On this seven-day tour of Belize's best islands, you'll spend time discovering underwater marine life while enjoying the pristine beaches. Begin at the Tropical Education Centre, where you'll embark on a nocturnal tour of the Belize Zoo. Then, head to Tobacco Caye to start exploring the mangroves and coral reefs. The trip continues to South Water Caye, where you can swim, snorkel, paddleboard, and dive your way through the Southern Barrier Reef.


  • Take a tour of the Belize Zoo after dark
  • Paddleboard to explore the lagoons and mangroves of Tobacco Caye
  • Take scuba lessons and go for a dive off South Water Caye
  • Paddle around the fishing camp of Billy Hawk Caye

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize, Visit Belize Zoo Democracia
Day 2 Transfer via Hummingbird Route & Boat Charter to Tobacco Caye Tobacco Caye
Day 3 Explore South Water Caye Marine Reserve Tobacco Caye
Day 4 Kayak Sail to South Water Caye, Explore South Water Caye
Day 5 Kayak, Snorkel, Fish South Water Caye South Water Caye
Day 6 Visit Billy Hawk Caye South Water Caye
Day 7 Depart from Belize  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Belize, Visit Belize Zoo

Jaguar at The Belize Zoo
A jaguar at the Belize Zoo

You'll arrive at the Belize International Airport, where a travel representative will meet you and welcome you to the country. You'll then be transported to the Tropical Education Centre, which is adjacent to the Belize Zoo. Your accommodations consist of forest cabanas situated in the midst of a tropical pine forest—there is a network of interpretative trails and wildlife viewing platforms at your doorstep. The Tropical Education Centre allows you to explore the diverse ecology of Belize and is the ideal starting point for the adventure that awaits you.

After checking into your accommodations, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers and your Belizean guides. As the evening unfolds, you can participate in the optional nocturnal tour of the Belize Zoo.

Day 2: Transfer via Hummingbird Route & Boat Charter to Tobacco Caye

Tobacco Caye Paradise Cabins
Tobacco Caye Paradise cabins

Take in the sounds of the tropics as you awaken, including the chatter of parrots and parakeets flying overhead. Note the fresh morning air scented with tropical blooms.

After breakfast, you'll travel the Hummingbird Route through the Maya Mountains to meet with a boat charter waiting to take you to your first island, Tobacco Caye, on the Southern Barrier Reef. You'll be introduced to the tropical marine environment and begin learning the fundamentals of sea kayaking and snorkeling. Safety procedures, group and self-rescues, and touring techniques will all be reviewed. You can enjoy a swim or explore the island shoreline. After a tasty Belizean lunch, paddle over submerged coral reefs, turtle grass beds, and through narrow mangrove channels.

After a day of enjoyment out on the water, the evening will be at your leisure to relax and kick back at the caye.

Day 3: Explore South Water Caye Marine Reserve

Sea Kayaking the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve
Go sea kayaking in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve

Good Morning! Start the day with a steaming mug of coffee and fresh tropical fruits and an early-morning swim or paddle before breakfast.

Situated on the Barrier Reef, in the heart of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, you will be ideally stationed to explore the surrounding reefs and cayes. The focus for the morning will be snorkeling and kayaking. Your first snorkeling session begins with a thorough demonstration, as well as beginner-to-advanced instruction on the Tobacco Caye and at the outer reef walls.

While based at Tobacco Caye, you also have the option to use standup paddleboards (SUPs) instead of kayaks. In the afternoon, you'll paddle to nearby cayes to explore the sheltered lagoons and mangrove channels.

After an exciting day of exploration and learning, you'll return for an evening on Tobacco Caye.

Plan your trip to Belize
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Kayak Sail to South Water Caye, Explore

South Water Caye
The pristine beaches of South Water Caye

Start your morning quietly kayaking or exploring via standup paddleboard. Gazing south (following the line of breaking waves along the Barrier Reef crest), you will be able to see the next island you'll be traveling to today—South Water Caye.

After packing the kayaks with your personal gear bag and saying goodbye to your hosts, you'll start your day on the water with an introduction to kayak sailing. You'll paddle and sail your kayaks along one of the most beautiful sections of the Belizean reef system. The waters are shallow and clear, and you'll see a wide variety of marine life, including southern stingrays, eagle rays, grouper, nurse sharks, and more. As you make your way to South Water Caye and its swaying coconut palms, you'll land your kayaks on the beach, check into your accommodations, enjoy an ice-cold drink, and explore the island before a delicious dinner.

Later, you can try some bone fishing on a fly rod or even a nighttime snorkel session on South Water cut.

Day 5: Kayak, Snorkel, Fish South Water Caye

Snorkeling off Carrie Bow Caye
Go snorkeling off Carrie Bow Caye

You'll have plenty of time to kayak, snorkel, fish, and enjoy the scenery and marine life of Belize today. You'll explore different regions of the reef, including the inner and outer walls, patch and fringing reefs, mangrove ranges, and protected lagoons. For diving enthusiasts—or those who'd like to try diving for the first time—Discover scuba courses or diving sessions can be arranged with advanced notice.

As you explore by kayak, it is not uncommon to cross paths with professional fishermen. Take in your surroundings, and feel free to interact with the locals whenever you get the chance.

After a day out on the water, the evening will be at your leisure.

Day 6: Visit Billy Hawk Caye

Snorkel Bread & Butter Caye
Snorkel around Bread & Butter Caye

Your last day on the cayes will be spent paddling to Billy Hawk Caye, which is located in the Blue Ground Range. This is a Garifuna fishing camp where you will have lunch and take part in an afternoon of snorkeling.

Upon your return, enjoy your final night in Belize. Take in the scenery, relax, have a toast, and relish the last moments.

Day 7: Depart from Belize

Farewell, Belize!
Farewell, Belize!

After an early breakfast, your water taxi will ferry you back to the mainland town of Dangriga. Any extra luggage that you have stored at the operations base will be returned to you. Taxis can be arranged to the Dangriga airport for your connecting flight to the Belize International Airport or local bus stations to continue exploring Belize on your own. 

More Great Belize Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Belize? Check out these other Belize itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Belize, or discover the best time to visit Belize.


Map of Islands of Belize: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days
Map of Islands of Belize: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days