What to Bring Along
- Bug spray
- Intensity: Easy
- Duration: Entire day
Laughing Bird Caye National Park is one of the gems in a string of pearls that is the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site. It is a beautiful Belizean isle situated on the western side of the Victoria Channel, only 11 miles off the coast from Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District of Belize.
The uniqueness of this structure contributes to both the abundance and variety of coral habitats and marine life. The Caye gets its name from the Laughing Gull (Larus artricilla). This bird once used to breed on the Caye, but because of growing human presence, the colonies have moved to nearby undisturbed cayes for breeding.
Due to the uniqueness of the Caye, the Faro, and the abundant and diverse marine habitats and life, the Caye was declared a protected area in 1981 under the National Parks System Act. On December 21st, 1991, Laughing Bird Caye National Park was declared. Finally, in 1996 the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was inscribed on the World Heritage List with Laughing Bird Caye National Park designated as one of the premiere protected areas within the World Heritage Site.
Other birds can be seen on the Caye including the Brown Pelican, Green Heron, Melodious Blackbird and many other birds from the surrounding cayes and strays from the mainland. There are also a variety of lizards and insects on the Caye.
The island is covered with coconut trees and scattered coastal mangroves. Seven plant species have been recorded on the island:
- Coconut tree - Cocos nucifera
- Spider Lily - Hymenocallis littorallis
- Seaside Purslane - Sesuvium portulacastrum Euphorbia sp.
- Red mangrove - Rhizophora mangle
- Morning Glory - Ipomoea sp.
- Black mangrove - Avicennia germinans