Snorkeling Half Moon Caye – Also Interesting Shore Birds
Snorkeling Half Moon Caye was a treat, partly because the caye is protected by the Belize Audubon Society and has a colony of rare Red Footed Boobies that roost here.
This was the second stop on our Lighthouse Reef Atoll snorkeling trip. We stopped to have lunch and had a great snorkel in some shallow water. One of the tour guides came off the boat to show us around while the rest of the divers left on the boat to go to a separate dive location.
The snorkeling area was on the west tip of the island on the atoll reef edge. It was all very shallow, in about 4-6 feet of water.
What We Saw While Snorkeling Half Moon Caye
Our guide pointed out lots of interesting things, including a number of small octopus and lobster that I am sure we would have missed. We snorkeled around the area for about an hour and had a fun time focusing on all the small life.
Mostly we saw immature fish while snorkeling Half Moon Caye, but there was a nice variety of decent sized tropical fish as well, including a lovely Queen Triggerfish and a nice Hogfish (see images below).
We are not in favor of picking up sea life, but our guide for snorkeling Half Moon Caye was very hands on.
The area was also covered with conch shells, both alive and vacant. Our guide turned a few over to show their foot and eyes peering out in the picture below.
We also found a Yellowline Arrow Crab which was a treat to see. Our guide picked it up and handed it to us, but then made sure to put it back in a protected place.
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We would not come all the way out from Ambergris Caye for snorkeling Half Moon Caye again. It would be preferable to stay nearer Lighthouse Atoll, either on a liveaboard snorkeling tour, or at a Turneffe Atoll resort.
Other Things to See at Half Moon Caye, Belize
Though we did this trip to Lighthouse Reef for the snorkeling, the added ability to see the birds and other wildlife on Half Moon Caye was also quite enjoyable. As mentioned above, Half Moon Caye is protected by the Belize Audubon Society and is notable for the colony of rare Red Footed Boobies that roost here. We hiked out to the observation tower and had a great time checking out the birds in the tree canopy, both Magnificent Frigatebirds and the Red Footed Boobies.
We also found some pretty huge iguanas on the island, and had fun watching some hermit crabs drag their borrowed shell homes across the trails.