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snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Vancouver, Canada
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snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Hi everyone, I'm conducting more research for my upcoming trip to Belize in October.

I've heard great things about the snorkeling in both Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley and Glovers atoll. If we could only do one, which would people recommend?

Also, I've seen lots of tour guides offering excursions to Hol Chan/SRA but not as many to Glover's Atoll. Can anyone recommend a tour operator for Glovers?

FYI, we are staying at Tranquility Bay.

Thanks!

Moab, Utah
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1. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

If you are staying on Ambergris Caye you probably won't be going to Glover's Atoll. It is 80-90 miles from Ambergris Caye to Glover's. The only boats we see coming out to Glover's for the day are dive boats from Hopkins and, very rarely, Placencia. You will however, be able to visit either Lighthouse Reef or Turneffe Islands from Ambergris Caye. The snorkeling is very good at both of those atolls as well. You'll just have to come back and stay at Glover's on your next trip!

Lucy

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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2. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Glover's hands down - incredible variety and color, wonderful fish populations, really terrific. We enjoyed seeing the sharks and rays, a decent variety of reef fish, and a cool school of tarpon when we did a 3 stop snorkeling/sailing trip from Caye Caulker but the health and quality of the reef and the reef fish populations didn't hold a candle to Glover's. The only place I've been snorkeling that compared well with Glover's was off Guanaja, Honduras.

Correct above, though - you'll have to save that for a future trip. ;-)

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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3. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Glovers. If you havent booked yet, you may want to consider staying out at the atoll if any of the hotels are open in Oct, or in Placencia or Hopkins for closer proximity. Lighthouse (as mentioned above) is also excellent. They usually have day trips to Half Moon Caye and the Blue Hole from Ambergris.

The best snorkeling Ive done in my life is Glover's, Lighthouse and Bonaire, in that order. Bonaire is great for the shore snorkeling option, but the reef condition is no where as nice as the atolls in Belize.

There's a link to a lot of (too many?) underwater shots from a June trip to Glover's on my site. And 1 from Lighthouse on the Planning Belize post.

suitcaseready.com

Hopkins
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783 posts
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4. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

YES to Glovers! If you can change your reservation check out Off the Wall and Isla Marison, or the more rustic Glovers Atoll Resort. If you have to stay in San Pedro, Hol Chan is unique and totally worth doing. There are lots of fish, and they are tame. They actually flock to your boat when you arrive. It is like swimming in an aquarium.

San Ignacio, Belize
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5. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

I love Hol Chan, and take student groups there all the time...but, having staying on Turneffe, the other atoll, I'd have to say that there's no comparison. Do Glover's. Being right there on the reef is amazing, especially since the amount of people is so much less.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Hi everyone,

thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I've already got our accommodation booked and there's no backing out. I was hoping Glover's was an option as a day trip. I guess I'll have to save it for another time.

Is there somewhere more accessible where we can see beautiful coral, like the really colorful sutff? Most of the places I've been snorkeling in my life, (Hawaii, Roatan) had nice fishes but the coral was always kind of a green grey and not much else.

We're staying at Tranquility Bay, which is on Ambergris Caye but up north.

Thanks

Santa Monica, CA
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for Santa Monica
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7. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Don't be disappointed, the coral off of Ambergris Caye will delight you, especially compared to Hawaii. Coral was beautiful at a location called Tres Cocos. Please post a trip report when you return. I am intrigued by Tranquility Bay. I understand it is located where the reef actually meets (or just about) the Caye; you should be able to do some pretty good shore snorkeling right there and that is what I would love to learn more about.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

I'll post a report on Tranquility Bay and my trip in general for sure!

Anyone know if Mexico Rocks is worth it if we're already doing Hol Chan and staying at Tranquility Bay which has snorkeling off the shore? It would be an extra $80 for the excursion to Mexico Rocks for 2 people.

Thanks

belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
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9. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

Maybe visit Bacalar Chica north of TB instead of MX Rocks

Santa Monica, CA
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10. Re: snorkeling: Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley VS Glovers Atoll

I think Mexico Rocks and Tres Cocos are in the same general area and are often combined as part of the same snorkel trip. They were both beautiful, shallow snorkels with plenty of fish and reys. You may want to play it by ear and find out what the weather will be. If it is a bright, sunny day, I would bite the bullet and go. The coral is the star at those locations. Do you have an underwater digital camera? We used the Fuji XP10 (around $150) and have some great ones, the best are from that Mexico Rocks/Tres Cocos outing.

I really wanted to go to Bacalar Chica but could not find anyone in San Pedro who would take us there.

Have a great trip - I look forward to reading your trip report.