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Snorkelling for Beginners #37375
04/11/01 05:25 PM
04/11/01 05:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 5
New York, NY USA
Jahan Offline OP
Jahan  Offline OP
I will be going to Belize for the first time in may and am so excitd to snorkel for the first time. But, I have never been snorkelling before and am definitely not a great swimmer (backfloating is my speciality!). Does anyone know of any tour operators that take special care of beginning snorkellers? I'd love to take lessons to learn how to do it and so that I can see the magnificent coral reef. But, I also want to make sure I won't drown (although everyone who does it says it is so easy!)!

Also, does anyone know how much it ends up costing to rent snorkelling gear? I've read that it usally costs under US$15 to go on a snoreklling trip, but I don't know if that includes the price of renting. I am trying to decide if I should buy my own equipment here in the US and take it down with me. Any advice is appreciated!

Jahan Choudhury
New York, NY

Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37376
04/11/01 06:08 PM
04/11/01 06:08 PM

Snorkeling is so easy, and you can use a float, to make it even easier. One of the girls just down with me did this and said it was perfect, and she felt very safe.
All of our 1/2 day snorkle trips were 20, and included use of equipment if needed.
Have a great time!

Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37377
04/11/01 07:08 PM
04/11/01 07:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 139
barefoot Offline
barefoot  Offline
We do. Visit us at We'd love to have our proffessional tour guides teach you.

Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37378
04/11/01 07:18 PM
04/11/01 07:18 PM

hi. 98 years ago i took my first snorkel ever. it was off ramon's pier. i was afraid, as like you i am a weak swimmer. i took one look in my mask and an hour later was out at Hol Chan marine park. it is like bathtub water there. easy as pie.

bring your own mask & snorkel, rent fins. i got a decent m/s set at target for $20, they have better ones at $30. it is worth it.

when you go, any dive shop can give you a lifevest to tie around your waist, for confidence. so what if i'm in my thirties and wore a vest. big deal. it was well worth every second. you MUST do it!!!

see my snorkeling photos at

Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37379
04/11/01 10:11 PM
04/11/01 10:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline

I was going to give a longer answer but my ISP keeps kicking me off in mid-message, so I 'll just say that a lot really depends on the person who takes you out on a given day. In most cases it won't be the owner but just a fellow who helps out. That person may be very solicitious of novice snorkelers ... or he may not be.

Wave chop, currents, tides vary from day to day and time to time, and there are areas of Hol Chan where the snorkeling can be a little dicey for kids or for the non-experienced snorkler or swimmer.

So best advice is to tell the guide that you are a novice and ask for his help and watchfulness. You're paying your money and deserve a safe trip. Also, spend some time before you go out on a boat snorkeling from the shore. You won't see as much but you'll get experience and confidence.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37380
04/12/01 12:50 AM
04/12/01 12:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,057
South Texas
Chloe Offline
Chloe  Offline
I've been there done that and have the tee shirt to prove it. My first snorkeling was in Belize. I prefer to use Aqua Dive shop, Enrique at the Sunbreeze Hotel.
He is just great with we that are fearful but anxious to experience the sea, and all it's beauty. Tell him, about your concerns, and he will watch over you, instruct you and never leave your side during your trips.
He will be honest with you, about the water conditions, for that day, and reschedule you if necessary. He has great equipment, just incase you do not wish to buy and take your own. Tell him the old gal from Texas sent you. LOL "Do Go"

Dare To Deviate
Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37381
04/12/01 02:52 PM
04/12/01 02:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 165
Washington, PA, USA
Karen Pasquariello Offline
Karen Pasquariello  Offline
I agree about buying your own mask and snorkel, reason being that fit is so important. Nothing worse than having a mask that leaks the entire time, except for using a snorkel that you don't know where the mouthpiece has been. Hopefully dive shops sanitize mouthpieces, but I worked at several and we never sanitized anything. Fin fit is also important, too tight and you cramp, too lose and you blister. It is an investment to buy snorkel gear, but I think it is well worth it and new snorkelers are usually more comfortable in their own gear.

Karen Pasquariello
Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37382
04/12/01 02:58 PM
04/12/01 02:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 0
Sunkissed Offline
Sunkissed  Offline
I think you'll be surprised, once you get into that wonderfully warm water and relax how easy it actually is. It's also extremely suprising how bouyant (sp?) you are in the salt water. Nothing like floating in a pool. Have a great time and do Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley. It's a must!

Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37383
04/12/01 10:23 PM
04/12/01 10:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 593
Dinorwic On CANADA
gailtor Offline
gailtor  Offline
All the people who have posted on this thread have good points. For sure, go to the pier at Ramon's and practice before you go to the reef. You can see lots of fish there too! Last year my sister & her friend tried snorkelling for the first time and totatlly loved it!! Neither of them are strong swimmers and both were addicted by the time we left. If it's rough / windy it is harder to enjoy the trip & you may get discouraged, so wait for a calmer day. Also be sure to take an underwater camera, even disposalble one works great. Cheaper to bring it with you. Especially for shark ray alley.. Your friends will be amazed.. ENJOY.. wish I was back there.. Cheers Gail

Re: Snorkelling for Beginners #37384
04/13/01 11:37 AM
04/13/01 11:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 5
New York, NY USA
Jahan Offline OP
Jahan  Offline OP
Thank you, thank you, thank you! All of you are so wonderful for offering such great advice! I am more excited than ever to go snorkelling in AC!

I will definitely look for a mask and snorkel at Target. I live in NYC, and the cheapest snorkel and mask I found cost $60 at the local sporting goods store. I will definitely find myself a Target and get a mask and snorkel before I go.

Thanks also, for the advice to try offshore snorkelling off Ramon's pier. Can anyone use Ramon's pier, even if they aren't staying at Ramon's? We are staying at the Banana Beach - does anyone know if their beach is a good place to try offshore snorkelling?

Thanks again, to all of you for your help! I'll definitely report when I get back!

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