After a half day snorkelling in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, we were dying to see the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and more nurse sharks! As we arrived in Ambergris Caye we found Jose at Mundo Maya, a company running various tours. We always try to do as much as we can without a tour, but for this, unless you have your own boat, there is no other way. Mundo Maya’s price to visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark and Ray Alley (different then Shark-Ray Alley near Caye Caulker) is $70BZD ($35USD) and it includes the fee to enter the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Some other companies will charge that price with the entrance fee NOT included. Jose was super friendly and also hooked us up with his friend for a deal on bike rentals and gave us contacts in San Ignacio.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve:
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of the most popular snorkel spots along the Barrier Reef and its popular for a reason. It was once a popular fishing spot until the fisherman found out they could make more money bringing people out to see the reef. It is the most narrow channel along the reef meaning the ocean current brings through lots of nutrients allowing the coral and wildlife to flourish. The channel reaches approximately 10 meters deep so if you like a little freedive, this is an awesome spot for you to enjoy, but if you like to hang by the surface, you won’t be missing out either! Out of all the snorkelling we have done along our travels, this is arguably the most beautiful reef we have seen!
Shark and Ray Alley:
Shark and Ray Alley used to be the spot where fisherman would clean their days catch and throw the waste in the water for the nurse sharks and stung rays. Make note that this is different than Shark-Ray Alley by Caye Caulker (and in our opinion better). Now this area is a popular snorkel spot as the nurse sharks and sting rays swim up to your boat as you pull up. In this area you may also get a glimpse of a turtle and a moray eel that often hang out in the area, as well as some more beautiful coral and fish.
These are popular snorkel spots, but they are popular for a reason! They are quite beautiful and an awesome experience to get to snorkel around! When we pulled up to the areas, we were worried that there was a few extra people then we were hoping to see there, but don’t worry, the ocean is a large place and you never feel like your in a crowd of people! This is an adventure we highly recommend!