With a prime location in the Caribbean that features crystalline aqua waters, Belize is one of the best spots in the world for snorkeling. Besides, Belize’s tropical weather and ocean temperatures typically remain the same year-round. So, no matter what time of year you visit Belize, snorkeling opportunities are endless! Belize is home to 80% of the Mesoamerican Reef System with three offshore atolls and hundreds of cayes to snorkel. Let’s take a look at some of the best spots to explore Belize’s fascinating underwater landscapes.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Hol Chan is a prime snorkeling spot, and one of the most accessible in Belize. Located about four miles from Ambergris Caye, its also the oldest reserve of its kind in the country. When snorkeling here, expect to see friendly stingrays and nurse sharks in infamous zone called Shark Ray Alley. The shallow water, white sand, and friendly locals makes this an exhilarating spot for locals and tourists alike.
Turneffe Reef Atoll
As one of the country’s three atolls in the Belize Barrier Reef, Turneffe Reef Atoll is also the largest in the Mesoamerican Reef at 30 miles long. It takes the better part of a day to get to the atoll from Caye Caulker, which is where guests usually stay when visiting. Within, you’ll find lagoons and seascapes dotted with 150 mangrove islands and cayes – perfect for chasing a grand slam in fly fishing.
Lighthouse Reef Atoll
As the easternmost area of Belize, Lighthouse Reef Atoll atoll is also home to Belize’s first protected area, Half Moon Caye, and its sister site, the notorious Great Blue Hole. As the atoll’s crown jewel, the Blue Hole Natural Monument can also be seen from space. Below its waterline, the Blue Hole’s once-dry cave formations are known as an otherworldly novelty to divers around the world. Not to mention, the nearby drop-off at The Aquarium or Long Caye Wall offer an unforgettable experience with marine life.
Glover’s Reef Atoll
Rounding off Belize’s third atoll (of the four total in the Western Hemisphere), Glover’s Reef Atoll is a southern gem. Though 6 other composite sites make up Belize’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glover’s Reef is the largest of all seven. At 20 miles long, this shallow lagoon houses over 700 patch reefs found inside. Possibly the richest marine environment in the Caribbean, it’s 2,600-foot drop at it’s eastern edge is an impressive snorkeling adventure.
Hiding in plain sight, Tobacco Caye is a secluded paradise found right on the reef. About 30 minutes from Dangriga by boat, snorkeling is easy with island rentals and tours! Found inside Belize’s largest marine reserve, snorkelers can embark on a journey right offshore. Go from beach hammock to fins in no time!
Whether snorkeling is a tried-and-true love or new experience, Belize offers opportunities for every level of experience! The world’s second largest barrier reef straddles the coast of Belize, providing unrivaled snorkeling with an abundance of coral and tropical fish to discover. Your Belize snorkeling adventure awaits!