Tobacco Itinerary

The smallest island we have ever visited

Duration: at least one week

Budget: $ 75 per day

Stay: Reef’s End Lodge or Gill’s Cove

Tobacco Caye – Our paradise in Belize! Dip into the most turquoise waters, snorkel, dive, and chill out. Get your authentic Caribbean experience! The tiny Caribbean island lays just 12 miles off the shores of Dangriga- a 40-minute boat ride. Without a doubt, the setting of Tobacco Caye is paradisical. The tiny island, which seems to sit on pink Conch shells, is surrounded by some of the most pristine water you’ll ever see. Tobacco Caye might have been the most unique place we visited during our trip through Belize. Dani visited Tobacco Caye the year before and felt a special connection to the island and its 15 permanent inhabitants.

Belize’s Central Cayes is much less visited than the Cayes up North. However, Tobacco’s prime location within the Great Barrier Reef offers incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities. The crystal clear water surrounding the island shimmers in blue and turquoise. The island is so tiny; it will take about 5 minutes to circle the whole island on foot.

Tobacco Caye is small but holds so much for those open to it! It’s a place not made for everyone, but to us, it’s extraordinary. We have learned a lot about ourselves, also. Tobacco will always be calling for us!


Tobacco Caye is an island destination like no other. Why? Compared to other island destinations dominated by resorts and luxury, Tobacco Caye has maintained its authentic charm. If you are up to it, you’ll be able to participate in the island’s life. Its inhabitants will welcome you with open arms, and over some community meals and activities, you’ll be able to understand how the island life shapes its people.P.S The Caye may be tiny, but check out our “good to know” to make your experience extra amazing!

Dive into the biggest Barrier Reef of the Northern hemisphere

Tobacco Caye sits within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve and offers countless diving opportunities. Dives and excursions can be arranged on the island. The guys are knowledgeable and proud of their home. Belize’s Barrier Reef is a UNESCO world heritage site with a striving turtle population. On top of that, the reserve is home to more than 500 species of fish!

Cavalerio church in Leon, Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua: market

Home of the stingrays

Since none of us had a diving permit and fishing was not our thing, our water activities were limited to snorkeling. You can either borrow gear and venture out from Reef’s end by yourself or go on a tour. The marine life close by is super beautiful and diverse.

Tobacco Caye is also home to 7-8 giant stingrays. They follow the fisher boats when they come back and are marvelous to look at! Over at the western side of the island, fishers tend to clean their catches. Thereby they attract the local stingrays. It’s so cool to see them feast on fish leftovers. You can even carefully touch them. They feel like wet silk.

After exploring the nearby marine life (you should also go out at night!), you can explore nearby snorkeling sites with one of the island guys.

Day-trip to other nearby Cayes

One of our most fantastic day trips was to Southwater Caye. With Gustan, who has been living on a 100-year-old sailboat, we got to sail across the most beautiful water to visit the nearby Caye. It’s probably one of the most fantastic boat experiences ever!

If you ever feel like visiting nearby Cayes, you can always inquire about the local guys; they’ll do anything in their power to show you around! Glover’s Reef, an even remoter island, is only a 45 min boat ride away.

Leon, Nicaragua: barrio Sutiavia
Tobacco Caye, Belize

Get an understanding of island life

Often, when traveling to an island destination. You only get to see the paradisical side of it. While Tobacco is paradisical, it also offers you a unique chance to engage in island life. With Jerome being our provider, we shared countless community meals and got to hear the stories and the gossip. We felt at home, included.

Life on Tobacco Caye is pretty slow. It’s all about the sun, the sea, and the ganja. Most locals rise with the sun, take a smoke, and go out fishing. By the time the sun is fully up, everyone has taken another smoking break and busses them with either providing for their guests or cleaning the island. In the afternoon and evening, its time to enjoy life or take visitors out for a dive. Spending time together and letting time pass is essential.

Tobacco Caye – a seafood haven

Locals dine on the menu of the sea. Jerome and the sea provided for most delicious food during our journey. As you walk across the island, you might feel like Tobacco Caye is settled on pink conch shells. But, if you take a closer look, you can tell by the whole that they’d been on the menu once, too. Tobacco Caye is genuinely tiny. It’s a tight community where everyone watches out for one another. During the week, island kids attend school on the mainland and stay with their mothers or relative. On the weekends, though, they’ll come and visit. You’ll hear laughter and giggling.

Tobacco Caye, Belize: stingray

Get ready to travel to Tobacco Caye

How to get to Tobacco Caye

The cheapest way to get to Tobacco Cay is from Dangriga. Usually, there is one small boat per day, but make sure you check with the locals or arrange for transport with your hotel. Captain Doggy is our favorite person to take us to and from the island. He’ll charge you around $40 one way. Unfortunately, there is no boat leaving or arriving after dark.

Places to stay on Tobacco Caye:

 If you need a little more comfort, we can recommend the Reefs End. With its bar, it’s also the “touristic hub.” Our dear friend Jerome runs Gill’s Cove. We’d say middle-class accommodation is probably the center of island life. Jerome is a passionate cook, and his “terrace” is the meeting point for locals and tourists alike.

There are other, smaller accommodations, but you’ll have to contact somebody local to help you find the cheapest deal. Or you can shoot us an email, and we can try to put you in touch with our friends.

Where to eat on Tobacco

Usually, you’ll have to book accommodation with meals included since there is no such thing as an independent restaurant. However, you might inquire about Lily from Reefs End or Jerome to join them for meals.

What to bring?

There is only one small kiosk on the island. So bring everything you need. However, the booth only sells chips, sweets, cigarettes, and drinks.

Where to get money?

There is no ATM and no way to get cash on the island. Life on the island can quickly get expensive, so bring enough cash!

Best time to visit Tobacco Caye?

You don’t want to be stuck on a tiny island during hurricane season, which lasts from June to November, but since Tobacco can get pricey, try the shoulder months of May and October!


Tap water

In the towns, the water is supposedly drinkable. But as you will spend a lot of time on the water and Cayes in Belize, bring a Lifestraw Go to be safe and avoid causing plastic pollution. The Lifestraw Pro will keep your water fresh and cool, too!

Biggest challenge for the responsible traveler

Eating fish: To protect marine life in Belize, fishing is regulated by seasons to guarantee the species’ time to recover. Therefore, make a point of not eating lobster or conch when not in season!

Conch season runs from October to June. Lobster season is from July to February.

Sunscreen: Protect the unique marine life in Belize, and always wear reef-friendly sunscreen. Check out our guide to coral-safe sunscreens here.

Plastic: Bring your Lifestraw Go to avoid causing trash by consuming bottled water.

tanzania travel Zanzibar beaches

Packing List Belize

Check out our packing list to prepare for all Belize has to offer. You’ll find anything from clothing to travel gadgets and eco-friendly toiletries.

Places to visit in Belize

A Small Country with a big personality!

San Ignacio, Belize – Wild rivers, Maya ruins &latino vibes

San Ignacio, Belize – Wild rivers, Maya ruins &latino vibes

San Ignacio and its twin town Santa Elena form the heart of the “Cayo” district. While there is a comfortable touristic infrastructure, San Ignacio manages to maintain an authentic and vibrating charm. Contrary to the coastal part of Belize, Spanish is most widely spoken. San Ignacio is surrounded by lush vegetation, fast flowing rivers, Maya ruins, and caves. There are lots to do in this lively little town!

read more
Caye Caulker – backpacking and diving haven

Caye Caulker – backpacking and diving haven

Caye Caulker, Belize’s backpacking hotspot charms it’s visitors with its easy going and fun vibes. It’s an excellent place to get to know Belize. While it is far from representative, it shows you the fun, carefree side of life. Creole, Rastafaris, and travelers perfectly blend. On top of that, Caye Caulker offers several amazing things to do.

read more
WordPress Cookie Plugin by Real Cookie Banner