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#512347 - 03/12/16 01:40 PM Reef snorkeling  
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 4
yland Offline
yland  Offline
I understand that parts of the reef may be reached by a swim from the shoreline, yet that is not advised, due to boat traffic - but that may be reached by kayak.

Which area of the island is it? Which hotels are in that area?
Thank you.

#512348 - 03/12/16 02:11 PM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,470
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
The reef can be reached by kayak from any hotel on the island (but shouldn't be during northers and heavy seas). Swimming to the reef should only be done at the very northernmost areas of the island (Tranquility Bay area, 13 miles north).

#512349 - 03/12/16 02:51 PM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 4
yland Offline
yland  Offline
Do you happen to know which budget-priced hotels have kayaks?

#512350 - 03/12/16 03:13 PM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,195
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Simon, The new reserve at Mexico Rocks has rangers that are turning away tourist on kayaks and paddle boards that don't have a guide with them. The reserved area runs for several miles in front of a lot of hotels and condos on the middle/North of the island.
It's been good for my business because we sell more organized trips with guides to the reserve. I live in front of the reserve and my partner can't paddle board out to the reserve anymore.
I don't think any tourist visiting the country should be allowed to visit the reef with out a licensed tour guide.
Some day Belize will mature and catch up with the rest of the world, hopefully before the reef is destroyed by negative visitation.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#512359 - 03/13/16 07:51 AM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 8
JohnVan3 Offline
JohnVan3  Offline
Do you think that there are not so ethical guides out there that bring dozens of tourists to the reef everyday only to encourage them to engage in potentially damaging acts. Like disturbing the marine life by feeding and touching the sharks and stingrays? How can you determine the number of ethical guides versus the ones only out to increase their profit?

Belize bound in April 2016
#512360 - 03/13/16 09:20 AM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,195
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
There are good and bad everything but if they are a licensed tour guide it highly probable they have some knowledge about safety and respect for the reef and if it's just a tourist alone with a kayak, they will more than likely damage the reef unwittingly and often need rescuing from currents. There have been accidents and deaths with tourist that are sent out to the reef by hotels,condos and resorts that supplied them with the means but without a guide.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#512361 - 03/13/16 10:20 AM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 4
yland Offline
yland  Offline
Thanks for your replies to my post. It led me to investigate the Tranquility Bay property which sounds relaxing and off-the-beaten path.
We are travelers/divers who enjoy private adventures and snorkeling (rather than being with disturbing groups) ... so any lodging/daytrip Ambergris tips are appreciated.

PS I agree that tourists can and will damage your beautiful reef and respect your efforts to manage it. We want to be good guests. This is a big trip for my husband and I and our 3 kids (16,18, 20). We want them to remember the beauty and peace of your country, not just the hectic tourist spots.

Thanks. Sue

#512363 - 03/13/16 10:33 AM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,195
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Tranquility is one of the prettiest and most pristine spots on the island, good choice.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#512504 - 03/19/16 02:53 PM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 127
CrackOfDawn Offline
CrackOfDawn  Offline
My last reply I don't think showed. We stay at Sunbreeze hotel every year and get back in 2 weeks. Is Tranquility a reasonable golf cart trip? We can do hours on the cart and enjoy. We've been to a place a cant spell up there. Ixt Tec Han? But we took a water taxi. One day we'll charter to dive, one day Fido's and Palapa, one day south to the old Joe's and see if the old Rasafari ever reopened and hopefully charter one day to fish. Then make up the rest of the week. Tranquility sounds like a great option. Thanks in advance for your advice.

#512505 - 03/19/16 02:59 PM Re: Reef snorkeling [Re: yland]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,470
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
It's 13 miles north so boat is the way to go. X'Tan Ha is about 7 miles north. Palapa has moved to where Wet Willy's used to be.

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