LAUGHING BIRD CAYE NATIONAL PARK & GLADDEN SPIT - SILK CAYES
Laughing Bird Caye National Park
is one of the gems in a string of pearls that is the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site. It is a beautiful Belizean isle situated on the western side of the Victoria Channel, only 11 miles off the coast from Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District of Belize.
The uniqueness of this structure contributes to both the abundance and variety of coral habitats and marine life. The Caye gets its name from the Laughing Gull (Larus artricilla). This bird once used to breed on the Caye, but because of growing human presence, the colonies have moved to nearby undisturbed cayes for breeding.
Due to the uniqueness of the Caye, the Faro, and the abundant and diverse marine habitats and life, the Caye was declared a protected area in 1981 under the National Parks System Act. On December 21st, 1991, Laughing Bird Caye National Park was declared. Finally, in 1996 the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was inscribed on the World Heritage List with Laughing Bird Caye National Park designated as one of the premiere protected areas within the World Heritage Site.
has been identified as the highest priority spawning aggregation site in Belize (Heyman et al. 2002) and the largest in the ecoregion (Kramer and Kramer, 2002), supporting more than 30 species of fish, including grouper and snapper, each congregating in the thousands at full moon.
This in turn attracts one of the largest predictable whale shark congregations in Belize, and in fact the Mesoamerican region, providing an important tourism resource for Placencia and other coastal communities of Belize.
Enjoy the marine life of Belize’s barrier reef on a private snorkeling adventure to the Silk Cayes and Turtle Island. Get personalized attention from your captain and guide as you cruise across aquamarine waters from Placencia to the tiny, protected islands ideal for snorkeling, and see how Turtle Alley got its name from an abundance of shelled creatures and harmless rays and sharks that gather to feast on fishermen’s scraps.