Chan Marine Reserve Dive/Snorkel Trip
Chan Marine Reserve = "an Underwater National Park"
(Map Below) : The Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley Marine Reserve
is approximately 4 miles southeast of San Pedro Town near the
island of Ambergris Caye.
Snorkel Trip, but excellent information for SCUBA Divers
Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley:
Chan is Mayan for "little channel." This sanctuary was
officially established in 1987, and since then the return of all
species of fish has been quite dramatic. The reserve covers approximately
three square miles (7.8 sq km) and is divided into three zones.
Each one is clearly marked by buoys. The entire reserve focuses
on a cut through the reef which is little more than 25 yards
(23 m) wide and 30 feet (9 m) deep.
is a must for one of the first dives in Belizean waters.
About 15 minutes south by boat. Maximum 30 feet deep. Excellent
visibility. You can almost always see all species of fish including
jacks, groupers, snappers, parrot fish, angel fish, barracuda,
eels, spider crabs, lobster, and nurse sharks. Divers are occasionally
cautioned regarding the currents.
RAY ALLEY: The Skin Diver Magazine, has given Shark-Ray Alley
feature billing in two issues. Selected as one of the seven
best "animal dives" in the Caribbean.
several years, local fishermen often cleaned their catch in this
area, located just inside the reef, south of Ambergris Caye. When
fishermen noticed that their activity had attracted Nurse Sharks
and Sting Rays, they reported this to the dive operations in San
Pedro, who then sent divers to investigate. They found a bonanza.
"Shark-Ray Alley" quickly became a popular snorkel &
your boat arrives in the area, the guide may point out the dark
shadows in the shallow (eight foot deep) waters. The sharks and
rays hear the boat approach and come in search of a few scraps
creatures have a great tolerance for people and seem to
enjoy the human interaction. The rays, which have a 'wing-span'
of two to four feet, swim directly towards the divers, inviting
them to reach out and stroke their wings (although it's best not
to touch them). Some might swim in circles around people, like
a cat rubbing against one's legs. The gentle Nurse Sharks average
four to six feet in length, and the captain might feed them small
is an unforgettable adventure. Even amateur photographers
can take great underwater photos here with disposable marine camera.
They work in depths of up to nine feet, which is perfect for the
shallow waters inside the reef.
more information on Hol Chan Marine Reserve, visit http://www.holchanbelize.org/index.html