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'd like to see what's below the 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 situated in southwestern Ambergris Caye.

Mexico Rocks is another place 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.

Be sure to look through the table below for a listing of 10 of the most popular places to enjoy 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 accessed away from the shore.

If you're hoping to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you might want to contact Reef Runner. The sightseeing and snorkel tour takes guests along the second largest barrier reef in the world. The trip is three hours long and goes to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley.

Another option to investigate is Blue Tang Tours. Half and full day snorkel trips to Hol Chan Marine Park, Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocks, and Caye Caulker are available along with nightly sunset sails. Snacks, soda, water, rum punch, beer, and lunch are sometimes offered. They're located within San Pedro, in southern Ambergris Caye.

Still another option is Tanisha Tours. A pioneer in the eco-tourism industry, this tour guide has been offering wildlife tours out of San Pedro since 1993.

Take a minute to read the table just below to see boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling opportunities.

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 gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to contact 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 in San Pedro, in the southern part of Ambergris Caye.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services is Seven Seas Resort Dive Shop & Pier. This operation offers trips to Ho Chan, Shark Alley, and the Mexico Rocks for snorkeling, and you can hit up all three in one day if you want. Snorkeling adventures typically last around there hours, and Seven Seas has one boat that leaves in the morning and another in the afternoon for snorkeling.

A third place to consider 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. They're situated in San Pedro, in the southern part of Ambergris Caye.

The chart directly below summarizes a few details about 14 companies that offer snorkeling related services.

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
Paradise on the Caye Rentals Watersports Equipment Shop (918) 237-0114 4.1 mi. North 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 concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling article.

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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