Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Marine Reserve lies about 12 miles off the coast of Placencia Village and offers arguably the best snorkeling in the area. The reef surrounding the island is a faro shelf and boasts beautiful diversity in types of coral, formations, fish, sponges, and crustacean. Laughing Bird is the place to see an impressive variety of species all in one location and the best way to get there is to ride in style on Nautical Adventures, YOLO catamaran.
A day trip to Laughing Bird with Jimmy, Mike and Alex will be the highlight of your vacation. These guys will pamper you with personal attention: mixing cocktails, leading an incredible snorkel and pointing things out, preparing a fancy beach BBQ lunch, or even mopping your brow with an ice-cold-lavender-scented towel if you’re feeling a bit seasick (I may have been a bit green on the way out and Mike may have had to hose the back steps down quickly). The service is above and beyond but so is the destination.
Laughing Bird is really 2 cayes. The one that everyone reaches for their excursion has a ranger’s station, toilets, palapas and picnic tables, a grill, and white sand dotted with roped-off-rectangles that are incubating sea turtle nests. Visitors are unauthorized to visit the other caye which is a bird sanctuary and human-free-zone. You can walk within shrieking distance of the bird burdened trees but you aren’t permitted to set foot on the island; which I imagine you wouldn’t want to anyway if you’ve ever seen that Hitchcock movie.
The beauty of the island is only surpassed by its beauty beneath the surface of the sea. This is probably the best snorkeling to be found on a day trip from Placencia. Because it is such a special and protected area, exploring the reef here is only allowed with a trained tour guide. Mike was the man when it came to spotting interesting features and elusive creatures- we touched a huge sea cucumber and saw a moray eel! I could have spent days scanning the shallows around Laughing Bird and not get bored.
A day trip with Nautical Adventures out to Laughing Bird Caye is really one of those bucket list, magical and memorable excursions that you’ll be so glad you did. To be able to see this incredible place and have this amazing experience with family and friends- it was one of those days that I thought, “pinch me, is this real life?” That’s why it is one of my Top Ten Tours to Take from Placencia.