Just a few of my favorite places and how to get there. Also follow my adventures on Instagram.
How snorkel the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark-Ray Alley, Belize: Fly to Belize City. Before you head to the Belize Islands for Island life, lobster, and snorkeling, go to the Jungle. Book a Pacz Tours driver and be picked up from the airport to go straight to a river, cave, tubing tour, which is amazing. Stay in San Ignacio. Plan to do the well known ATM cave tour but luck has it, it's rained out, so enjoy the town of San Ignacio. Have Pacz tours take you to Guatemala to visit the Ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal. Stay in the national park where the hotel only has electricity from 6am-9am and 6pm-9pm. Enjoy the ruins, hike in the jungle, listen to the guide's stories, listen to the monkey's howls, enjoy your jungle hotel, walk back to the ruins at sunset for amazing life changing views. The next day, be picked up for the drive back to Belize City, with a stop at the surprisingly amazing Belize Zoo, full of rescued animals. Take the ferry to Caye Caulker Island. You heard that San Pedro (from the Madonna song), is mostly big resorts and families and choose Caye Caulker the "backpacker's island." When you get there, walk around to all the snorkel/dive shops and get the down low on these snorkel tours which all run about the equivalent of $60 and do not need to be pre booked. Learn that it is better to snorkel and visit five spots on the tour than to dive where you have to do a little dive training, and visit only two or three spots, for the already shallow reef that doesn't require scuba diving. The next day show up at one of the snorkel shops and get ready for one of the most amazing days of your life. Enjoy the warm Atlantic ocean as your boat tour takes you to the area that fishermen collect conch and meet an 80 year old sea turtle that is there every day. Next visit the coral reef, watch out as some areas get as shallow as a few feet. Admire the brightly colored coral and fish and be thankful the devastating coral bleaching hasn't reached here yet. Visit another spot where it is a little deeper and you have the opportunity to try to free dive about 15' down to the sand between the coral. Visit a sunken barge. And of course, visit Shark-Ray Alley. Jump off the boat into a swarm of dozens of vicious looking, but surprisingly tame, and uninterested in you, nurse sharks. Swim with the nurse sharks and giant rays in awe that you can safely get so close to these animals. After the tour enjoy an island sunset, $10 lobster dinner, and island life! Since this was the best snorkel experience you have ever had, the next day walk up to another snorkel shop and book the same tour again, but with a different company this time. Seriously you are now snorkel obsessed, shark obsessed, sea turtle obsessed, and ray obsessed. Enjoy the ocean again, make friends with fellow snorkelers on the tour, think how much you love Belize. Enjoy this remote, beautiful, friendly, natural, magical place and promise to return.
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