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#240306 - 06/10/07 10:27 PM Snorkeling from shore  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 15
across777 Offline
across777  Offline

We are taking a trip to Ambergris for the first time this fall. We are big snorkelers but we don't dive, so I'm wondering if any snorkeling is possible from the beach. We are going to take a few snorkeling tours while we're there, but we prefer to go at our own pace so I'm hoping we will be able to find a few good spots that do not require a guide.

I'm also wondering how realistic it is to go snorkeling in a is only 1/2 mile or less to the reef, and i'm a pretty experience kayaker so that's not a big distance, but I'm wondering how easy this really is, and if the reef offers good snorkeling throughout its entire length.

We're considering staying at Tranquility Bay for these reasons, since I have read that it is one of the only places with legitimate snorkeling right off the beach.

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated!

#240307 - 06/10/07 10:35 PM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: across777]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,288
tacogirl Offline
tacogirl  Offline
Ramon's has nice snorkeling off their dock.

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#240308 - 06/10/07 10:38 PM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: across777]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 327
DitchDocDiver Offline
DitchDocDiver  Offline
If you are staying there, you are in luck, But I'd suggest that you get your first trip guided by Greg Smith. He lives right next door, and knows the area like no one else.

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#240311 - 06/11/07 01:32 AM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: DitchDocDiver]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,674
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy
excellent advice

#240319 - 06/11/07 09:39 AM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 128
seaexplore Offline
seaexplore  Offline
we snorkled off ramon's pier/dock- good water, clear in the morning but it got pretty cloudy in the afternoon. There isn't much diversity but you will see LOTS of fish and the water is FABULOUS! My fish pictures (there are only a few) on this page were taken at the pier


do I have to get shots to go there? 8o)
#240323 - 06/11/07 11:33 AM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: seaexplore]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 15
across777 Offline
across777  Offline
Cool, thanks for the info. Can anyone tell me anything about snorkeling from a kayak? I've heard that some spots on the reef have tie-offs for kayaks, but I'm not sure how that works.

How much does the reef vary from place to place along Ambergris? I know some spots are better than others, and there are the well-known destinations like Mexico Rocks, but is the reef pretty good for snorkeling everywhere?

Thanks again

#240330 - 06/11/07 01:24 PM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: across777]  

Snorkelling is good under and around most docks, but you won't want to go out into unprotected areas. Partly because there's not much to see (if it's unprotected for you it probably also is for the critters) but there's a lot of boat traffic and it can be dangerous.

Once you're out at the reef the snorkelling is pretty good anywhere. I'm not aware of any artificial tie-offs, but so long as you have a decent length of rope you can probably improvise something. Be alert to the possibility of it breaking free or dragging. Take some positive means of securing the paddle to the kayak. Getting out to the reef needs care - it's much further than most people realise so remember you need to get back again afterwards. Be aware of currents and winds - they can make a return trip MUCH harder than the outgoing one. And be VISIBLE - take bright clothes and something hi-viz to wave in case a boat is bearing down on you and apparently hasn't seen you. A whistle and flashlight are good. And make sure you're back on land before dusk. I would always take a cell phone in a waterproof bag.

#240340 - 06/11/07 02:15 PM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: ]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,484
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Sir Isaac Newton  Offline
For coral and reef shore snorkeling - Tranquility Bay, incredible.

For coral and reef kayak snorkeling - Captain Morgan's and more north, those is the Mexico Rocks area are best!

Be careful, use a dive bouy or stay close to your kayak AT ALL TIMES. Props and flesh don't mix.


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#240355 - 06/11/07 03:58 PM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,674
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy
i go out snorkeling in a kayak a lot. head to the reef, wander a bit north and south to find buoys, tie to them. great way to do it. i go out from most northern resorts, portofino, azul, mata chica, etc. real close way up north, but mexico rocks is maybe ten minutes from portofino. probably less. its in the middle, not out by the reef. its a good pull out there like pedro2 says. i ALWAYS take a waterproof bag also

you can also ask your resort about buoy locations near to them.

#240360 - 06/11/07 04:32 PM Re: Snorkeling from shore [Re: across777]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,971
Tranquility Bay Resort has great snorkeling on the reef just off its dock. We stopped there a week or so ago for lunch at the "Tackle box norte" Tranquility's bar and restaurant. They had lots of kayaks available and people were out by the reef snorkeling and fishing off the dock. Just note that T.B. is pretty far north of the town and accessible pretty much by boat only. If you do go to T.B. check out the Cuban homemade boat up on the beech, We were told that it landed on the reef as the sailors were trying to make it to Florida. (I guess they did not bring a compass confused ). As far as snorkeling off the docks in town, We (luckily) noticed a snorkeler swimming around the docks next to the Tackle box (in town) while leaving the dock. When we beeped our horn several times to alert him that we were in the area he never even lifted his head out of the water shocked . Incidentally, the area where he was snorkeling is one of the busiest docks in San Pedro Town and home of the Water Taxi to Caye Caulker and Belize City. Hope he made out ok crazy

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