Silk Cayes Marine Reserve

Photo Credit: © Walter Rodriguez CC BY

Declared a protected area in 2001, the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve offers protection for a significant portion of the Belize Barrier Reef. The reserve covers about 26 thousand acres of marine habitat just off the coast of Placencia, and has several areas open for public exploration.

Within these protected waters lies the most continuous and best developed section of the Belize Barrier Reef. It is also worth noting that the water quality is great.

Silk Cayes Marine Reserve has been favored amongst fishermen since the beginning of the 20th century. Early on, the fishermen noticed that whale sharks would come to the area in high volumes to feast on fish eggs, and soon an industry had developed around the idea of shark tours. This is what the area is known for more than anything else today, and tourists can take a tour to learn more about all of the area's wildlife.


Located toward the eastern outskirts of Belize, 30.1 miles east of Hopkins, Silk Cayes Marine Reserve is on the premises of Belize Barrier Reef System, and always welcomes local residents and tourists who are lodging in this area of Central America. However, even if you aren't staying particularly close, you should consider stopping by to enjoy a great time. It is 29.5 miles east-southeast of Dangriga.

About 22 miles off the coast of Placencia Village is where the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve can be found.

Nearby Attractions

Those interested in seeing a second wildlife reservation, find out more about Belize Barrier Reef System, which is situated three and a half miles to the northeast of Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. This wildlife reservation is peacefully removed from most hotels and popular attractions, in a remote area.

More Information


In order to protect local wildlife, Silk Cayes has begun to regulate the number of whale shark tours are allowed to be given each year. Furthermore, the reserve has been divided into a general use zone and a no-take zone with hopes of promoting the conch, whale shark, and reef fish population.

Location: Belize



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