Snorkeling Around San Pedro

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 key information about 6 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed directly 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

Some people believe the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you might want to 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 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 in San Pedro.

A third good 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.

Some key facts regarding boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling opportunities are provided in the following chart.

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 looking for a place that offers 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 within San Pedro.

Another company worth knowing about 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 Ecologic Divers Snorkeling. Snorkeling excursions available with Ecologic Divers include {% link_to 1034934 %} and {% link_to 1653404 %}, two fun and excited trips where guests will get to swim with a plethora of different marine animals. They also offer snorkeling at {% link_to 1653412 %} and {% link_to 1653410 using 'Tres Cocos' %} and the option to snorkel in the famous Great {% link_to 1034923 using 'Blue Hole' %}, located at the {% link_to 114889 using 'Lighthouse Reef Atoll' %}. They're located in San Pedro.

Check the following table for a summary of 12 companies that provide snorkeling related services.

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

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling page.

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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