Snorkeling in Belize

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Caye Caulker Marine Reserve

Caye Caulker

Declared a marine reserve in 1998, the 61-sq-mile Caye Caulker Marine Reserve includes the portion of the barrier reef that runs parallel to the island, as well as the turtle-grass lagoon adjacent to the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve. It is rich with sea life, including colorful sponges, blue-and-yellow queen angel fish, Christmas tree worms, star coral, redband parrotfish, yellow gorgonians and more.

Between April and September, snorkelers and divers might even spot a turtle or a manatee. All local snorkel and dive operators lead tours to the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Caye Caulker attractions

2. Public Beach

0.81 MILES

There is not much in the way of sand at Caye Caulker's public beach, just before the Split, but sun lovers make use of the crumbing sea wall to take a…

3. Catholic Church

0.83 MILES

The island's Latin roots can be observed at the simple Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion church which serves the Catholic community.

4. The Split

0.87 MILES

A narrow channel that splits Caye Caulker into two, the Split has clean, deep waters free of seaweed, making it one of the island's best swimming areas…

5. Caye Caulker Forest Reserve


The northernmost 100 acres of the island constitute the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve, declared in 1998. Birdlife is prolific in the reserve, particularly…

6. Shark Ray Alley

7.81 MILES

Only snorkeling is allowed at this perennially popular spot, which is in a shallow part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Shark Ray Alley was traditionally…

7. Hol Chan Marine Reserve

8.28 MILES

At the southern tip of Ambergris, the 6.5-sq-mile Hol Chan Marine Reserve is probably Belize's most oft-visited diving and snorkeling site. It offers…

8. Hol Chan Canyons

8.52 MILES

Four miles south of San Pedro, this part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is famous for its dramatic canyons and ample sea life, including eagle rays,…