Part of Belize’s World Heritage Site, South Water Cay is situated on the barrier reef on the north side of the quarter-mile-wide South Water Pass. Palms rise skyward from pristine beaches. On the east side of the cay, the barrier reef drop-off is close to the beach, providing an ideal location for some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in Belize. South Water Cay yachting is not to be missed!
There are usually 4 or 5 moorings available at South Water Cay. Anchoring is discouraged as the holding is very poor. Anchor on the west side of South Water Cay in the numerous sandy patches between tufts of sea grass. Protection is only good from the prevailing easterly winds. If the winds are predicted to shift or strengthen (even from the east), the better anchorage for overnight stays is at nearby Twin Cays.
Dinghy dockage: Beach the dinghy virtually anywhere on the west shore or near the lodge docks.
Fishermen plying these waters named South Water Cay for the fresh water wells on the island. The two-story, red-roofed Pelicans Pouch, the main lodge of Pelican Beach Resorts on the south end of the cay, was a convent for the Sisters of Mercy when it was built in the 1940s. The Fangipani House (meaning gray house) is said to have a friendly ghost in residence. At the northern end of the island is the Blue Marlin Lodge, also part of Pelican Beach Resorts. It has a restaurant and bar. Dive excursions are also available. At the center of the island is an educational facility, International Zoological Expeditions, which has accommodations for students studying tropical biology and reef ecology; they also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner for boaters (dinner reservations required). A path runs down the middle of the cay, making for a pleasant afternoon stroll.
Internet access, limited water, limited provisions (by arrangement), and laundry service are available. Scuba tank air fills are available at the Blue Marlin Lodge.