Guide to Glover’s Reef Atoll

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Glover's Reef Atoll, Belize Barrier Reef

Glover’s Reef is a remote atoll off the coast of Southern Belize that draws eco-tourists interested in a secluded beach getaway where they can dive, snorkel, kayak, and sail.

On this page
About Glover’s Reef
Things to Do
Where to Stay
Best Time to Visit
Getting Here & Around

About Glover’s Reef

Trolling for Barracuda is popular at Southern Belize Barrier Reef

Located 27 miles (45 km) off the coast of Southern Belize, Glover’s Reef Atoll is the southernmost coral atoll of Belize. Oval in shape, the atoll is comprised of five “islands” — from north to south, Northeast Caye, Long Caye, Middle Caye, and Southwest Caye –that surround a sparkling shallow lagoon that supports an incredibly diverse marine ecosystem.

The atoll is a part of the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, one of seven protected areas that make up the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The marine reserve has more than 800 patch reefs, which serve as a critical nursery and feeding ground for sea turtles, sharks and rays, and numerous fish species, including the endangered Nassau Grouper.

Things to Do in Glover’s Reef

Watersports in Long Caye at Glover's Reef Atoll, Belize

Glover’s Reef Atoll is a prime destination for off-the-beaten-path sea explorers that want seclusion and access to exploring the unmatched biodiversity found in the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve.

Most people choose to dive or snorkel the abundant patch reefs that can be found across the atoll, however, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and sailing are also popular. And some areas allow for reef fishing, such as trolling for barracudas. Also nearby is the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, which is the second-largest marine reserve in Belize.

Top Things to Do in Glover’s Reef

  1. Dive or snorkel the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve
  2. Visit the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, the second-largest marine reserve in Belize
  3. Enjoy some of the best sea kayaking in Belize
  4. Spend your days relaxing on hammocks and staring at starry night skies in the evenings
  5. Go on a yoga and meditation retreat

Where to Stay in Glover’s Reef

Aerial view of Glover's Reef Basecamp

Most of the residents that stay on Glover’s Reef work at the Glover’s Reef Research Station, which is owned by the Wildlife Conservation Society. As for travelers interested in staying at Glover’s Reef, there are a few dorms, thatched cabins and camping options available. Check out my sea kayaking adventure if you’re curious as to what it’s like to spend three days at Glover’s Reef.

Top Places to Stay in Glover’s Reef

Best Time To Visit Glover’s Reef

Hammock at Long Caye at Glover's Reef Atoll, Belize

The best time to stay at Glover’s Reef is from January to April, which is Belize’s dry season. During this time you can expect sunny days and clear blue skies.

If you choose to visit the atoll after January to April, it’s best to go from May to August. Anytime after that, there’s a chance that your vacation can be ruined by a cold front or tropical storm, which occur during Belize’s wet season.

Vacationing in Belize during the wet season is fine but since Glover’s Reef is remote and secluded, I advise against staying there. If you get caught there during a week of rain you’ll likely have to remain indoors for the entire time.

Getting Here & Around

kayaking in belize

Transportation to Glover’s Reef is usually provided by the hotel that you are staying at or your tour operator for anyone on diving/snorkeling day trips.

The atoll is a 3-hour boat ride from Belize City and 2 hours from Hopkins or Dangriga. Typically, trips to Glover’s Reef are done in the morning between 9am-11am with return trips in the afternoon between 1pm-3pm. As for getting around, you can walk around the caye you’re staying at and if you’re brave, you can kayak from caye to caye.

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