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Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Harvest Caye, Belize

If you are going on one of the amazing Norwegian Cruise Line ships soon, you’ll likely stop at Harvest Caye, Belize, and believe me; you won’t be disappointed.

Harvest Caye, Belize, is Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in the Caribbean, boasting a plethora of amazing activities and attractions you can enjoy without breaking the bank.

Harvest Caye is nestled in southern Belize, a mere mile away from the mainland. The island itself is rather small, so visitors can walk anywhere they want to go with ease, but relaxing under the palm trees is a great day in itself.

It’s easy to see why Harvest Caye, Belize, is such a hit, as you will find everything from a gorgeous sandy beach and clean swimming pool to zip-line adventures, water sports, shopping hubs, and fantastic restaurants on the island.

File:Harvest Caye.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Lucas EDVK, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Norwegian Cruise Lines put a lot of effort and money into transforming the island into a paradise for its cruise guests, and it shows. Harvest Caye Port is one of the latest stops included in the western Caribbean itinerary for Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

Given the time and resources that went into developing Harvest Caye, Belize, the Caribbean gem it is today, it comes as no surprise that the cruise port was voted the best new cruise port in the whole Caribbean a few years back.

The government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line agreed to work together to make the cruise port as authentic as it can be. You’ll soon find that the island maintained its original charm, and all the staff employed at the restaurants, stores, and facilities are Harvest Caye locals.

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Top Things To Do on Harvest Caye, Belize

Despite its small size, the private island features a wide range of things to do that will keep you entertained the entire day. Most of the activities revolve around the pristine beach and pool area, but there is something for every taste and preference.

A walk of around 15 minutes down the long pier will introduce you to the idyllic private island that is Harvest Caye. If you’re not up for the long walk, rest assured there will be golf carts available to transport you faster.

Hang Out by the Swimming Pool

As you walk off the ship, you’ll immediately find yourself in the heart of the island by the massive swimming pool. The luxurious pool offers so much to enjoy, including a swim-up bar, a waterfall, turns and bends to swim through, a kids’ splash area, and plenty of lounge chairs ideal for sunbathing.

If you’re a keen dancer, you’ll be delighted with the upbeat Caribbean music playing at the adjacent Landshark restaurant.

The pool is completely free for all cruise guests, and you need only take out your wallet if you’re interested in renting a pool cabana. The pool area cabanas are great for those seeking a bit of privacy, and feature lounge chairs, air conditioning, a shower stand, a personal concierge, and a mini fridge.

2020 - Regent Cruise - Harvest Caye - Landshark Bar & Gril… | Flickr

Ted McGrath – 2020 – Regent Cruise – Harvest Caye – Landshark Bar & Grill via Flickr

Stretch Out on the Beach

Harvest Caye’s beach sits proudly opposite the pool area and features plenty of umbrellas and beach chairs, along with clamshells to rent if you would like a little shade.

Enjoy a game of soccer or volleyball to get your blood pumping, or simply soak up the sun and participate in a game of giant chess for a perfect beach day.

Although the ocean water isn’t always as crystal clear as you might find on other private islands in the Caribbean, it still makes for a lovely swim. Most people tend to crowd near the pool area, but you’ll find the crowd seems to thin as you walk further along the beach.

You would never know the shore consists of man-made sand made of crushed seashells, and the scene of the palm trees towering over the turquoise waters conveys an authentic island vibe.

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Go on a Zip-line Adventure

One of the most iconic activities on Harvest Caye, Belize, is completing the zipline course, which starts at the top of the stately lighthouse and soars over the entire island. You will get an eagle’s view of Harvest Caye as you glide over the pool area and even get a glimpse of the majestic Belize Mayan mountains.

You can choose to assume a Superman pose or sit comfortably while you soar through the air for an adventure you won’t soon forget. Everyone is welcome to participate in this zip-lining experience, provided they are not pregnant or suffering from a heart condition, and prices range from $70 to $90 per person.

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Explore the Nature Park

Norwegian Cruise Line added another special touch to the private island by opening a wildlife sanctuary on the cruise port so guests can enjoy an unrivaled wildlife experience.

Home to a magnificent butterfly house, macaws, snakes, toucans, and many other exquisite indigenous creatures, the plant and wildlife sanctuary is one of the best free pastimes available on Harvest Caye, Belize.

The natural beauty of Harvest Caye will take your breath away the moment you step foot on the private island and manifests in the multitude of colorful flowers and plants. The wildlife sanctuary sheds some light on all the Caribbean plant and flower species.

During your time at the park, be sure to visit the Blue Morpho Butterfly Sanctuary, a secluded section flaunting an impressive butterfly exhibit.

Kayak or Paddleboard Across the Saltwater Lagoon

Harvest Caye, Belize, is one of few Caribbean islands fortunate enough to have access to the awe-inspiring Mesoamerican coral reef.

The calm waters on the back end of the island are the ideal place to kayak or paddleboard and experience the incredible sea life that calls Harvest Caye their home. You can reach this site by golf cart, so you don’t arrive tired from a long walk.

The saltwater lagoon offers the opportunity to get up close to the native marine species and relax in the ocean breeze while making your way across the tranquil waters.

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Go Wild at the Ropes Course

The famous ropes course on Harvest Caye is perfect for kids and tweens alike. Strap in and make your way through various obstacles high above the ground.

Although zip lining is the star of the show on Harvest Caye, the ropes course is a more affordable yet exciting activity for those seeking a more mild thrill.

Get a Little Retail Therapy

Norwegian Cruise Line created an authentic island shopping experience on Harvest Caye like no other. The shops on the private island are primarily owned by locals and feature handmade goodies among many Harvest Caye treasures to take home.

With such a wide selection of souvenirs, you are sure to find irreplaceable works of art, t-shirts, jewelry, chocolates, and whatever else you seek.

The market area will greet you the moment you step foot on the port and invite you to explore Belize cocoa beans, handmade soaps, Moho chocolates, Caribbean-themed t-shirts, exotic rums, and countless shops and stalls holding true Belize charm.

Indulge in Harvest Caye Culinary Delights

As opposed to most other private islands owned and run by cruise lines, food is not provided by Norwegian Cruise Line when guests visit Harvest Caye, Belize. Luckily, however, there are so many wonderful eateries to choose from that you will be glad to have the freedom to sample everything on your own.

So be sure to bring cash, as your ship card won’t cover your food expenses, and sample some of the wonderful delights true to Harvest Caye culture.

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Landshark Bar & Grill

If you decide to try the island food, you’ll more than likely find yourself at Landshark Bar & Grill.

Set right by the pool, this delightful restaurant offers a wide range of drink options and gourmet pleasures and will even serve you right in the pool. The Landshark restaurant prepares many genuine American meals, so if you’re a little homesick, a cheeseburger and chicken wings are sure to make you feel right at home.

You can also indulge in some fried shrimp, cotija cheese, and pico de Gallo if you’re looking for a more cultural meal.

Laughing Bird Bar and Grill

The laughing Bird bar and grill, set just a short walk down the beach, is another great place to grab a bite and a refreshing drink. With everything from margaritas and Pina Coladas to tropical treats and nachos, you will certainly find something to your liking here.

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Manatee Bar

The Manatee Bar is the perfect little escape from the busy beach and pool area. Found at the back end of the island, this delightful eatery offers impeccable beers and lagers, so you can get a taste of the brews that play a significant role in the local economy.

Horse Eye Jack’s

Horse Eye Jack’s is the smallest restaurant and bar on Harvest Caye, Belize, and offers a more relaxing dining experience away from it all. Here, you can indulge in some delicious fried plantains, burgers, and ceviche while gazing out over the serene waters. There is no shortage of drink options to suit every preference, from beers and wines to sodas and cocktails.

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Top Shore Excursions on Harvest Caye

Take a Tour of the Mangrove Estuaries, Lagoon, and the Savannah Wildlife

This 90-minute shore excursion will take you on an insightful tour of the mangrove estuaries and the majestic lagoon on a lovely boat ride with a friendly captain as your guide.

During this tour, you will experience the tropical native wildlife in their natural habitat and learn more about the different plant species on the private island.

This relaxing trip is informative yet exciting and gives you a deeper insight into what makes Harvest Caye so unique. Find the rates for this excursion on Norwegian Cruise Line’s website to book your spot.

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I, Ondřej Žváček, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Mayan Temple at Nim Li Punit

Discover all the practices, crafts, and rituals of the ancient Mayans and view the Mayan Ruins firsthand for a historical venture like no other.

Nim Li Punit is home to the astonishing Mayan ruins in the Jungle of Belize, where drawings of an ancient ruler can be admired.

This stunning site will give you a peek into the civilization that used to dominate this area of the Caribbean. Investigate age-old writings, drawings, and artifacts at the well-kept museum before getting some fresh air at the ball court housed in the plaza.

This enriching excursion starts with a boat trip to the mainland, where a bus ride will take you to the fascinating site of ruins.

Tall trees provide much-needed shade to protect you from the warm sun, so you can admire the ruins for as long as you like. Be sure to pack insect repellant for any shore excursions to the mainland, as the tropical climate invites many winged friends.

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Josh from new rochelle, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go on a Tubing Excursion down a Rainforest River

Venture through the beautiful forest of Belize while floating in a tube across the river.

This excursion takes place deep in the Belize jungle at the Big Falls Outpost. This excursion starts by taking you on a boat ride from Harvest Caye to the mainland, followed by a bus ride past the small Mango creek settlement, where you can get a glimpse into the lives of the Belize locals.

Your tour guide will provide valuable information via commentary about the culture and history of Belize as you travel. Views of the Mayan mountains can be seen through the hardwood and pine forests.

Once you arrive, you will receive a tube and a life vest before moving out onto the water. Afterward, you can enjoy a lovely walk down a nature trail and purchase some Mayan souvenirs before heading back to the ship.

River rafting adventures are also available here if you seek a bit of a thrill.

Go on a Parasailing Adventure

Glide across miles and miles of clear Belize waters on an adrenaline-packed parasailing adventure.

Much like other excursions, you will travel o the Marine and get briefed on safety and orientation by an experienced flight crew. After that, you will take off flying over the private island, taking in the panoramic views below.

Anyone older than eight years can participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Be sure to take a picture by the photo-worthy Belize sign before you set sail. You will undoubtedly want some form of commemoration of your time on Harvest Caye, Belize, to look back on one day and remember your visit to this magical island.