Saddle Caye South runs both self guided and professionally guided sea kayak trips out of Placencia. Placencia’s coastline is lined by the Barrier Reef and dozens of deserted islands, making it the perfect playground for kayaking. Our services range from fully guided island hopping expeditions to do-it-yourself (DIY) options. We also offer boating, fishing and lodging, but we specialize in self-guided kayaking and camping expeditions to the Belize Barrier Reef islands.
Sea kayak rentals and services are available to experienced paddlers interested in self-guided and outfitted adventures exploring the Belize Barrier Reef. These are self-supported trips where the paddlers put the trip together on a do-it-yourself (DIY) basis selecting from our various rentals and services. Supported and guided trips are also available on a DIY basis; it’s what you want.
Novice paddlers not having coastal, open water skills may want to opt for a Belize Barrier Reef complete package, usually a sampler 3 day, 2 night trip. These trips are designed for those who have not yet visited the reef or do not have experience in wilderness paddling. Many of our experienced paddlers also use complete outfitting simply because it’s easy–we have kayaks, gear, and transport ready and waiting for them when they arrive. Meals, tent and/or cabin, camp equipment, transport, park fees, snorkel gear, kayaks and Belizean eco-trained guides comprise a complete package.
Saddle Caye South is a licensed tour operator by the Belize Tourist Board. Our guides are eco- trained and licensed by the Belize Tourist Board. Our boat captains are safety-trained and licensed by the Belize Port Authority. Our boats are licensed by the Belize Port Authority. The Belize Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Property.
- Visit Responsibly!
- Pack out What you Pack In
- Leave the Environment as you Find It
Paddle at your own pace and enjoy in your own way the waters and islands of the Belize Barrier Reef with the rentals and services offered by Saddle Caye South (kayakbelize.com). Our self guided options let you create your own sea kayaking voyage! A full line of rental kayaks and trip support materials from Prijon, Wildwasser, Diamond Brand, Seattle Sports and Coleman are available through Saddle Caye South as well as full logistical support that includes support boats, lodging, route planning, and provisioning services. The same rentals and services are available to guests wanting to only camp the barrier reef islands.
|Single Sea Kayak & Gear||$30 US/day|
|Double Sea Kayak & Gear||$50 US/day|
|Kayak Sail||$10 US/day|
|Kitchen (4-6) (includes stove & fuel)||$10 US/day|
|Kitchen (7-10) (includes stove & fuel)||$15 US/day|
|Stove and Fuel||$5US/day|
|Bug Shelter||$15 US/day|
|Dry Bags & Water Bags||$2 US/day|
|Water Shuttle (4 guests/kayaks/gear)||$150US/1 way|
|Land Shuttle||$150US/1 way|
|Support Boat (includes guide)||$200US/day|
|Paddle Guide (optional)||$100US/day|
|Shopping & Support Services||$15US/hour|
|Guest Room (Placencia)||$30US/night|
|Tent Spot (Saddle Caye South)||$5US/person/night|
|Hammock Spot (Saddle Caye South)||$5US/person/night|
|Entire Island Camp (Saddle Caye South)||$300US/day|
Saddle Caye South
Discover the Trees in the Sea: the Mangrove Wilderness
Seven miles southeast of Placencia in the Lark Range is the uninhabited island of Saddle Caye South. The island’s mangrove trees with their arching aerial roots dominate the seascape and the surrounding waters teeming with marine life and wildlife. At Saddle Caye South, snorkel and explore areas of vigorous reef growth that occurs in shallow water only 30 feet from shore, or steep drop offs in the mangrove root with its own diversity, all guarded by the osprey nesting on the island. When paddling to the barrier reef, Saddle Caye South with its small natural beach, its camp shelters and its fire ring is a convenient and comfortable stay for one or more days.
Silk Cayes or Queen Cayes
Glistening White Beaches and Swaying Palm Trees
These three tiny remote islands on the Southern Shelf Lagoon lie directly behind the protection of the barrier reef, about 25 miles out from Placencia. Plenty of patch reefs and expansive shallow water surround the islands to give spectacular snorkeling and paddling. The uninhabited Silk Cayes offer perfect camping in a magical playground!
Island Hop the Barrier Reef
Camp, paddle, fish and snorkel on picturesque islands
Saddle Caye South provides maps and recommended routes as well as suggestions on islands to pitch camp for the night or set up base camp for a slower pace. Other islands along the routes are identified for refreshments breaks or meals and maybe spending a night in an island cabana. Islands are about 5 miles apart and the next one is usually visible from the island where you are standing. With our services such as land and water shuttles, we can accommodate drop-off and pick-up points of your choosing, and routes can be customized to suit your budget, interests, and requirements.
- A popular route includes a water shuttle drop off at the Silk Cayes. Here you can make a base camp and do day paddles to nearby islands, or start from the Silks and paddle a straight line route south to Ranguana Caye or on to the Sappodilla Cayes as ending points.
- Another straight line route is a land shuttle drop-off to start in Dangriga or Sittee River and paddle out to Glover’s Reef and then south to the Silks and Placencia.
- An economical, circular route begins out of Placencia, lasts 5-7 days, and heads southeast to paddle through the protected area of Lark Range. Several mangrove cayes including our island, Saddle Caye South, are situated in the range and are ideal for a stopover. The next paddle continues to the barrier reef and the stunning Silk Cayes–not to be missed!
- An alternative to island hopping is to take the slow ride base camp approach. Settling in on an island, usually one of the Silk Cayes, and spending each day exploring nearby cayes and the barrier reef system is often selected by less experienced paddlers. Another good place to make base camp is Saddle Caye South. Away from choppy waters of the open ocean and crossings, inexperienced paddlers can safely and quickly improve their skills in the calmer, sheltered waters of Lark Range.
Kayak the Barrier Reef
Appealing to the adventurous at heart, Saddle Caye South (kayakbelize.com) mixes the eco-sports of kayaking and sailing. Our kayaks are rigged with simple sails that push paddlers along with the wind and wave at their backs for quick returns from the barrier reef. Kayak sailing also helps paddlers achieve the longer routes from Dangriga to Placencia and the Silks to the Sapodillas within shorter time frames and greater ease. The dependable wind of the barrier reef is ideally suited to kayak sailing and wind paddling.
Fish the Barrier Reef
Bonefish the renown flats. Fly-fish permit, tarpon, and snook. Deep-sea fish snapper, grouper, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, king mackerel, and marlin. The Belize Barrier Reef has it all. Among Placencia’s famed fishing guides is Leslie “Pipper” Faux, the lead angler, guide and captain for Saddle Caye South (kayakbelize.com). Imagine gaining the kind of knowledge you can get only from growing up in a Placencia fishing family with the barrier reef waters for your backyard like Leslie did. Contract directly with Leslie for a thrilling day on the sea fishing. Leslie’s specialties are fly fishing, trolling, spin-casting, and bottom fishing. Or fish from our kayaks equipped with rod holders.
Snorkel the Barrier Reef
Begin and end your adventures at lodging offered by Saddle Caye South (kayakbelize.com). A waterfront guest cabana with two double beds or a separate guest room with two single beds come each with a private hot water shower, verandah, ceiling fan, refrigerator and microwave. Tent and hammock spots are also available including use of a kayaker’s bathroom with a hot shower. We are in the heart of Placencia and within a short walking distance from its markets, thatched restaurants, and dockside bars. We are located on the Placencia Lagoon for safe and easy access to the Caribbean Sea. Having our kayaks and equipment at the same place makes it effortless to pack and organize your barrier reef trip and wind down afterwards. For even more enjoyment, match up your visit with Placencia’s celebrated Lobsterfest or Whale Shark Days.
The Joy of Camping
Besides our popular sea kayaking adventures, Saddle Caye South (kayakbelize.com) outfits island camping adventures. If you are looking to only camp the barrier reef islands, we carry everything you need with our high quality outdoor equipment. Our shuttle boats are always ready to carry guests and gear to Saddle Caye South, the Silk Cayes, or any of the islands. Saddle Caye South is a good choi
Outfitter Program & Discounts
We offer an Outfitters Program, a turnkey operation for groups who paddle with us regularly. We have three discounted schedules: the larger the group size, the greater the discount. Under the program, we also have three options:
- A complete package,
- A self support expedition package (everything as #1, but without a support boat
- And a rental program with a guide. There is a 3 day minimum, 5 person minimum.
If you have questions or would like detailed information about our maps and paddle routes, please do not hesitate to contact us. We like to help in any way that we can. We look forward to hearing from you.