We’re of the opinion that the birds that formerly nested on Laughing Bird Caye got the last laugh. They flew elsewhere for peace and quiet when tourists began flocking to this sliver of land. The species known as Laughing Gulls did what smart birds do: they relocated and left no forwarding addresses. But they’re no fools; they got naming rights.
These days, Laughing Bird Caye offers visitors more than 10,000 acres of pristine marine attractions, including the island itself, which is composed of coral reef patches that embrace a central lagoon. The island sits atop an elongated ridge with steep sides, which is why geologists refer to it as a faro or atoll rather than an island.
Given it’s unique design, configuration and natural resources, Laughing Bird Caye was declared a protected reserve decades ago by the Belize government. Members of a Placencia-based community group called Friends of Nature work hard to keep it that way.
Located about 12 miles from Placencia beaches in the Stann Creek District, this Caye offers plenty to do. Relax on palm tree-graced beaches that invite swimmers to jump into the Caribbean or ask about popular dive sites in the vicinity. Your best course of action is to book a licensed tour operator to take you out on any or all of these adventures: fishing, snorkeling and diving.
Make your life easier by using Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia as your home base. Not only will you enjoy luxury accommodations, but staff is delighted to book you on any of the tours you prefer, from the aforementioned sports to roaming around Laughing Bird Caye to see what geologists rave about: the southern-most point on the Belize Barrier Reef. The variety of coral habitats in the area is striking and the marine wildlife that flocks to the reef is breathtaking.
While conservationists are happy that Laughing Bird Caye was designated as protected on two occasions—in 1981 and 1991—and received World Heritage Site status, they will have to share the glory with tourism. In 2015, TripAdvisor named Laughing Bird Caye first on its list of “Things to do in Placencia,” no easy fete for an area that took many years to find its true destiny as a wildlife refuge and relaxation spot for travelers.
Will the birds be back once they realize that so many protections now exist for them? Naturalists hope so. Ongoing efforts to bring the gulls home to set up new rookeries don’t stop just because this has become a popular tourist spot. Besides, with digs like Chabil Mar to return to each day, visitors will want to spend plenty of down time at the resort, leaving returning birds plenty of alone time.
Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize and Laughing Bird Caye, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.