Top Things to Do in Tobacco Caye

Tobacco Caye Belize Overwater Bungalows
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Idyllic, yet often forgotten, Tobacco Caye is much less visited than popular Cayes such as Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.

Related: South Water Caye Guide & Glover’s Reef Atoll Guide

Just 12 miles off the coast of Dangriga, Tobacco Caye will charm you from the very first moment. The tiny island appears to rise from pink Conch shells and is surrounded by pristine waters. Its prime location within the Belize Barrier Reef offers incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities. The island is truly tiny. Yet, it offers plenty of things to do!

5 Things to Do in Tobacco Caye

1. Dive the largest Barrier Reef in the Western hemisphere

After Australia, Belize has the largest Barrier Reef in the world. This means that the country has many amazing diving sites. One location that is near Tobacco Caye is South Water Caye Marine Reserve, the largest marine protected area in the country. By staying at Tobacco Caye you will be able to use the local guides who are very knowledgeable and proud of their home. They’ll take you on amazing diving trips and will explain all the marine life to you. Along with being home to more than 500 species of fish, the Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO world heritage site with a thriving turtle population.

2. Snorkel and enjoy the diverse sea life surrounding the Caye

Naturally, Tobacco Caye also offers some of the best snorkeling opportunities and it was a highlight of our Belize trip! We recommend borrowing snorkeling gear and venturing out from the Reef’s end or booking a guided tour to explore the various nearby snorkeling spots. Whether you choose to go by yourself or with an expert guide, the marine wildlife surrounding the island won’t disappoint!

3. Get to know the local stingrays

Tobacco Caye is home to about 6 to 7 large stingrays. They are amazing to look at! And you can even carefully touch them… They feel like wet silk. You can see them up close as they follow the fishing boats or by venturing over to the western side of the island where fishermen clean their catches of the day. The area attracts stingrays since they love feasting on fish scraps.

4. Day-trip to nearby Cayes

One of the most amazing adventures that I had while at Tobacco Caye was a day-trip to nearby South Water Caye. If you ever feel like visiting nearby Cayes, you can always check with the local guys, they have boats and they’ll do anything in their power to show you around! Glover’s Reef, an even more remote island, for example, is only a 45-minute boat ride away.

5. Get an understanding of island life

While Tobacco Caye is very paradisiacal and secluded, it also offers the unique opportunity of engaging in island life. The Caye is a place to feel at home. It has a close-knit community where everyone watches out for one another. Locals dine on the menu of the sea and are happy to invite you over. However, life on the island is not only as one-sided as you may think. Take the time to make meaningful conversations and you will learn so much about the island.

Where to Stay:

If you need a little extra comfort, you can stay at Reefs End Lodge. It has clean, simple, comfortable rooms with amazing views of the Caribbean. Its bar acts as the “touristic hub”.

And if you’ve always wanted to stay in over-the-water cabanas, check out the amazing Tobacco Caye Paradise.

On the other hand, Gill’s Cove, run by Jerome, the notorious island chef, is a great option if you want to get to know the island and its people. The “terrace” is the meeting point for locals and tourists alike.

Getting There and Away:

Tobacco Caye is a 30-minute boat ride from Dangriga. Boats don’t have a set schedule and leave daily between 9am – 12pm from the riverside near the main bridge in Dangriga. Most people wait at Ms. Dee’s Cafe (formerly Riverside Cafe) while boats get the required 4 to 6 passengers.

When returning to Dangriga from Tobacco Caye, watertaxis typically leave early afternoons. Make sure to check if transportation is included in your reservation, otherwise, transfers are $20 USD one way. Travelers can charter boats for $80 USD if there aren’t enough passengers.



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