Snorkeling Around Ambergris Caye

With the Great Belize Barrier Reef being located just a short one mile off the coast of Ambergris Caye, it should come as no surprise that some of the top snorkeling in the world can be done from this island's beaches – and without a guide to take you there, no less.

Even between the beach and the reef, there is much to be seen in these calm, cool waters.  From the small, colorful fish zipping about to the mangroves, you'll be enthralled as you swim towards the reef, and when you finally get there, mesmerized by the intricate system that has been built up of coral, sponges, gorgonians, sea fans, and so much more.

Make sure to bring a waterproof camera to record your memories.  Typical sightings include everything from the tiniest rainbow colored reef fish to grouper, angelfish, stone crab, eels, nurse sharks, reef sharks, manta rays, loggerhead turtles, and sometimes even whale sharks. 

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to experience below the water's surface you might want to visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Part of the national park, this is a natural wonderland for snorkelers looking to explore an authentic underwater habitat. The cut is a channel that acts as a highway for fish swimming from one side of the reef to the other. This snorkeling site is located in southwestern Ambergris Caye.

Mexico Rocks is another option. The shallow reef that makes up this site is home to a number of fish, lobster, as well as the occasional nurse shark and sea turtle. With the calmer waters, and density of marine life, this is one of the best spots for beginners.

The following chart shows some key facts regarding 10 of the most popular locations where you can experience snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Ambergris Caye
Site Location
Hol Chan Marine Reserve 5.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 1.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 2.1 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Mexico Rocks Central Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Reef 0.7 mi. East of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 13.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 4.6 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
San Pedro Reef 12.4 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Reef Runner

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're ready to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you might want to check with Reef Runner. An experience like none other, sailing aboard a glass-bottom boat means you can see what is swimming around beneath you as you skim the surface of the sea. This licensed boat can accommodate 20 passengers at once and has served thousands in their over 15 years of operation.

Another option worth investigating is Blue Tang Tours. For those embarking on a sailing tour aboard the Sirena Azul, you are in for a treat. The 40' "Blue Mermaid" is a beautifully built boat that can accommodate up to 20 guests comfortably. They're situated in San Pedro, in southern Ambergris Caye.

A third good option is Tanisha Tours. Tour options include a trip down the Belize Rive for manatee watching, an Altun Ha Wildlife tour and trip to the Baboon Sanctuary, a visit to the Lamanai Ruins, cave tubing and a trip to the zoo, zip lining, cave tubing, and so much more. If there is an adventure in nature you seek, they can make it happen for you.

Some details with regard to boat trip providers that offer snorkeling are displayed below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Ambergris Caye
Name Phone Location
Blue Tang Tours (507) 519-6000 0.9 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Cari'Bean Tours (501) 601-8586 0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Pedro
El Gato (501) 226-2264 San Pedro
Reef Runner (501) 226-2172 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
Tanisha Tours (501) 226-2314 San Pedro

Snorkeling Services

White Sands Shop

If you're looking for a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Belize Diving Adventures Snorkeling. One snorkeling trip takes you to both {% link_to 1034934 %} and {% link_to 1653404 %}, where you will feel like you are in a giant aquarium. On the {% link_to 1653412 %} and {% link_to 1653410 %} tour, you can explore a new marine park and see migrating fish and lobsters. They are located within San Pedro, in the southern part of Ambergris Caye.

A second place catering to snorkelers is Seven Seas Resort Dive Shop & Pier. Thanks to its easy access to the Belize Barrier Reef, snorkeling is a very popular pastime here. In addition to daily dive excursions, this dive shop also has several different packages for those who feel more comfortable snorkeling.

A third place to consider is Searious Adventures. This operation offers a number of daily tours of the island, and two of them include snorkeling. These are the Gold and Platinum Packages. They're situated in San Pedro, in the southern part of Ambergris Caye.

Some information with regard to 13 companies that provide snorkeling related services are shown right below.

Snorkeling Services On Ambergris Caye
Name Type Phone Location
Adventures in Watersports Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-3706 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
Amigos del Mar Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (501) 225-2706 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Aqua Scuba Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-4775 0.6 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Aqua Scuba Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 670-4775 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
Aquatic Sports Belize Watersports Equipment Shop (501) 226-4601 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
Belize Diving Adventures Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-3082 0.1 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Pedro
Ecologic Divers Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-4118 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Patojo's Scuba Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-2283 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
Portofino Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-5096 Central Ambergris Caye
Reef Adventures Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (971) 506-5242 1.0 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Searious Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-4202 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
Seven Seas Resort Dive Shop & Pier Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-2382 San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye
White Sands Shop Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-2405 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro

For more information about snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our extensive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.

It is essential that you make plans to snorkel when you visit Ambergris Caye.  How can you get so close to one of the world's natural wonders without taking a peek?  Bring your own equipment or rent it when you arrive, and you surely won't be sorry that you did.  

 

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.