Pelican Beach Resort

Located within a designated marine reserve right on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef

Pelican Beach Resort

Located within a designated marine reserve right on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef (a World Heritage Site), the 15-acre island of South Water Cay is perhaps the most beautiful of all the inhabited reef cays. Situated on the lovely southern end of the cay on a coral sand beach adorned with coconut palms, the hotel consists of a main wooden period building, Pelican’s Pouch (once a Convent for the Sisters of Mercy) with five rooms on top and a restaurant below plus five separate wooden cottages comprising eight units. The accommodation is fairly simple and uses sustainable technology such as solar power and captured rainwater. There is excellent snorkelling right off the beach and diving can be arranged at a resort on the island or from the mainland: the reef drops off to 2000ft just thirty yards offshore allowing fabulous wall dives. The resort is owned by a prominent local family, the Bowmans, who once owned the entire island and others nearby; the food is excellent and the Belizean staff are very friendly and quietly efficient.


Five separate cabanas comprising eight units: Osprey’s Nest (two rooms, each with double and single beds, shared balcony) shared private dock, sea views; Heron’s Hideaway (for honeymooners, with dbl bed and sea views); Sandpiper Suites (duplex - one dbl, one dbl plus sgl, beach view); Egret’s Escape (first floor unit, dbl bed); Kingfisher Cottage (first floor unit with dbl bed, lagoon and beach views). All have composting loos and hot water showers. The main building, Pelican’s Pouch, has five large first-floor rooms, en suite toilet and basin, shared hot showers on ground floor, east facing verandah with hammocks, restaurant, bar, dining room with large deck. On the property are a boat dock, hammocks, canoes and Lazer sailboats for the use of guests.

Local Wildlife

Snorkelling for eagle rays, stingrays, nurse sharks, tarpon, corals, reef fish; Man ’O’ War Cay for large numbers of roosting magnificent frigatebirds and yellow-footed boobies. Around the island, pelicans dive constantly for fish, frigatebirds soar overhead and hermit crabs scurry along the beach, pure white and fringed by coconut palms. The island’s resident ospreys can be observed hunting for fish and tending their nest above the radio mast.

Optional Activities

Swimming, snorkelling (gear for hire), diving (no dive shop – tanks and gear can come from a mainland operator or nearby resort), canoeing, sailing, boating, birdwatching, bone fishing, drop-line fishing, kite surfing (bring your own gear), exploring the island (you can generally walk anywhere), visiting other islands, mangrove tour, relaxing in a hammock.

Number of rooms


Air Conditioning


Swimming Pool


Claire Pote
Area Specialist

During the week of the full moon in April, May and June, whale sharks can be seen in Gladden Spit. We can arrange for boats to take you to Gladden Spit to swim with these majestic creatures.

If you have any queries about this accommodation please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

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Pelican Beach Resort 16.813865, -88.082264 Pelican Beach ResortView

Pelican Beach Resort was the perfect end to the holiday - a private island paradise. Relatively simple but very adequate accommodation. Great snorkeling and bird watching. Staff were all very friendly, providing a laid back Caribbean charm.

Mrs V A - Lancashire