Located forty minutes off the coast of Central Belize, Tobacco Caye is Paradise. In the town of Dangriga, you board a tiny row-boat with a motor and then spend the next 40 minutes praying until you dock.
From the dock you can see all the way across the island which is about the size of a football field. Every square inch is packed with a hammock or a cabana, which is not to bad considering the island never felt crowded, instead it was more like summer camp. You pay around fifty dollars to sleep in a great beach-front cabana. At our cabana, all of the travelers ate together family style, choosing from a smattering of fresh home cooked Belizian food. Everyone gets to know each other quickly, so at night we would wander under the stars to one of the two beach side bars serving up local rum and punch drinks along side of Belikan beer.
The island is not for those looking for a non-stop scene. It is sleepy enough that you forget what shoes are, and your daily activities include swimming, walking barefoot to in the sand, and crawling into ten different hammocks until you find the perfect one. You also entertain yourselves in whatever manner possible, which mainly includes climbing palm trees and tirelessly trying to crack coconut (the upside of this game is an endless supply of coconut juice).
You can snorkel around the who island or take day trips to the world's best reefs. When we were there in July, we saw a manatee, and I will never forget how it stared straight at me. Strangely, he had a wiry mustache, and I can't shake how much he looked like an old man.
Tobacco Caye remains one of my favorite islands to this day, trumping a lot of the ones we saw in Southeast Asia. I'll do a post soon about my top favorites...