West Pelican Caye and Laughing Bird Caye

Mar 02, 2019 - National Geographic Quest


After transiting overnight, National Geographic Quest arrived at West Pelican Caye that following morning. An interesting forest of mangroves protected the small beach, where we planned to set our expedition base for the day. The weather was perfect not only for snorkeling but also for kayaks and paddleboarding.

Right after breakfast we disembarked, all geared up and ready to enjoy this small wedge of paradise. We were all excited to explore the second largest barrier reef in the world. A lovely community of coral species and countless fish were everywhere to see just beneath the surface.

Back on board for a savory lunch, we reposition our vessel to Laughing Bird Caye. Here our guest had another opportunity to snorkel, but also a small birding session around the caye. Laughing Bird is named after the chortling gulls that once nested here in formidable numbers. Now that the caye is protected, there has been a return of this species to the area.

There was so much to see under the water and along the beach. Our guests as they returned back on board all commented that the day had been un-Belizeable.

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About the Author

Cristian Moreno

Undersea Specialist

Cristian is a Panamanian born in Chile.  He grew up in Panama City until the age of 19 when he returned to Chile to go to college where he received a degree in metallurgic civil engineering. Since 1995 he has been working as a freelance naturalist in Panama.  Specializing in bird watching and ecology, he also has a passion for indigenous cultures, hiking and trekking.  He is a certified scuba diver and is often found exploring coral reefs along the Caribbean coast of Panama.

About the Photographer

Jeff Litton

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jeff is an environmental filmmaker and adventure cinematographer. His passion for adventure has led him through rural Kenyan villages, atop erupting Guatemalan volcanoes and to the enchanted Galápagos Islands to film Hammerhead Sharks. Being an expedition filmmaker enables Jeff to combine his love for capturing beauty with his drive to protect the environment. In the words of Jacques Cousteau, “people protect what they love.” Inspired, Jeff created UGENA.org, the United Global Environmental News Agency, an online resource to inspire people to care about the environment.

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