A snorkel through Hol Chan Marine Reserve

My favorite snorkel experience so far in my life was in Belize’s Ambergris Caye at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.  A Mayan word for “little channel”, Hol Chan is named for the break in the reef to connect waters from the caye to the open sea.  Because of this channel, it’s a great place to see wild life as they swim back and forth.

My first time out was on a sunny day:

img_8415  It’s a popular place to go, as many tour boats were already docked when we got there.

The waters were so clear as we jumped in:

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Inside this rock is an octopus – can you see it?

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Looking ahead, a sea turtle started swimming towards me:

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img_9832  and up for air he goes!

Schools of fish swimming together:

img_9824img_9823  They congregate behind rocks to seek shade from the sun.

So pretty:

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As you can see, the waters are pretty shallow.  So much in fact, you can see dolphins coming up for air as they feed on the grass below:

img_9828  Hi Mr. Dolphin!

My second time out, there was a storm brewing:

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And while the waves were rough, the currents brought in so much wildlife to see.  Like these sting rays swimming along with the fish:

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And the blue spotted ray:

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A baracuda:

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A spotted eel hiding out:

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A green eel trying to come out to play:

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A hermit crab still in the shell:

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Schools of fish everywhere:

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And big guys up close:

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Here comes a nerf shark:

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A view from a cave at the bottom:

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And then a swim with this guy:

img_9852img_9853img_9835img_9854  So cool.

What an experience and being able to snorkel the reserve twice was such a priviledge!

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