Snorkeling in Belize

We took an all day snorkeling tour with a great guide, Omar, from Anwar Tours on Caye Caulker. It included three stops along the barrier reef: Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley and Coral Gardens.

The first stop was Hol Chan.

We all wanted life jackets tied around our waist.

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The kids had zero experience with snorkeling and 3/4 kids have zero experience with swimming. Isaac took to the water like a fish, per usual and Lotus wanted nothing to do with it. Xander and Simon were excited but when I lowered them into the water you would have thought I lowered them into lava by the way they reacted: panic and screaming to get back in the boat.

Omar, being an excellent and patient guide offered to take Jason and Isaac through Hol Chan and then come back for me, for a second run.
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While we waited on the boat, Xander and Simon calmed down and regained their composure. They both decided they didn’t want to have come all this way and not snorkel. You can do this, guys!

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They made it back and were in awe of their amazing experience.

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Xander and Simon got in the water and took several minutes to get over their fears and figure out how the mask and snorkel tube work. I knew once they could see the amazing world underwater they would have fun. Xander finally looked and popped his head up screaming, “That was AWESOME!!” Simon took a little tough love and I ended up pushing his head under gently. The funny thing was he left his head under for several seconds, came up to squeal with excitement and there wasn’t a single fish in sight at that moment. He had just missed the largest manta-ray and school of giant fish I had ever seen.

After that, Omar took Simon’s hand and I took Xander’s and we saw plenty of marine life as we circled around Hol Chan. It was wonderful!

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Next stop was Shark Ray Alley. Omar threw some bait to attract the sharks. He explained we had to hurry and get in the water to see the sharks because they don’t stick around long after the food disappears. It seems crazy to think I threw my kids overboard while there was a swarm of sharks in the water, but that’s exactly what I did and it didn’t feel scary at all. It was scarier when we watched Youtube videos before our trip than when we were actually there.

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Omar grabbed a shark and then a manta-ray for everyone to pet.

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The last stop was Coral Gardens and the water was way too choppy. The current was so strong I couldn’t get myself and two kids from the boat to the reef. We got back on the boat and called it a day. Simon and I both got sea sick at this point and I lost all my lunch. Ewwww! Luckily it was the end of the tour and we were able to cruise on back to the dock.

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Here’s some video for a live action view…

Walking back to our hotel: Lotus is happy with the day, even though she never got off the boat.

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