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#426632 - 01/03/12 05:20 PM swimming or wading in San Pedro?
dawg Offline
I read somewhere that there are not good places to swim. Is that true? I don't need to swim so much as just play around in the water. Lots of weeds? Also, is there so much boat traffic that I would be better off not snorkeling from shore? March 24th is just around the corner. Thanks for all the posts on where to eat. That was very helpful. Dawg
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#426650 - 01/03/12 11:52 PM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
collyk Offline
Hi dawg. There are some great beaches and docks from which you can swim and have a little snorkel. A few that come to mind include the beach at Ramon's, Banyan Bay (Mar Del Tumbo Beach) and Victoria House. You don't want to snorkel too far beyond the docks but you'll find that the best shore snorkeling is right there next to the docks. To be honest, if you really love snorkeling then you are far better off taking a half day or day snorkeling tour so you can enjoy the amazing barrier reef. It is so wonderful, even those of us who live here do our best to get out there as often as possible. Enjoy!
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#426652 - 01/04/12 12:29 AM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
dawg Offline
We'll be staying at the Conch Shell Inn so we were looking to somewhere close, to just take a dip, wade, or snorkel. We are for sure going to take a snorkel trip. Any suggestions on who to go with, without breaking the bank would be good. We would even do a snorkel lunch snorkel trip. Thanks for your help. Dawg
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#426701 - 01/04/12 05:18 PM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
carribeanblue Offline
We used Searious Tours for snorkeling the reef and shark ray alley and it was awesome. I did it twice in one week and Carlos took care of us...Its the best way to go and only 25.00 a person ...well worth it

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#426728 - 01/04/12 09:50 PM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
Bear Offline
Originally Posted By: dawg
I read somewhere that there are not good places to swim. Is that true? ...Lots of weeds?


Hi Dawg,

CollyK was spot on about water traffic, please do not wander past the end of your dock, a good rule of thumb is to stay inside the dock length. Think of the inner reef is a roadway for the Caye. So dont play in the street.

Most of the shoreline along the reef side of Ambergris Caye has beds of turtle grass that begin within a few feet of the water's edge and go out many tens of yards before it thins out and the sand bottom begins. Elbert might wade in on this, but I've often wondered if the depth of water dictates where turtle grass stops (I'll have to include a plumbline next time i'm out on our 'yak).

Its not tall but it definitely is thick enough in terms of coverage to make wading (for some) unpleasant since it does not meet many peoples' criteria of needing to be a pure coral sand bottom before its "acceptable". As I wade and sight fish alot its no big deal, you can get used to it. I simply shuffle along slowly so as to not tear it up as I pass.

As others have said there are plenty of opportunities to snorkel from docks and a few artificially cleared areas to suit your needs. You just may have to explore a little and follow up on some of the suggestions made here. Our dock is 350' and we have a palapa toward the end beyond the grass beds. The snorkeling around the dock, pilings, and a few close in coral heads adjacent the dock make for excellent adventure.

While wading anywhere whether in sand or turtle grass, you'll want to employ the "flats shuffle" and slide your feet along the bottom one in front of the other instead of picking them up and planting them down. The inner reef area, grass beds and sandy areas, are home to a good population of our local rays. In the unlilkely event you were to be walking an interception path toward a covered ray your shuffling feet are more apt to touch the wingtips/sides of the covered ray and cause him to skitter off leaving you both startled but unharmed. When you step directly on the ray that causes them to reflexively whip their tails defensively and of course increase the chance of injury. Again these kinds of encounters are not commonplace but its simply a piece of advice as a flats fisherman I thought I'd pass along.

The turtle grass in my opinion is an excellent bio indicator of ecosystem health. Nice thick healthy beds means healthy sealife. It's a big part of the inner reef ecostyem of the Caye and one of the reasons we have such fabulous sealife for you to enjoy.

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#426741 - 01/05/12 12:29 AM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
collyk Offline
Hi dawg,

I may be wrong, but I think your best dock for snorkeling near Conch Shell Inn would be Wet Willies dock. Wherever I've snorkeled, I've always found something interesting, but a tour is definitely the best way to go. No point in coming all this way and missing out on our truly stunning barrier reef. In respect to tour operators, quite honestly there isn't much in it. Because it is very competitive here, they all maintain high standards and do a great job. Just make sure you go with an established business as there are some people who aren't licensed guides who will try to chat you up on the beach to make a few bucks and you may not have the best experience with them.
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#426755 - 01/05/12 03:07 AM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
dawg Offline
Great information. Thank you! We are so looking forward to our trip. Dawg and Mrs. Dawg (Dan and Deb Swanson actually)
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#426790 - 01/05/12 02:50 PM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
jigzmom Offline
I believe I read somewhere that you can kayak out to the reef to snorkle. Is this an option? I love to snorkle too but don't want to rely on tour operators to get out to it. We're staying at Pelican Reef Villas and was hoping we could just kayak out to the reef to snorkle. Is this possible/safe?

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#426791 - 01/05/12 02:57 PM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
SimonB Offline
A long trip and never do it unless the wind is onshore and avoid early morning or later in the afternoon when the glare makes it hard for boats to see you.

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#426817 - 01/05/12 06:35 PM Re: swimming or wading in San Pedro? [Re: dawg]
Judyann H. Offline
Pelican Reef Villas has an incredible snorkeling site right under the Palapa at the end of the pier.. Just this last August I saw Eel, Clown fish, Barracuda, little sand rays and a host of other Juveniles. We have taken the kayaks from PRV to go to nearby Piers to snorkel and found lots to see. If you want to see the large animals I recommend booking a trip through the resort. Lots of Scuba and snorkel adventures to choose from only minutes away.
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