A nesting ground for the rare red-footed booby bird, the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument is the most visited of the Lighthouse Reef islands, and for good reason. Its palm-lined beaches are castaway-cool, its verdant, tropical interior nurtures a stunning array of life and its crystalline underwater surrounds are ideal for peeking in on coral and sea critters.
Rising less than 10ft above sea level, the cay's 45 acres hold two distinct ecosystems. To the west is lush vegetation fertilized by the droppings of thousands of seabirds, including some 4000 red-footed boobies, the magnificent frigate bird and 98 other bird species. The east side has less vegetation but more palms.
Loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles, both endangered, lay their eggs on the southern beaches.