In my previous post about our visit to Belize, I referenced the Belize Barrier Reef that stretches 190 miles in the Caribbean alongside Belize. From the island of Ambergris Caye there is a very shallow shelf out to the reef, you can almost walk from the shoreline to the reef that is about 300 yards offshore. In most places the top of the reef is at or just below the surface of the water.
We were able to snorkel (photos) in a variety of locations along the reef. Our first stop was the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. This is one of the many protected areas along this reef. The location offers a terrific variety of marine life as well as beautiful coral formations. Here we saw a variety of fish as well as sea turtles, sting rays, nurse sharks and a moray eel. Next up was Shark Ray Alley where our guide put some chum in the water which resulted in a frenzy of nurse sharks, string rays and a variety of fish.
On another outing, we went to the north end of the island where manatees are known to hang out. Our guide said that our odds of seeing manatee were low since during this time of year they tend to stay in some of the waterways that are permeated with stands of mangrove. We spent some time in this area cruising around in the boat looking for them to come up for air but were unsuccessful. He then took us to an area of patch reefs for snorkeling. The patch reefs are small isolated patches of coral separated from the main reef.
Almost immediately after getting into the water we spotted two manatees grazing nearby. Since manatees are rather slow we were able to hang out there and watch them for almost 10 minutes. Our guide later told us that it is very rare to be able to see manatees while snorkeling.
This snorkel trip was an all day outing. During our morning snorkel outings we gathered several conch and our guide then used them to make ceviche. Fresh conch ceviche out on the water was really good.
3 thoughts on “Belize Snorkeling”
Great pic! Could you take a leisurely swim out to the reefs?
You could but there can be a bit of boat traffic at time, so you’d have to be alert.
Pingback: Miami, FL | Second Act