Laughing Bird Caye National Park

Reading Time: 2 mins
Laughing Bird Caye National Park in Southern Belize

Named after a population of laughing gulls which previously bred there, Laughing Bird Caye National Park is a protected area off the coast of Southern Belize, which is known as a snorkeling and diving paradise.

Just a short 30-minute boat ride from the world-famous Placencia Peninsula, which is one of Belize’s top beach destinations–visiting the marine reserve is easily one of the most popular things to do in Belize.

Visiting Laughing Bird Caye National Park

Southern Belize Reef Complex includes Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, and South Water Caye Marine Reserve

Laughing Bird Caye National Park is located 12 miles (20 km) off the coast of Placencia. It is a part of the Southern Belize Reef Complex, which also includes the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, and South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

More importantly, as a part of the Belize Barrier Reef System, the national park is one of seven marine protected areas declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The entire protected area encompasses 10,119 acres and it is considered one of the best examples of coral faro formation in the Caribbean (an angular atoll situated on a continental shelf).

Local guides and tourists love Laughing Bird Caye for its beautiful patch reefs where a variety of corals and fishes can be seen and its close proximity to Placencia. Its proximity especially comes in handy for short half-day trips or during bad weather conditions when cayes on the outer reef cannot be reached.

The national park is also favoured by many for having on-site rangers and recreational facilities such as restrooms, picnic tables, barbeque pits, palapas, and hammocks.