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#78933 - 01/22/04 03:51 AM snorkeling from shore/piers?
Goin Belize Offline
We are a family of four -2 boys ages 10 and 15-going to Belize for the first time this summer for one week. Is there an area with good snorkeling right on the Caye or do you have to take a boat? Also, we would love to know what the favorite one day tour to Blue Hole is (only one diver-and he's just got to do "it" - the rest of us will snorkel) and to Lamanai? Any advice from this group (what to do, what to see, where to stay and eat etc.) will be really appreciated. You've already been a great help. Thanks!

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#78934 - 01/22/04 05:56 AM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
silkpainter Offline
Way back when I lived in San Pedro (that was before I moved to the a hip and happening place of Caye Caulker) I used to snorkel from Ramons' Village Dock. They have stairs into the water at the side of the peir, and an artificial reef which attracts lots of fish, and it was FREE.
_________________________
-Lee Vanderwalker-Alamina
http://www.caribbean-colors.com
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#78935 - 01/22/04 06:38 AM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
specv Offline
Ditto on Ramons, my kids snorkled there several times. We even saw several ray and shark. Yes, at Ramons.

Jeff

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#78936 - 01/22/04 07:25 AM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
allrightguy Offline
The pier off Paradise Villas has about 6 large concrete anchorage-type things maybe 20 feet directly off the pier and it is like a mini-reef with hundreds of beautiful fish. Water is only about 5 feet deep-Great place to snorkel. Also under the end of Wet Willie's pier. Enjoy!

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#78937 - 01/22/04 08:02 AM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
Skyliner Offline
I totally agree with the previous recommendations for snorkeling off resort piers, but, with a group of four, you would probably enjoy a full day trip north of San Pedro, complete with a beach barbeque for lunch. You'd likely have the boat to yourselves with one or two guides.

Other day trips to consider:

Manatee trip - Goes south to near Belize City. May or may not see manatees and even if you do, that may not be too exciting due to murkiness. But, the trip also goes to Goff's Caye for lunch. Beautiful island, great snorkeling and beautiful scenery the entire trip. Second stop by Caulker (also called "Shark Ray") and then to Caulker for a break. Full day,

Cave tubing - Fly to mainland, van to river, float on innertubes through the caves with headlamps on. Trip we went on included hike through the rainforest, complete with sampling native plants as well as tasting live termites. Totally blew the kids away. Stop at Belize Zoo before flight back to SP. Another full, but, expensive day.

Night snorkel at Hol Chan - Another mind blower, especially if you haven't been in the water at night and have ever seen Jaws.... But, absolutely a great trip that is totally different than a day snorkel.

Check out the business listings for lodging and restaurants on the board. The selection is broad and you'll find what you need for your family. Check other posts for restaurnnt favorites, although I've never heard anyone not like BC's beach BBQ (Sunday only).

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#78938 - 01/22/04 08:37 AM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
Marsali Offline
We are staying at Ramon's next month and I am so happy that there is somewhere for me, as a novice, to snorkel.

But I have to ask the PP------

You say you saw a SHARK??????????

Eeek,
Marsali

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#78939 - 01/22/04 08:49 AM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
specv Offline
Yes a nurse shark. Harmless I've been told(yea trust me!!). At Holchan our guide held the shark while the guests took pics. At Ramons, we all quickly left the water. We snorkled there sometimes several times a day for three weeks, and only saw the one shark. It didn't stop us from going back in. Jeff

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#78940 - 01/22/04 03:42 PM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
Bobber Offline
Marsali, you definitely need a trip to shark ray alley. Dump that fear of sharks. Respect them, but don't have an unnatural fear. My wife used to think that every shark ever born was issued a picture of her with orders to eat on site. Over the years of snorkeling, she lost her fear and is more often than not the first one in the water. Now she just has an unnatural fear of barracuda. Get in the water, it's a whole different beautiful world down there. We will probably run into you off Ramons pier, we'll be at the Palms when you are there. I will be the bald guy with the tattoos.
_________________________
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

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#78941 - 01/22/04 04:52 PM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
Catatonic Motivator Offline
I'd recommend Amigos Del Mar for your Blue Hole trip. Biggest boat, great people. I took the family with them last year and I was the only diver in the hole, which was probably a good decision on their part. It's too deep for kids (I did 144', swimming down to get to some sharks before I realized I'd passed 130--my computer alarm was set deep) and, honestly, it's not that big a deal. They do two other sites that day and they're both much better dives than the hole is. Chano (I think that's right) owns the boat and was captain that day, his son and two friends were aboard and all the kids had a ball snorkeling and jumping off the boat while we dove. The girls (10 and 13 at that time) did the other two dives as did my wife and they were thrilled with them. Great people, great boat (48', no one else approaches that length--that I know of), nice continental breakfast, great lunch...a good day, overall.

Sharks? Yep, that's part of the deal. We fed the ones we found deep coming up in the hole. Stopped for a safety stop at 20' and the divemasters fed them fish. They're pretty tame and know that, if they follow you up, they'll get fed.

Sharks very, very rarely attack divers. It's almost unheard of. Nurse sharks are what you'll see if you're snorkeling, more than likely. They're extremely docile, have rough sandpaper-like grinding plates rather than teeth and would much prefer to just lie on the bottom and let you swim by than even lift a fin. They're sweethearts. Most of the others near AC are reef sharks, not very big and not aggressive, either. I've never heard of a shark attack there.

On one of our trips between dive sites w/Amigos one day, the crew did spot a school of Mako sharks destroying a school of bonita--waaaaay offshore. They immediately backed down on them, we kicked the ladders in the water and took turns in the water--on the ladders with our masks on--watching the explosive feeding frenzy. It was incredible. The divemaster, Edwin, just advised us, "Don't let go of the ladder!" A great experience that, if you like sharks, is a very rare and a special memory.

I've seen a lot more sharks off the Keys in Florida than in any water off AC. Some of them I didn't much care for wink , but we spearfish there and are competing with them for food, I suppose. I've never seen any that were threatening in Belize. Sharks, unfortunately, have a very unearned and undeserved reputation and, for the most part, leave you alone if you don't annoy them. Beautiful creatures, too.

Don't fear them off AC. You'll be safe.
_________________________
* I Go Pogo *

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#78942 - 01/22/04 05:39 PM Re: snorkeling from shore/piers?
KWIBMF Offline
"They do two other sites that day and they're both much better dives than the hole is."

Looks like another diver doesn't "get it"

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