Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling
Snorkel at Shark Ray Alley and Coral Gardens
It's the Belize you won't believe! After meeting your driver for your Belize excursion, you will drive to the nearby airport where you will board a scheduled flight on a Cessna Caravan for your scenic 20-minute flight over the world's second-largest barrier reef. At 1500 feet you will be able to see the magnificent underwater formations and the many islands that dot the reef system.
Upon arrival in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, you will walk to the dive shop where you will receive your included gear and meet your guide. You will then be taken by boat to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, four miles southeast of the caye, home to the famous Shark Ray Alley. Your first snorkel of this Belize tour will be at the Coral Garden where the colorful reefs are home to a host of colorful and sometimes strange-looking underwater inhabitants. After approximately 45 minutes of snorkeling, you will take a leisurely 30-minute cruise to Shark Ray Alley. Here, during your 45-minute visit, you will snorkel in the clear waters and have a personal encounter with the local, docile nurse sharks and graceful, southern stingrays, which have a wing span of 2-4 feet.
Returning to San Pedro, you will have approximately one hour of free time to shop for local gifts, sample the local cuisine, or explore and see why many describe it as still the unblemished, less commercialized Caribbean of 30 years ago.
San Pedro Town, the only inhabited area on the island, is a small but bustling village, complete with colorfully painted wooden houses of Mexican and Caribbean decor, with some that still retain their English colonial architecture. They are now home to gift shops, boutiques, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Take a walk in town (which is only three streets deep) and you can feel the friendliness of the people and see the ease of their lifestyle; shoeless with tee-shirts and shorts is the typical dress code. The people of the island speak English, Spanish, Creole, and Mayan, all at the same time, making it their own dialect. Most transportation is by foot, bike or golf cart.
San Pedro's restaurants range from seafood to burritos, from Italian to Chinese, but when in Belize, try the local cuisine (fish, barbeque, rice and beans, etc.) .
Leaving the shopping malls behind, you will find quaint little gift shops and street-side vendors offering tropical apparel, as well as the work of local artisans showing their paintings, pottery, sculptures, handmade dolls, hats, baskets, beach chairs and hammocks.
All too soon, it is time to return to the airport for your commercial flight back to Belize City. From there, you will be returned to the tender pier.
Please Note: There is a marine park fee of $10 US that must be paid in cash at the beginning of the snorkel trip. Free time is dependent on what ship you are on and your ship's scheduled departure time. To place an order for this tour, we need the first and last name of EVERY guest as it appears on the picture ID they will need to present at the airport. Your order will be refused if we do not receive ALL names at time of booking.
Very well planned and organized. Followed instructions to meeting place, everyone was waiting for us without problems. Smooth flight to Ambergris, (super clean airport there). The boat operator was waiting to take us to the boat, cruised out to reef, snorkeled for 45 minutes, cruised to shark alley, snorkeled for about 20 more minutes, then back to the pier with a great lunch recommendation. Great crew on board, very knowledgeable. There were only about 12 of us on our (very clean, well kept) boat. The reefs were crowded with other operators and our guys were well known and respected. My only complaint is I wish the day was longer!
Excellent guide and beautiful snorkeling. Loved every minute.
Reviewer: Mike Markwald
This perhaps was the highlight of our cruise. Everything was completely professional from start to finish. We met out tour facilitator right at the tender terminal. They provided us with a ride to the airport, and the driver assured us that he would be the one to meet us on our return flight. We were met at the airport by the guide who would be with us for the snorkeling. It was just my self and two grandsons. The guide was informative and went into the water with us to maximize our experience. I would recommend this for anyone. Other snorkelers were on boats with 15-20 people, but we had such personalized service. At the end our guide recommended a great place to eat, and then took us back to the airport for our return flight. After our return flight, we were met at the airport by our original driver who got us back to the pier in plenty of time to look around a little. The excursion was well worth the price.
It was awesome! I also wanted to see the sea turtles so the guides added a third stop and it was fantastic. The whole ocean bottom was all conch shells and there were 2 sea turtles and a stingray swimming all around. The guides were great!
An amazing day, way way way better than anything the cruise line offered ! It would be very difficult to get out to the barrier reef and make it back to the ship on time on your own, but these guys did an excellent job . The snorkeling at the reef was some of the best I've ever seen - clear water, thousands of fish , stingrays, turtles, eagle rays, nurse sharks, just beautiful! If you're only in Belize for a day this is the trip to do!!