Snorkeling in Belize

Bright Reefs and a Big Blue Hole

You will run out of daylight before you run out of reef. The coast of Belize offers some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, and also some of the most diverse. Colorful coral heads crop up close to shore and within the sheltered interiors of offshore atolls. Often, it is just a few fin strokes from these oases of life to more expansive reef systems, where ledges, undercuts and slopes are home to hundreds of species of tropical fish and corals. Schools of fish swarm steep outer reefs, juveniles hide among mangrove roots in shallow lagoons, and a dramatic circular hole in the ocean plunges to unseen depths.

Highlights

  • Best for: Everyone, from relaxing and beach travelers, to soft and rugged adventurers
  • Best season to visit: Year round, drier from January to June
  • Weather: Belize enjoys a sub-tropical climate moderated by Caribbean sea breezes. Winter temperatures occasionally dip below 70 during northerlies, while summers may reach into the 90s, with increased humidity and rain showers after June

Things to Do

Belize Information

Snorkeling in Belize Overview

The coast of Belize is flanked by the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Between this reef and the mainland, dozens of small islands known as Cayes are starting points for local snorkel trips. Offshore of the mainland, a trio of coral atolls enclose thousands of acres of mangrove islands and coral gardens suitable for snorkelers. Trips on the steep outer walls of the atolls provide the chance for big fish sightings.

Snorkeling in Belize Tips

Snorkeling is most enjoyable when you can see what's there. Mask fogging is a very common problem, but one that can be easily remedied. Start by making sure the inner face plate of the mask is clean and free of residue, and just before entering the water, apply a light coating of anti-fog solution (most snorkel boats will provide this) and then give the mask a single light rinse in fresh water before putting it on.

Best Places to Snorkel in Belize

Turneffe Atoll provides a wide range of snorkeling environments, from mangrove lagoons to shallow reefs and steep walls, all teeming with fish life. A swim to the edge of the Blue Hole is a bucket list favorite. Reefs begin within sight of the beach at Ambergris Caye, and it is a short boat ride to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and famous Shark-Ray Alley, where snorkels are immersed in a feeding crowd of turtle, rays and nurse sharks.

What to Pack for Snorkeling in Belize

Use an inexpensive mesh tote bag to keep your snorkel gear and accessories organized during travel and while aboard tour boats. Include a secure waterproof case for storing wallets, keys and personal electronics. Wear a form-fitting water shirt to protect your back from sunburn.

Packages

Snorkeling

SunBreeze Hotel

JUNGLE LODGE AND AMBERGRIS CAYE - BEST OF BELIZE ADVENTURE PACKAGE Includes 4 nights accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn including 3 meals daily, choice of 1/2 day horseback riding 1/2 day canoeing Barton Creek & Butterfly Farm tours plus full day Caracol Mayan Ruin Trip including Rio Frio Cave and Rio on Pool, 3 nights accommodations at SunBreeze Hotel including breakfast daily an choice of 1 day 2-tank boat dive plus 1 night dive or 1 full day sail snorkel, ground transportation and flights between Belize City and Ambergris Caye, hotel tax and service charges. Not included Park Entrance Fees.
Read More

From $2,132 per person double

Book Now
Snorkeling

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE - ADVENTURE PACKAGE Includes 7 nights accommodations, 1 full day adventure to Ancient Mayan City of Lamanai, 1 day cave tubing and ziplining, 2.5 hour snorkel trip to Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley, air transfer from Belize City to San Pedro, hotel tax, and service charges.
Read More

From $1,318 per person double

Book Now
Snorkeling

Turneffe Island Resort

TURNEFFE ISLAND, BELIZE - SNORKEL PACKAGE includes 7 night’s accommodations in your choice of Lodge Room, Superior Room or a Private Villa including taxes, guided snorkel boat trips twice daily water depths range from 5 to 15 foot, scheduled daily at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm except Saturdays, 3 meals a day including basic beverages plus daily hors d’ oeuvres. Complimentary activities kayaks, shore snorkeling, pool, hobie cat, paddle boards, horseshoes, and volleyball. Complimentary airport transfers on Wednesday and Saturdays.
Read More

From $2,852 per person double diver

Book Now
Snorkeling

Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - Includes 7 nights Jungle Standard accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charge. Options to add on choice of island tour, inland excursion or spa service.
Read More

Book Now
Snorkeling

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

DANGRIGA, BELIZE - - 7 night sdventure and dive package includes 7 nights accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, air and ground transportation from Belize International airport to resort, welcome cocktail, 5 adventure days including choice of diving, snorkeling, waterfall hike, Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve Cave and Jungle Experience, Tropical Birding, Jungle River Kayaking or Canoeing or Mayan History Tours, hotel tax and service charges.
Read More

From $1,895 per person double

Book Now
Snorkeling

Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

SNORKEL PACKAGE includes 7 nights cabana accommodations, Snorkel package includes 2 guided Snorkel boat trips per day, all meals, airport transfers (Wednesdays and Saturdays).
Read More

From $2,270 per person double diver

Book Now
Snorkeling

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

MAINLAND TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - MOUNTAIN & REEF PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, cave tubing, romantic waterfall champagne lunch at Secret Pools & Falls or Cub’s Den, full day tour at Caracol Maya Site with stops at Rio Frio Cave and Rio Hon Pools, 2 holistic spa treatments, 3 nights Luxury Garden View Suite accommodations at Xanadu Island Resort, ½ day snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, 24 hour golf cart rental, complimentary use of bikes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.
Read More

From $1,900 per person double occupancy

Book Now
Snorkeling

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

MAINLAND TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - WATERFALL & SUNBREEZE PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, full day tour at Caracol Maya Site with stops at Rio Frio Cave and Rio Hon Pools, choice of Barton Creek Cave canoeing or ½ day Horseback riding, 3 nights accommodations at Sunbreeze Hotel, choice of 2 days of 2-tank local dives for certified divers or one 2 ½ hour snorkel trip and day sail and snorkel Caye Caulker for non-divers, breakfast daily, complimentary use of bikes, roundtrip airport transfers, roundtrip air transfer on Maya Island Air from Belize International to San Pedro, hotel tax and service charges.
Read More

From $1,965 per person double occupancy

Book Now

Resorts

Snorkeling

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

HOPKINS - Hamanasi is a boutique hotel on the southern coast of the Belize mainland offering spacious treehouse, beachfront room and honeymoon suite accommodations with handcrafted hardwood furnishings, air conditioning and private porches. From scuba diving Belize’s Great Barrier Reef and Belize's three atolls to climbing Mayan pyramids, hiking through rainforests in search of hidden caves, to birdwatching, Hamanasi resort offers it all at one comfortable, convenient location.
Read More

From $1,895 per person double

See Packages & Learn More
Snorkeling

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE - SunBreeze Hotel puts you right in the heart of Ambergris Caye and all that the island has to offer. On the southern edge of the friendly town of San Pedro, SunBreeze’s Latin-Caribbean architectural design forms a wide crescent that embraces the waterfront as well as its own private white sand beach and palm and tropical garden complete with a fresh water pool.
Read More

See Packages & Learn More

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A current passport, valid through your departure date, is required for entry into Belize. Your passport needs to have at least 1 blank page for the entry stamp. Proof of onward or return flights may be required at entry as well. No visa is required for stays less than 30 days. Upon departure from Belize, there is a departure tax of approximately $40.00 U.S. which should be included on your international ticket.

Check the entry/exit requirements here.

Immunizations

There are no required immunizations for entry into Belize, although you should check with your doctor and reference the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations.

Culture and Customs

Belize is a true melting pot of cultures, stretching back to the stone cities of the ancient Maya, and the Arawak roots of the Garfunkel dialect that are still heard through the country. British settlers arrived in the 1600s, and English remains the nation's official language. But Spanish influences are equally prevalent, and Mennonite, Creole, Lebanese, Chinese, and East Indian immigrants have all left their mark on the collective consciousness. Today, they are all just Belizeans, and everyone gets along in a society that places a high value on civility and inclusion. This is a country that doesn't need an excuse to dance and throw a party. Weekends are reason enough for celebration, and dozens of festivals, carnivals and concerts are staged throughout the year. Head up to the country into the rainforest and wooded mountains of the interior and you are in the land of Indiana Jones where thatch-roofed eco lodges serve as base camps for jungle hikes and inner tube drifts through river caves. Head offshore and island times takes over when you land on the offshore cayes. On Ambergris Caye a flipflop and tank top vibe permeates the beach town of San Pedro, where beach bikes are the preferred mode of transportation, and packed-sand streets are fronted by colorfully painted wooden shops and taverns.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Belize electricity is 110 Volt/60 cycles and uses the same plug types as the U.S., so no converters are required.

Belize has a standardized seven-digit phone numbering system and a country code of 501.

Many hotels offer WiFi. Be sure to check with your mobile provider to see if International plans are available for phone and data usage while in Belize.

Water Quality

Bottled water is recommended in Belize and readily available for purchase and also supplied by some resorts.

Language & Currency

English is the official language, but Spanish is widely spoken. Other languages spoken are Maya, Garifuna, and Creole.

The BelizeDdollar (BZD) is pegged to the US dollar at 2:1 - always verify whether you are paying U.S. or Belize Dollars. It's easy to change U.S. dollars just about anywhere.

ATMs are available in many cities and accept major cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, although cash will be dispensed in Belize Dollars.

Most businesses will accept U.S. cash without question. They usually give change in Belizean Dollars, though they may return U.S. change if you ask.

Time

Belize is on Central Standard Time, 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-6 GMT). Belize does not observe daylight saving time.

Location, Size and Population

Belize is located on the Eastern coast of Central America, along the Caribbean Coast. Its capital city is Belmopan.

Belize is bounded on the North by Mexico, South, and West by Guatemala, and the beautiful Caribbean Sea washes its 174-mile coastline to the East.

Belize has an area of 8,866 sq. miles including 266 sq. miles of islands.

The population of Belize is 367,177 (2016), while the island of Ambergris caye has an estimated 22,000, the area of Placencia approximately 1,500 and the area of Dangriga close to 10,000.