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.
If you're ready to explore what's down below you might enjoy 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.
is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. 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 table directly below offers some details concerning 10 of the best places to enjoy snorkeling in this area.
|Hol Chan Marine Reserve||5.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central San Pedro|
|0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro|
|1.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Pedro|
|2.1 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro|
|Central Ambergris Caye|
|0.7 mi. East of Central San Pedro|
|13.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central San Pedro|
|0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro|
|4.6 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro|
|12.4 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro|
Some people believe the best snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.
If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you should consider 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.
Another option worth investigating 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. They're found within San Pedro.
Still another option is Cari'Bean Tours. Explore the wonders just off Ambergris Caye with a local guide that knows all the hotspots. Whether your plans include fishing, snorkeling, diving, or just cruising the waters, Captain Oliver Stuart of Cari'Bean Tours will ensure you have a great time.
View the following table for a list of boat trips and day sails that offer snorkeling opportunities.
|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|
|Tanisha Tours||(501) 226-2314||San Pedro|
If you're looking for someone offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you can check with 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. They are found in San Pedro, in the southern part of Ambergris Caye.
Another place catering to snorkelers is Searious Adventures. Make the most of your trip to San Pedro by seeing all of the most important sites both on land and in the water. This center offers these guided tours, some of which include snorkeling.
A third place to consider is Reef Adventures. Explore the Great Barrier Reef in all of its glory. This operator offers daily trips to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Tres Cocos, Shark Ray Alley, and Mexico Rocks as well, so no matter what type of snorkeling you want to do, they can help you make it happen. They're located in San Pedro, in the southern part of Ambergris Caye.
Take a moment to look through the following chart if you want information with regard to 11 firms that offer services of interest to snorkelers.
|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|
|Ecologic Divers||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(501) 226-4118||0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro|
|Hustler Tours||Snorkeling Tour Operator||501-26-4137||San Pedro, Southern part of Ambergris Caye|
|Patojo's Scuba Center||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(501) 226-2283||San Pedro, Southern part of 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|
To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" check out this extensive Caribbean snorkeling page.
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.
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