History of Half Moon Cay

The Half Moon Caye is located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the furthest of Belize’s three atolls from the mainland, and one of only four such atolls in the Western Hemisphere. The atoll is an asymmetric rimmed platform, entirely surrounded by a fringing reef rising virtually to the surface. Inside this fringing reef is a lagoon speckled with hundreds of coral patches. Snorkelers can access beautiful coral patches from the Western Beach of Half Moon Caye. The reef, including the spectacular wall where the atoll drops away into the depths, is highlighted for its density and diversity of both corals and fish. In the deeper waters on the south of the protected area is one of Belize’s internationally important fish spawning aggregation sites. Nassau groupers, once the second most commonly caught fish in Belize, have sharply declined because of unsustainable fishing.  Half Moon Caye protects the healthiest grouper aggregation in Belize.

Half Moon Caye Wall is described by some as “6,000 feet of vertical abyss”. These exquisite walls are unparalleled anywhere else in the world and provide a unique diving opportunity. A shallow beginning with huge corals lying on a white sand bottom where garden eels sway back and forth, drops vertically over spur-and-groove canyons with dense corals, swim-throughs, and some of the most spectacular sponge formations found anywhere. Larger pelagics such as eagle rays, sea turtles, and groupers are often seen swimming in the blue.

Red-footed BoobiesOne of Half Moon Caye's principal inhabitants is the Red-footed Booby with a population around 4,000 breeding birds. Half Moon Caye supports what is considered the only viable breeding Red-footed Booby colony in the western Caribbean. The colony can be viewed from an observation platform located in the littoral forest on the western end of the caye.

The Half Moon Caye