Three Snorkeling Locations from Placencia, Belize You Can’t Miss with Splash Dive Center

by Gisselle Hernandez

Warm Caribbean wind tousling your hair, salty sea breeze sprinkling onto your Polarized sunglasses, and the calm settling over your soul. This is the image (which, by the way, is a very frequent image) when boating through the waters of Belize. After all, the second-largest barrier reef is found here, and so is the UNESCO Heritage Site that even includes the Great Blue Hole. It’s not a surprise, then, that any marine activity involving the Caribbean sea is a hair short of transcendent. Whether you’re snorkeling, diving, or simply taking a dip beneath the waves, there’s no better dive center to do it with than Splash Dive.

The Placencia-based dive center has been the front-runner of marine activities in Belize for years. Their admiration spans even further than travelers and locals, as even a National Geographic team recently chose them to conduct marine activities while in Belize. Splash Dive offers myriad snorkeling and dive sites in Belize, so it may be a bit overwhelming to choose. When deciding where to don your goggles and flippers, here are some snorkeling sites you can’t miss. 

Silk Cayes Marine Reserve.


Snorkeling Middle Silk Caye with Splash IDC Center. Image courtesy Carolee Chanona

Upon approaching Silk Cayes, you’ll be awestruck by the paradisiacal islands dotting the waters. These coral islands are so tiny, they range from a half to 4 acres in size only. The biggest of the three has a few wooden picnic tables, a restroom, and just a couple of palm trees. This makes it a postcard-perfect isle that you’re not soon to forget. After being briefed by the ranger on-site, your trusty Splash Dive guide will take you snorkeling around the island. Here, you’ll come across kaleidoscopic parrotfish, giant lobsters, vibrant reef fish, and more.

snorkeling splash dive belize placencia diving

Nothing like a delicious Belizean Rice and Beans and Stew Chicken from Splash’s cook, Janine!

A typical Belize-style barbecue lunch (with a side of rice and beans) will be prepared for you by Splash Dive staff before you all move to a bonus snorkeling spot. At this second location, you’ll find giant stingrays, nurse sharks, and Loggerhead sea turtles. 

Laughing Bird Caye.

Laughing Bird Caye. Image by Diana Zetina

Arguably one of the most picturesque islands in Belize is Laughing Bird Caye. This is an inner reef site and it sits on a National Park and World Heritage Site. Just about a 30-minute boat ride from Placencia, Laughing Bird snorkeling sites are made up of fringing reef systems. It has occasional drop-offs and patch reef, which your Splash Dive instructor will carefully take you through as you take in the wondrous marine life around you. This makes it an ideal spot for novice covers as well since the area has weak currents. Laughing Bird also contains a coral reef nursery, which you can witness yourself if you ask your guide you’d like to see it.

South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

South_Water_Caye belize island Dangriga

Although small, there is so much to see on this Island. South Water Caye by Duarte Dellarole

An island studded with palm trees, South Water Caye also sits in a protected area. The boat ride from Placencia takes about an hour and thirty minutes since the reserve is located on the outer reef. Some signature fish you’ll find here are spotted eels, schools of tarpon, spider crabs, nurse sharks, and if you’re lucky, spotted eagle rays. Once you’ve had your fill of underwater sightseeing, grab lunch at the island’s bar and explore the caye some more. 

roeming spotted eagle ray belize

An unforgettable spotted eagle ray. Photo by ROEming Belize

When snorkeling with Splash Dive Center in Belize, you’re practically on island time: there’s really no rush. Your time is yours to spend as you wish, which means you can snorkel as long as you want to, or explore islands as much as you’d like. The added perk of choosing this premier dive center is that no destination has to be set in stone. So while these are three great sites to visit, you can always let them know where you’d like to go and they will be happy to oblige. Splash Dive Center sets the dates and times may be set, but at the end of the day, your preferred experience for snorkeling from Placencia, Belize is all up to you! 

Header image courtesy Splash Dive Center

Related Articles