Snorkeling Around San Pedro

Photo credit: © White Sands Dive Shop

San Pedro is one of the best locations in Belize to get in some snorkeling for a number of reasons.  The first, and most attractive, is its location so near the Great Belize Barrier Reef.  Another is the fact that the local tourist association makes a major effort to ensure local waters remain pure and snorkeling guides are at the top of their game.

The Belize Barrier Reef is just about one mile off the coast, and finding a way to get in some snorkeling here is usually a top priority.  The draw of the strong and healthy corals are teeming with eels, angelfish, grouper, and other bright reef fish swimming in and out of the nooks and crevices, while stone crabs, loggerhead turtles, manta rays, and even a small number of sharks can be seen here as well.  You can visit the reef by signing up for a tour with a local operator.

Boat tours heading out for snorkeling from San Pedro Town have three other main sites that they take visitors to, and these are the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley to the south (you can usually see both as part of one tour) and the Mexico Rocks to the north.  You can expect to spend somewhere around $45(USD) for one of these trips, which includes the boat ride, gear, and guide. 

The great thing about San Pedro is that the beaches are great for snorkeling as well, so you can bring your own snorkel, mask, and fins, or rent a kit from a dive shop and just spend a few hours of peace and quiet under the sea all on your own.  

The majority of the time, conditions are great.  Thanks to that ever-important barrier reef, the waters are very calm, but they are also clear and warm.  Average water temperatures rarely dip below 80 degrees.  It is still important to keep an eye on the weather.  On very windy days, when the island is hit with what locals call “Northers” in the winter,  the waters can be a little too rough to make snorkeling a pleasant experience. 

Snorkeling Sites

Some basic details about 6 of the best places to experience snorkeling in this area are listed right below.

Snorkeling Sites Near San Pedro
Site Location
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
San Pedro Reef 0.7 mi. East 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

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Reef Runner

For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're hoping to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you can check with 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 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 located in San Pedro.

Still another 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.

Be sure to look at this table for a listing of boat trips and day sails that offer snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In San Pedro
Name Phone Location
Blue Tang Tours (507) 519-6000 0.9 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Cari'Bean Tours (501) 601-8586 Central San Pedro
El Gato (501) 226-2264 San Pedro
Reef Runner (501) 226-2172 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Tanisha Tours (501) 226-2314 San Pedro

Snorkeling Services

White Sands Shop

If you're looking for someone that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to check with 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 the heart of San Pedro.

A second company 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. 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 found within the heart of San Pedro.

Take a moment to look through the following chart to read more concerning 12 firms that offer services of interest to snorkelers.

Snorkeling Services In San Pedro
Name Type Phone Location
Adventures in Watersports Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-3706 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
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 0.6 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Aquatic Sports Belize Watersports Equipment Shop (501) 226-4601 0.6 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
Belize Diving Adventures Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-3082 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 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
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 Central San Pedro
Seven Seas Resort Dive Shop & Pier Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-2382 1.2 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro
White Sands Shop Snorkeling Tour Operator (501) 226-2405 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Pedro

For more information concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this comprehensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Snorkeling the waters of San Pedro is a must.  If you've never been snorkeling before, this is the place that is sure to spark your addiction; and if you've been before, you'll find the underwater sites so diverse and plentiful that you'll likely add it to the list of the best snorkeling spots you've experienced.  No matter your experience, snorkeling is a necessity when you visit San Pedro.  


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