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Snorkeling in Belize

Belize is a small country of Central America and is the homeland of some well-known natural monuments such as the Belize Barrier Reef and the Great Blue Hole. This place includes some of the most magnificent landscapes of the Caribbean both underwater and over it.

The combination of a wide variety of marine life, crystal clear waters, and beautiful beaches make Belize one of the best options for snorkeling worldwide.

In Belize’s waters, there are more than 200 cayes and 3 true atolls. As a result, there are many different sensational snorkeling sites to choose from.

Note that you do not need to have any previous diving experience in order to try snorkeling. It is among the most popular activities that tourists try while visiting Belize!

Below are the best places to try snorkeling in Belize:

Shark Ray Alley

Lemon shark roaming around in Belize at Shark Ray alley.
You'll see beautiful lemon sharks just like this one on your snorkels.

As its name suggests, this is the best place to snorkel if you wish to meet different species of sharks and rays. Caribbean reef sharks, bull, lemon, tiger sharks are only some of the unique types you can see there.

Also, many kinds of rays such as eagle rays and yellow stingrays often swim at the surface of the water keeping company to the nearby boats.

Spotted eagle ray soaring through the water here in Shark Ray alley in Belize
One our our spotted eagle ray friends decided to stop by and say hi!

Shark Ray Alley is essentially a zone under the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (Zone #4).

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

This is one of the most stunning sites to snorkel in Belize. This marine national park is the oldest reserve of the country and hosts a variety of marine species.

Being only 3,7mi (6km) away from Ambergris Caye, it is a quite popular day trip among the tourists. Hol Chan Marine Reserve is actually a small channel that belongs to Barrier Reef of Belize and it is divided into four separate zones. Each one of them has its own flavor.

Turneffe Reef Atoll

This is the largest of the Belize Barrier Reef’s atolls and it was established as a marine reserve back in 2012. It includes hundreds of smaller mangrove islands and a spectacular ecosystem.

Some of its most popular attractions are the sea turtles and the lionfish (locals hunt them as a form of population control). Further, it contains the Elbow, a famous dive site that allows a 98ft (30m) deep dive.

Lighthouse Reef Atoll

It is the 2nd atoll of Belize Barrier Reed and also the furthest from the mainland. The weather is usually calm so you enjoy a smooth boat ride.

The trip is worth the effort despite its distance as in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is located one of the most magnificent natural monuments. The famous Great Blue Hole of Belize is the largest sinkhole of the world and can be seen from the space with the naked eye!

Its shallow points offer a great snorkeling experience with rich marine life. For the bravest divers, the deepest points (407ft – 124m) offer an opportunity to admire huge stalactites and stalagmites.

Snorkeling the lighthouse reef atoll in Belize
View from snorkeling in the Lighthouse Reef

Further, Lighthouse Reef Atoll includes many other snorkeling sites with amazing marine life such as Long Caye Wall and Half Moon Caye.

Gladden Spit

It is one of the most famous snorkeling spots in Belize mostly because of the whale sharks that roam the area. The season between March and June is the best if you hope to meet this unique type of shark.

Whale shark and snorkelers at Gladden Spit in Belize
May-June are the best months to see whale sharks here at Gladden Spit!

These amazing creatures are among the largest types of fish in the world and snorkelers or divers can easily meet them in Gladden Spit. If you wish to plan a trip there and meet these friendly giants, the best option is to leave from the coastal town of Placencia.

Glover’s Reef Atoll

A couple of pirate brothers gave their name to the 3rd atoll in Belize Barrier Reef which is also the most southern one. Glover’s Reef Atoll is approximately 90mi long (145km) and a part of the World Heritage Area.

Mexico Rocks

This shallow site is a perfect snorkeling experience especially for marine photographers due to its excellent visibility. It’s only 12ft (3,6m) deep and a twenty-minute boat ride away from Ambergris Caye. Some of the species that you can find there include lobsters, eels, boulder, and brain corals.

Coral Gardens

This is known as the probably most suitable snorkeling site for beginners and first-time snorkelers. Despite its shallow depth, it offers a rich variety of corals fish species.

Coral Gardens are located on the reef’s inner side near Caye Caulker and they belong to the local marine reserve. They are sheltered, so the currents here are weak and they offer a smooth opportunity to swim around and admire the colorful fish and corals.

This stunning place is only a half-day trip and is usually paired with the before-mentioned Shark Ray Alley, resulting in an ideal snorkel adventure.

Snorkeling in Belize’s amazing sites

If you want to have an unforgettable snorkeling experience, then Belize’s sites are without a doubt among the best options. With so many different diving sites, colorful and unique marine species and shallow waters, Belize is the most suitable place for all types of snorkelers!

As the #1 Scuba diving and snorkeling operator in Belize our spots book up quickly so make sure to book your excursion with us soon by clicking HERE!

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