Since writing my #25at25 Travel Bucket List for my 25th birthday last month I have been really focused on it, but some items I wanted to wait a while to do (like swimming with fish), but the opportunity to snorkel IN BELIZE!!! and conquer my BIGGEST FEAR presented itself while in Belize with my boyfriend. Belize is a very popular snorkeling and diving location, so my boyfriend was determined to snorkel while we were there and ….yes, I let him talk me into it.
We stayed in Ambergris Caye, Belize which is the best place to stay in Belize for snorkeling and it’s actually the most popular caye to snorkel from since the water is very clear and the easy access to the reef since its super close by. We decided to snorkel with Serious Adventures because they had the best price, provided all snorkeling gear, and they had the stops we were looking for such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.
Hol Chan literally means “Little Channel” in the Mayan Language. It’s a small, natural break in the Barrier Reef where the depth of the ocean ranges from 5 feet up to about 30 feet in some areas. (still can’t believe I was swimming in 30 feet deep water!!!) Shark Ray Alley is a lot more shallow than Hol Chan, but it is still just as amazing.
Since the reef is about 4 miles off the coast of Ambergris Caye we had to take a boat to our snorkeling sites. There were 2 other couples on the boat with us, along with our snorkeling instructor. One of the women was older and she mentioned that this was her 3rd time snorkeling, which was actually very relieving for me because I was TERRIFIED, but I figured if she could do it I could do it. Plus, our snorkeling instructor said “Don’t be scared. The fish won’t eat you.” He had a point.
Once we got to Hol Chan our instructor briefed us and gave us a few safety tips. Then it was time to put both legs over the boat and jump in the water. Of course, I was the last one in.
After giving myself a pep talk I finally jumped in the water, but even though I was in I still refused to put my head under water and look around. I was too scared. Finally, I calmed down and was able to look for one second and I didn’t see any fish. I started to get more comfortable, until the amberjack came near me. I freaked out. But then I realized the fish were just as scared as I was. “I can do this.”
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The water was comfortably warm. It’s constantly at 84 degrees Fahrenheit and some areas were a little warmer than others. This was October and the water was perfect, so if you’re traveling in the winter you can literally go snorkeling in Belize in December. I chose to stay close to the snorkel instructor because I kinda figured if there was a dangerous fish by me he would be the one to let me know lol
I was proud of myself for calming down and being able to enjoy snorkeling. I kept looking to Justin saying “Babe!!! I’m doing it!!!” he was so proud of me for facing my fear of fish.
It was so beautiful underwater. I wish I would have brought my phone in to take pictures. We saw everything from sting rays, eagle rays, lobster, sharks, eels, coral, and all kinds of beautiful tropical fish. It was like a completely different world. We were at Hol Chan for about an hour and a half before we had head back to the boat so we could head over to Shark Ray Alley.
When we arrived to Shark Ray Alley the sharks were already there waiting for us. The instructor actually held one and asked if we wanted to touch it…no thanks, don’t think I’m that brave yet.
On our way back to Ambergris Caye we enjoyed home made coconut desserts and juices. Which was nice because all the swimming actually made me really hungry. It was so much fun I can’t wait to do it again!
All pictures are my own and belong to me. All opinions are my own. Happy Travels!