Looking for a private Caribbean island with white sand beaches and crystal clear water? The Silk Cayes may be your dream come true! Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes marine reserve are a protected part of Belize’s Barrier Reef, and they attract many visitors each year. Unlike the nearby Great Blue Hole, the Silk Cayes are a slightly lesser known attraction. Thus, a visit here is generally more of a unique experience and certainly a change of pace from exploring inland Maya ruins.
Located about 22 miles (36 km) off the coast of Placencia, this reserve is brimming with lots of sea life and is considered among the healthiest parts of the reef system due to its elevation and supreme water quality. Over 25 species of reef fish have been seen at Gladden Spit. Fishermen also love frequenting this area to harvest edible mutton snapper and grouper fish, and many tour companies flock here during the spring months of March through May when gentle whale sharks come to visit.
If you visit the Silk Cayes, you will likely come here via boat. The ride from Placencia lasts about 45 minutes one way and can be bumpy depending on the winds and tides. Guided snorkeling tours are popular in this area when lots of sea life and reef fish can be found lurking the reefs on any given day. If you are lucky enough to visit during whale shark months, you may also be able to catch a tour to view or even swim with the gentle giants out in this area.