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.
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.
Half Moon Caye