Mangrove Area- Zone C

The mangrove area is comprised of seven mangrove cayes Iying just off the Southern tip of Ambergris caye. They are separated from the caye by the Boca Chica Cut.

The most common plants that you'll find in this area are the red, white and black mangrove. The roots of the red mangrove support a wide variety of fishes. These mangroves are nurseries for juveniles of many reef fishes; they also provide feeding grounds and introduce fixed nitrogen and organic detritus into the reef system.

The bottoms of the mangrove channels are composed of fine silt and sand, and are often heavily covered with seagrasses. Divers should be careful not to stir up this sediment just a few kicks of your fins can reduce visibility to almost zero. As always, do't dive alone.

Fishes found in this area include: blue striped grunts, French grunts, white grunts, grey snappers, French angelfish. grey angelfish, four-eye butterflyfish, banded butterflyfish and schoolmasters. Many varieties of crabs and crustaceans can also be found among the mangroves.

Within the seagrass zone lies the Boca Ciega ("Blind Mouth") cave. This "blue hole" is a miniature version of the famed Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef. You must be a cave-certified SCUBA diver to enter Boca Ciega, and only attemp to explore it after contacting the Reserve Manager at the office in San Pedro and securing an experienced cave-certified guide. The cave is considered dangerous,even by some experienced cave divers, and visibility in the area is generally poor.

Finally, while in the seagrass and mangrove zones, keep a keen eye and ear out for passing boats. Since most snorkeling and diving activity take place at the Hol Chan Channel, many boats speed through the other parts of the park. You can hear the wine of an outboard motor from a long ways away.

The mangrove habitat, especially the mangrove root systems that extend into the tidal range of the area, are one of the most colorful and biologically diverse habitats for marine invertebrates. Becareful while swimming among the mangroves. Stay well back from the silt laden roots, or you will stir up debris clouding the water. Gently float in toward a colorful root and be amazed at the layer upon layer of life struggling for space on the roots.

Marco Gonzalez Ruins

Not far from the mangroves are the Marco Gonzalez Ruins, a Mayan archeological site. This area is a bit hard to get to; you need a guide, but the trip is well worth the effort.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Maps

Commons Island Community History Visitors Center Goods & Services Search Messages

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize