You don’t need to be a Scuba Diver to enjoy the beautiful fish and coral of the pristine reef.
The “Holchan Marine Reserve” and “Shark & Ray Alley” are among the most famous sites near Ambergris Caye. At the Hol Chan, “cut” (a natural break in the reef) you can snorkel with an abundance of fish of all sizes; from the unique Fairy Basslet to huge Groupers, all within arms reach. The “cut” is approximately 23 m (75ft) wide and 9 m (30 ft) deep.
Starting at around 1.5m (5ft) of water you quickly come into contact with large schools of jacks, groupers, snappers and barracudas. You are then taken to the “cut” which boast remarkable coral formations along with sea turtles, spotted-eagle rays, and much more. The reserve is actually home to over 160 species of fish. Not too far from the Cut, “Shark & Ray Alley” allows for a even more trilling experience with large numbers of friendly Nurse Sharks and Southern Stingrays. Diving is not done here due to it being a fairly shallow area.
The Hol Chan “cut” is only 15 minutes (4 miles) south of San Pedro Town and last around 2 ½ hours. These sites are within the barrier reef making them ideal for snorkelers and beginning divers. Also, this is one of the only trips apart from the Blue Hole/Lighthouse Reef Atoll trip that both divers and snorkelers are on the same vessel. You should not miss out on this amazing trip.
Photo Credit: Yudai Tsubone
“Mexico Rocks” and “Tres Cocos” are snorkeling sites further North of San Pedro Town. They are both shallow sandy-bottom areas with maximum depths of about 3.6m (12 ft). Being inside the reef they are excellent for beginner snorkelers. You will glide over huge Brain Corals and Elkhorn Corals witnessing an array of lobsters, moray eels and sea anemones that live among the rocky outcrops. Sightings of Spotted Eagle Rays and Sea Turtles are common in these areas. Your friendly guide will point out many of the aquatic life that roam these parts of Barrier Reef and will be more than willing to answer any queries.
The night dive is an absolute amazing experience departing around 5:30pm -6:00pm for the famous Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan protected status allows for unique array of marine life to habit the area. It is great fun and you see a different undewater world at night. Many creatures that are not visible during the day come out of their hiding place at night. The color of the reef is much more intense under your flashlight. Don't miss out.
Which tours have both divers and snorkelers on the same vessel?
Hol Chan/ Shark Ray Alley - 1/2 Day
Blue Hole/ Lighthouse Reef Atoll - Full Day