After spending a few days in San Pedro, Belize – talking to our hotel staff and other travelers – it became obvious that diving and snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve was the thing to do. The dive site was so close to our hotel that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Boy were we glad we went!
Diving at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
All it took was a ten minute boat ride from the dive shop in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Zone A at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The depth of the water at this poin
t is about 30 ft. But, OMG, it was full of hard coral, sea turtles, fish and sponges – just unbelievably beautiful! I’ll allow these pictures to speak a thousand words…
Snorkeling with Sea Turtles
We had to tear ourselves away to head to the second site – Zone B. Our dive master made a quick stop on the way, and what a charming experience that stop turned out to be! We got to snorkel with sea turtles – great big sea turtles that hung around a boat for a good 10 to 15 minutes, socializing with us! Well, I’ve only had a passing sort of acquaintance with them on previous diving and snorkeling trips, but this was absolutely thrilling! Dimas, our guide explained that these turtles were rescued and therefore used to being around people.
Snorkeling in Shark Ray Alley
They kept the best for last, apparently. This was our last snorkeling stop, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for Shark Ray Alley! If I’d only had a passing acquaintance with sea turtles, I had none with sharks. Suddenly I found myself right in the middle of about 10 to 15 of them! Our guide started feeding them as soon as we jumped out of the boat, and man, was it freaky! The sharks seemed quite indifferent to our presence, though. They didn’t seem to bother about our being there.
Being Shark RAY Alley, there were Sting Rays, too around us. The other dive master, Ian, was actually playing with them. What an unusual sight it was, holding a sting ray like it was a baby!
Would I recommend snorkeling and diving at Hol Chan Marine Reserve?
Absolutely! It was one of the coolest snorkeling/diving experiences I’ve ever had – almost as good as diving in Cozumel.
The Tour Company
Belize Pro Dive Center is a relatively new company, however all the dive masters are pros and have many years of experience to their credit. Reading the amazing reviews in TripAdvisor compelled us to join one of their tours. We were four in all and we had two dive masters to guide us. Dimas, our guide, was very professional and really brought a uniqueness to the whole experience. He was very meticulous in checking our tanks and even writing down the names of fish we would see on our dive! I will unreservedly say they run a top notch diving shop here!
If you would like to learn more about their diving tours, do check out their official website.
Name: Belize Pro Dive Center
Tour rates begin at: USD 60 per person.
Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by Belize Pro Dive Center, but all my opinions are my own.
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