Snorkel, rest, repeat
“In hindsight”. So many great observations begin with those words, eh? Our “in hindsight” observation is that we should have docked at Caye Caulker island, walked to the nearest snorkel/dive shop and booked 3 days in a row of snorkeling. We are novices and didn’t know any better. We did at least get one morning of snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef and thank goodness as it was by far the highlight of our visit to Belize. Some might say “obviously!!”, because Belize is a well known dive and snorkel hub, but we were oblivious to how spectacular the reef is. Now it is obvious – this is why we were supposed to come here. Caye Caulker’s best attribute – the underwater world!
Our few hours out centered around the Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley. An underwater canyon cuts through the reef providing an area with an abundance of marine life to observe. Our guide drove us out about 30 minutes off the island and killed the engine. We were immediately surrounded by nurse sharks and sting rays looking for food. We had gone with a company that doesn’t feed the marine life as it really isn’t a good practice but they are so used to the boats feeding them that they swarmed us anyway. It seemed a little counter intuitive to jump into waters with at least a dozen sharks and rays in view but in we went. It was spectacular and our guide was great at pointing out corals and fish I might have missed on my own. No underwater camera, but a nice shot of my “snorkeling-hair”. I find few things as unpleasant as pulling a snorkeling mask off of wet hair.
It was already our last day when we took our snorkeling trip but had we had more days we would have booked to go to an area full of manatees and would likely have considered a trip out to the Blue Hole, despite the cost and distance. For some odd reason the tour companies don’t really promote the Blue Hole, so it didn’t really even occur to us that it was an option until it was too late – which is crazy given it is one of the natural wonders of the world.
Even though we weren’t crazy about Caye Caulker and the little we saw of Belize, we might be back just to tie up these loose ends!