There are plenty of snorkelling companies offering great snorkelling on Caye Caulker. Here are the two itineraries most of them cover.
The half-day snorkelling trips from Caye Caulker generally cover the same itinerary and has five stops. We went with our two teens and two little ones. Our trip started at 2pm with the forecast of thunder storms. Here’s what it entailed:
Here’s how our Caye Caulker snorkelling trip went for our family.
Ajay jumped in the water with Carmelo and Giselle. The weather was a little uncertain as dark clouds seemed to form on the horizon. The skipper gave me a sheet of tarpaulin to cover Lui who had already fallen asleep and Kenzo, just in case it rained.
Five minutes after they left, the skies opened up. I had Kenzo and Lui covered up completely while my head was all that was exposed to the stormy weather. Underwater, Ajay, Carmelo and Giselle found the experience amazing as they saw the sea life underwater completely undisturbed by the storm above them. By the time they came back to the boat we were all drenched because the rain had seeped in from the sides but both the little boys were still comfortably sleeping on my lap. Ajay said they saw a turtle, a lobster as well as sharks and sting rays.
The trip to Shark Ray Alley felt cold because we were wet. Carmelo didn’t hop in the water because he was too cold so he stayed aboard the boat looking after his little brothers who were loving the sight of sharks and sting rays.
At the third stop both Carmelo and Giselle were too cold to hop into the water. Ajay and I jumped in to check out the beautiful coral reef. Because of the windy weather the current was stronger than usual.
We headed back to shore and then went through The Split. We were all feeling chilly and hoping the sun would come out by the time we reached shore and saw the Tarpons and the Seahorses. Kenzo and Lui enjoyed seeing the big fish but the seahorses were too small for them to spot in the water.
The full-day snorkelling trips from Caye Caulker generally cover the same itinerary and has five stops. Again the whole family went out on the boat. The itinerary is exactly the same as the half day trip except that the first stop is a marine reserve near San Pedro island. The reserve is called Hol Chan and it’s about thirty minutes from shore. This is a guided tour. This marine reserve is far more established and has larger fish. It also is much busier and heavily patrolled.
The remaining four stops are the same as the half day itinerary. The big difference is that you start your trip at 10:30am and lunch is served on the boat. Because the first stop is close to San Pedro, the boat trip takes a little longer to get out there and there’s extra processing that needs to happen with the Marine Patrol.
Here’s how our Caye Caulker full-day snorkelling trip went for our family.
I jumped in the water with Carmelo and Giselle. The weather was much better than the day before, we had blue skies. Our gear was not great, and I would recommend bringing your own gear or choosing a company that had good quality snorkels. It really makes a difference to your viewing experience.
The trip to Shark Ray Alley was cold in spite of the warm weather, because we were wet. Again we enjoyed seeing the rays and sharks up close. Sometimes we were caught off guard when they were right next to us or swimming toward us.
At the third stop both Ajay and I jumped in to check out the beautiful coral reef. The current was much stronger than the day before but we still enjoyed looking around together.
One of the other passengers requested a stop at the ship wreck. We were dropped off what seemed like the middle of nowhere but when we looked under the water, there was an old wreck with lots of purple fan coral growing on it and plenty of fish around it. Here the current was much stronger. I was exhausted and headed back to the boat but the boat had been pulled away. Even waiting for the boat to come back was tiring.
This time instead of going via The Split, the skipper took us all the way round the north island so that we could see how they were clearing mangroves for new construction.
We checked out the tarpons and sea horses again but this time our guide fed the frigates so that we could see them up close. Then we went to one of the manatee hang out spots but unfortunately didn’t see any.
If you love snorkelling like Ajay and I do then you will be happy you went for both tours. The half-day tour is much cheaper because it’s closer and shorter. The full day tour you are paying the fees of the San Pedro marine reserve, lunch and the longer journey out to San Pedro.
Your guide will advise you if the current is strong or not. If you’re not a strong swimmer then wear the life jacket that they offer you when the current is strong.
The cost for children is the same price for adults, the under fives were free. The half-day tour was about BZD40 per person and the full day tour was about BZD75 per person.
Choose a company based on their equipment because they all do the same itinerary and for roughly the same price.