out a storm, drinking rum, and replenishing water and food supplies before setting sail for another round of pillaging and sacking. No doubt modern-day travelers to Belize’s largest, most visited islands engage in at least a few of these same activities.
The Northern Cayes are the crown jewels of Belize’s tourist attractions. They have the most experience catering to visitors, have developed several different scenes between them, and continue to be the most popular destinations in the country.
By one estimate, more than 70 percent of visitors to Belize come to at least one of these islands during their trip. It’s not hard to imagine why—namely, immediate access to world-class diving, fishing, and snorkeling; hospitable Belizean islanders and fellow travelers from around the world; and an amazing selection of small, personable resorts and restaurants. Then, of course, there are palms, rum punches, boat rides, clear blue ocean, and island time.
Enjoy, and repeat after the locals: “Go slow!”
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition