Affordable snorkelling in southern Belize
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 10:40 AM Last Post By: LanSluder
Oct 2, 2012 8:03 PM
Affordable snorkelling in southern BelizeWe will be passing through Belize on our way from Honduras to Tikal, Guatemala (via the ferry from Liberia) and I'd like to stop somewhere along the coast of southern Belize for a day of snorkelling.
How are the sites in Placencia, or is there another area that would be better? Are there any decent sites which I can get to on my own (either right off the beach, or with a kayak/canoe)? Otherwise, my budget for boat transportation to a snorkel site is max US$30. I have my own equipment.
I'd also like somewhere with accommodation in town (backpacker standard & prices) and something for my husband to do while I'm out in the sea (good bookstore or coffee shop/bakery with wi-fi access would be perfect).
Thanks for any suggestions!
Oct 2, 2012 11:03 PM
1The reef is a long way off the coast of southern Belize - 12-15 miles? - so you won't be able to head out on your own to find snorkeling and I doubt you'll find anyone willing to take you out for $30, gas prices being what they are. There were snorkel groups at Laughing Bird Caye (11 miles out) when I did my dive surface interval there in August but I don't know what they paid for the trip; I'm guessing $65-75/pp. Maybe someone else will have ideas for patch reef snorkeling closer in.
Above Grounds is a nice little coffee/wifi place in Placencia that might suffice for your husband if you find a way to get out to the reef. Good luck!
Oct 3, 2012 6:37 AM
2I don't know of any backpacker places in Placencia, but Lydia's Guesthouse might be a good choice for you, or Deb & Dave's Last Resort. You'll find links to them on this site...
I've stayed at the Sea Spray -- OK at about BZ$50 a night.
If you walk along "the Sidewalk", you'll find several low budget places to stay -- most are not listed on any websites.
There is a backpacker hostel in Hopkins -- the Funky Dodo has dorm beds and private rooms.
Oct 3, 2012 10:06 AM
3I didn't like the funky dodo, at least not the dorm. Much too crowded and no security. Anyhow to answer your question, as Hopefulist said, the reef is quite far from southern Belize so it will cost you at least $50 or $60US, probably more to go to Laughing Bird Caye or the Silk Cayes. You could rent a kayak and go out to Placencia Caye but the snorkeling won't be very good. Lodging on the other hand can be found fairly reasonable at the places Mr B mentioned. The most reasonable decent snorkeling in Belize is from Caye Caulker up north where you can still do a half day trip for $25US. There is a bus that will take you from Flores to one of the marine terminals in Belize City or visa versa for $25US. That would be your best bet if on a real budget.
Oct 3, 2012 3:46 PM
Oct 4, 2012 7:29 AM
Oct 4, 2012 7:20 PM
Dec 1, 2012 6:07 AM
8Hi--I want to revive this thread since there is so little info available for snorkel trips in Punta Gorda area.
I have read there are some snorkel areas off of Punta Gorda--& need clarification.
I will be in PG aprox 12/18--12/22/2012 time frame
Is it true that there are coral reefs to snorkel --not dive--in PG area?
reports are conflicting--some day no coral reefs--some say there are.
I read something about Snake Cayes & Gulf of Honduras Marine Reserve & need better/more info.
Need info on the names of the areas for snorkeling. Is there more than 1 caye in the area names snake caye?
Also, I have read conflicting reports online about snorkeling in PG area--some say not worth doing--some say snorkeling is BETTER & the fish are biggger & more to see since there is not as much tourist snorkel activity, that it is more pristine.
Can someone give more info?
Also--can anyone provide price ranges for the tours?
I followed a link from Blue Belize site that has some prices listed for the tour co they use--it was $250 usd total for 2 people all fees/gear/snacks included for a day trip--where does this fall--on the higher end or lower end?
Are there other companies/tour guides you can recommend?
Edited by: celena1313
Dec 1, 2012 7:45 AM
9Hi Celena, I am no Punta Gorda expert, I have only been there once. I know there are some great cayes but they are far off shore. I am not familiar with the local reefs, perhaps you can wait until you get there? The other option would be Placencia but once again the good stuff is about an hour off shore.
Dec 1, 2012 10:40 AM
10The co-owner of Hickatee Cottages near PG, Kate Morton, sometimes visits this forum, and she would be the best source of information about the PG area. Hickatee, by the way, is EXCELLENT and a good value.
But to briefly respond to your questions:
- Snorkeling is excellent off PG, but the problem is the snorkeling areas are a good ways out, and so it's more expensive here than elsewhere in Belize. The Belize Barrier Reef sort of ends off PG, but the snorkeling is good in several areas ... and it's pristine and little-visited compared with the Northern Cayes.
- There are several Snakes Cayes in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, four I think. East, West, South Snake and something else.
- There's also the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve.
- The Blue Belize folks are very good. Also for snorkel and dive trips look at Garbutts Marine. TIDE Tours also puts together snorkel trips.
- US$250 to $300 for a full-day trip to one of the marine reserves is typical. That's usually for two, three or sometimes four persons. So if you have a larger group or go with some other party it can be cheaper per person.
I love PG and Toledo District, but it is quiet, and activities and tours tend to be comparatively expensive.
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