Belize Snorkeling: World Class

If you’re looking for outstanding snorkeling and affordable travel rates, a Belize snorkeling trip should be next on your list of vacations. Just off the coast of the country is the Belize Barrier Reef. The reef is the second largest in the world and is well-known for the Great Blue Hole, which is a giant marine sinkhole. The lively marine life, warm temperatures, and light blue color of the water makes for incredible snorkeling.

By Tobey Schmidt, all photos by Tobey Schmidt Photography

Belize snorkeling

After flying direct from Chicago into Belize City, we took a quick flight over to Ambergris Caye, which is the country’s largest island. The island-city of San Pedro has plenty of options for accommodations. Rent a few bikes or a golf cart to get around during your stay. It’s what the locals do.

Local riding his bike through town.

We spent a day with Belize Diving Adventures snorkeling through Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and then swimming through Shark Ray Alley. The local crew took us out on a large catamaran. We saw a rare group of spotted eagle rays, schools of tropical fish and even got to swim with nurse sharks.

collage of snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Swimming with nurse sharks in belize

After getting a proper sunburn the first day out on the water, we decided we had to go out again. The second time we went with Under Da Sea Adventures (don’t worry, no sunburns that time). Our guides had been spearfishing in the same waters since they were kids. They taught us how to hunt for fish, lobster, and even conch—you know, the large snails that live inside those beautiful, spiral shells. We made conch ceviche on the boat, then docked at a smaller, nearby island to cook up lunch with what we had caught.

spearfishing belize

Out of the water, we enjoyed the laid-back vibe of the island, the tropical flora, and the kindness of the locals. We kayaked along the beach, ate (too many) banana pancakes, and even enjoyed fireworks from a dock on New Year’s Eve.

Beaches and flora in San Pedro

Looking for more beach-vacation ideas? Check out our article on Yelapa, Mexico.

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