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BEST Caye Caulker Snorkel Tours 2024

On my most recent visit to Belize, I went on three different Caye Caulker snorkeling tours. Yep, three!! Specifically, I went on a full day snorkeling tour, a half day snorkeling trip, and a night snorkel experience.

Even though I went on three different snorkel tours, I did extensive research on all the local tour companies because I really wanted the best experience possible. I’m sharing everything about the best Caye Caulker snorkel tours with you so you can have the best time snorkeling in Caye Caulker, too!

Note: This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through these links, at no cost to you. But don’t worry, I only share products I’d truly recommend to a friend.

🌺 My Belize Favorites 🏝

🀿 Barrier Reef Snorkeling & Diving: Belize has the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced! You can book guided snorkel and dive trips from Hopkins, San Pedro, or Caye Caulker. Browse Belize snorkel and dive trips.

🌲 Escape to Mountain Pine Ridge: Climb up in elevation to a cooler (and less visited) area with gorgeous waterfalls, fun swimming holes, Mayan ruins, and so much more! You will need a vehicle with 4WD here, but this day trip from San Ignacio is also an option.

πŸ₯Ύ Cave Adventures: Cave tubing is an adventure unique to Belize, and many people come all the way here to experience the ATM Cave, where you can witness human remains and Mayan artifacts.

πŸš™ Explore the Hummingbird Highway: This breathtaking lush scenic drive connects the Cayo District and the Caribbean coast. Stop along the way at waterfalls, a cenote, a chocolate workshop, caves, and more! My guide to the Hummingbird Highway.

🌴 Where to Stay: A sustainable jungle treehouse beside the beach in Hopkins at Hamanasi, a quiet breezy room at Weezie’s on the vibrant small island of Caye Caulker, or a luxury bungalow overlooking waterfalls at Gaia Riverlodge.

Find more of my Belize favorites and Belize travel tips at the bottom of this article!

Best Caye Caulker Snorkeling Tours

If you don’t want to read through all the details and just want an overview of the best snorkel tours to book now, here you go!

7 unique snorkel stops and Hol Chan Marine Reserve; 500+ 5 star reviews!
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Fun 1.5 hour snorkel with nurse sharks and stingrays on a tiki-themed boat with complimentary rum punch
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The best Caye Caulker snorkeling day trip if you’re staying in San Pedro or elsewhere on Ambergris Caye
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More Caye Caulker snorkel tour recommendations coming, including night snorkeling and half day snorkeling tours. Keep reading for all my recs!

Green Sea Turtle spotted on one of my Caye Caulker snorkeling tours
What I look for in a Caye Caulker snorkeling tour

πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ώ Locally-owned tour operator
❌ No feeding marine life (this is common amongst most tour companies, including the popular Caveman Snorkeling Tours)
🀿 All snorkel equipment included (mask, snorkel, fins)
πŸ‘πŸΌ Quality tour with positive reviews
🚀 Respectful, professional crew

Caye Caulker snorkel tour stops

🐠 Hol Chan Marine Reserve: This marine park is most popular place to snorkel in Belize with vibrant coral, underwater canyons, and a diversity of marine life. Keep in mind that the currents can be quite strong here and you can only snorkel with a tour guide as it is a protected area.

🦈 Shark and Ray Alley: There are two different ‘shark ray alley’ spots that I was taken to on Caye Caulker snorkel tours. Both are areas where local fishermen have historically fed the rays and sharks, so dozens of them come when they hear a boat motor. The Shark Ray Alley near Caye Caulker has shallow water and smaller sharks, whereas the water is deeper and the sharks are much larger at the Shark Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye and Hol Chan.

πŸͺΈ ‘Coral Gardens’ at Caye Caulker Marine Reserve: Beautiful are of the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve for admiring the coral and small fish.

🐑 Other Stops at Caye Caulker Marine Reserve: I also visited some other parts of the reserve on my half day snorkeling Caye Caulker tour, including the South Channel, a gorgeous area on the edge of the Belize reef barrier with underground canyon walls to swim through.

🀿 Manatee Area on West Side of Caye Caulker: This is an area off the coast of Caye Caulker where manatees are known to hang out. I wasn’t able to see any manatees during my Caye Caulker snorkel tour, but many tours take you here!

🐒 Sea Turtle Area: This Caye Caulker snorkel tour takes you to an area off Caye Caulker known for sea turtle spottings! We were lucky enough to see a gorgeous large green sea turtle here.

πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ Sunken Barge (Shipwreck): This snorkel tour takes you to a sunken barge they call the ‘Belizean Titanic’ which was a very interesting place to snorkel! When we visited the currents were strong here but it was definitely worth visiting.

🐚 Conch Shell Graveyard: The same tour I mentioned above also includes a stop at the Caye Caulker ‘conchshell graveyard,’ where fisherman historically disposed of dead conches. It is way more interesting than you’d think, though, because tons of little fish live and feed off of the algae on these thousands of conch shells!

🐟 Tarpon Feeding Dock: Most Caye Caulker snorkeling tours include a visit to the tarpon feeding dock, where tourists have historically fed giant tarpon fish. I do not recommend feeding any marine life in Belize (although most tours do), but you can still stop here and hold your hand above the water and the tarpon will jump up to try to get food from your hands! Keep in mind you can also visit the tarpon dock on Caye Caulker without having to go on a tour.

Can you snorkel in Caye Caulker without a tour?

Sort of! You can get in the water and snorkel along the shore of Caye Caulker (just beware of passing motor boats!!) but there isn’t a ton to see along the shore.

The best snorkeling is along the Mesoamerican barrier reef, which is just a short boat ride off shore. You can take a kayak out there, but joining a snorkel tour is the best way to experience all the Belize coral reef has to offer! Plus, you can only visit the best snorkeling area (Hol Chan) with a local guide.

Fish and coral on a Caye Caulker Snorkeling Tour

The Best Snorkel Tours in Caye Caulker

1. 7 Stops Full Day Caye Caulker Snorkeling Tour

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 500+ 5 star reviews. Read reviews.

This is one of the most popular snorkeling tours in Caye Caulker, and for good reason! You get to visit seven unique stops, including Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Coral Gardens at Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, the Sunken Barge, the Conch Shell Graveyard, the Manatees, the Tarpon Feeding Dock. Plus, they try to find sea turtles along the way!

The tour includes lunch (vegan options available), fresh fruit, rum punch, and snorkel equipment. One thing I really appreciate is that this tour operator does not feed marine life (sharks, tarpon, etc) which is a common practice amongst other local tour operators.

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Two stingrays swimming in shallow water at Shark Ray Alley near Caye Caulker Belize

Friendly Rays at Shark and Ray Alley near Caye Caulker

2. Shark and Ray Alley Tiki Cruise (1.5 Hours)

If you’re looking for a fun snorkel experience but don’t want to spend too long doing it, definitely check out this fun tiki cruise and snorkel tour. Unlike other Caye Caulker boat tours that include 3-7 stops and last for several hours, this is a more casual tour with only one stop at Shark Ray Alley where you can wade in crystal clear waist deep water and swim with gentle nurse sharks and rays.

The best part? It’s on a tiki-themed boat with my absolute favorite local tour company in Cay Caulker (I went on their tiki sunset cruise and LOVED it). Of course there is unlimited rum punch that you can enjoy during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Night snorkeling tour Caye Caulker Belize

Taking photos underwater in the dark is difficult!!

3. Caye Caulker Night Snorkeling

If night snorkeling has been on your bucket list, now is your chance! There are only a few local tour companies on Caye Caulker that offer night snorkeling. I chose to go with Anda da Wata and had a lovely experience. They took our group out to the reef at sunset and briefed us as the sky darkened. When the time was right, we all jumped in the water, flashlights in hand, and followed our guide through the dark water!

We saw all sorts of species that are more difficult to see during the day: several octopus, lobster, crabs, and a diversity of fish. Keep in mind that conditions need to be right for night snorkeling, and it is a completely different experience than snorkeling during the day. I recommend doing day snorkeling as well. You’ll love both!

Bluestriped grunt fish on a Belize snorkeling tour

Bluestriped grunt fish at Coral Gardens in Belize

4. Half Day Caye Caulker Snorkeling

Most Caye Caulker snorkel tour operators offer half day snorkeling. I went with Reef Friendly Tours, which is probably Caye Caulker’s most eco-friendly tour company. The owner and staff are very friendly, and will happily tell you their story and the reasons why they chose to create Reef Friendly Tours. I will say they are very casual, but I really admire what they’re doing and had a positive experience on their half-day snorkel tour!

Another option is the half-day snorkel tour with Salt Life Eco Tours. Although I didn’t go on their half day tour, I had a good experience on their full day tour and they are one of the most popular tour operators in Caye Caulker.

Woman standing on tiki themed boat on Caye Caulker tour

I loved this tiki boat tour!

5. Private Tiki Snorkeling All Day

If you’ve read my article about Caye Caulker sunset cruises, you’ll know that I loved this tiki boat and its friendly local crew. You can rent the fun tiki boat for custom all-day tours, which can include snorkeling at all the best spots near the island! This is a great way to experience snorkeling Caye Caulker with a small group of friends, fun tiki vibes, and even better tour guides!

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Tons of fish and shark swimming up to boat at Shark Ray Alley on a Caye Caulker snorkel tour

Snorkeling at Shark and Ray Alley Near Ambergris Caye

6. Caye Caulker Snorkeling Tour from Ambergris Caye + San Pedro

If you’re staying on Ambergris Caye (including San Pedro), this fun sailboat snorkeling tour to Caye Caulker is worth considering. It includes a guided snorkel tour of Hol Chan Reserve, swimming with friendly nurse sharks and stingrays at Shark Ray Alley, plus two hours of exploring the charming small island of Caye Caulker.

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Sunken barge in Belize covered by algae and fish. Visited on a Caye Caulker Snorkeling Tour.

Sunken Barge Snorkeling Near Caye Caulker – visited on this tour

Snorkel Tours Caye Caulker FAQs

Is it worth visiting the Belize barrier reef?

Yes! Belize’s Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and honestly the best place I’ve ever snorkeled. It is apart of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second largest coral reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef, and the largest living reef in the world.

What types of marine life can you expect to see on a Caye Caulker snorkel tour?

Depending on the areas you visit, you can expect to encounter a diversity of ocean life! Some examples include:

⭐ Sting rays, including spotted eagle rays, southern stingrays, yellow stingrays, and more.

⭐ Nurse sharks, which are gentle, harmless creatures!

⭐ Sea turtles, especially green sea turtles

⭐ The 500+ of species of fish known to live in this area, including box fish, barracuda, angelfish, flounders, groupers, parrotfish, tarpon, and so many more!

⭐ Gorgeous coral formations and sponges, there are 100+ coral species here!

And more! You can also see other species like sea urchins, the Caribbean spiny lobster, octopi, and others.

Getting Around Mainland Belize

πŸš™ Renting a Car: The best way to experience all (mainland) Belize has to offer is to rent a car! Just keep in mind that some roads are not in the best shape and you should never drive for the first time after dark (learn the potholes in the light first!) You can compare rental prices from various rental companies here, but I usually end up renting from locally-owned Crystal Auto Rental when I’m in Belize.

πŸš• Private Shuttles (and Tours): If you prefer not to drive in Belize, you can easily get around by booking a private shuttle from the airport, and then going on guided tours for all your jungle adventures. This shuttle is also the best option for folks flying into Belize airport and then going directly the islands!

🚍 Public Busses: Riding the local chicken bus is a popular way to get around Belize for backpackers and budget travelers, but I wouldn’t recommend it to most people as the busses are hot, crowded, slow, and unreliable. Spend the extra money for a private shuttle (or car rental) so you can get your destination more quickly and maximize your time in beautiful Belize.

Best Things to do in Belize

🌲 Explore Mountain Pine Ridge: Perhaps the most underrated area of Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge is full of beautiful waterfalls and fun swimming holes, plus the most striking cave I’ve ever seen! You will need a vehicle with 4WD here, but this day trip from San Ignacio is also an option!

🏺 Discover Ancient Ruins: There are far more Mayan ruins here than you could ever expect. I recommend a day trip Tikal (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in nearby Guatemala, a river cruise to Lamanai in Northern Belize, and/or a visit to Xunantunich near San Ignacio.

πŸ‘™ Experience ATM Cave or go cave tubing: Dare to explore the famous ATM cave system, where you’ll swim upstream until you find rooms with hundreds of Mayan artifacts and human remains. Book your ATM tour here ahead of time (they sell out!) Or, go on a more relaxing cave experience, cave tubing!

πŸš™ Drive the Hummingbird Highway: Belize’s most scenic drive connects the Cayo District to the Caribbean coastline. Chase waterfalls, swim in a cenote, indulge in local chocolate, go caving, and taste Belize’s famous hot sauce along the way. My guide to the Hummingbird Highway.

🦈 Coral Reef Snorkeling & Diving: Whether you stay in Caye Caulker, San Pedro, or Hopkins, be sure to book a guided snorkeling or diving experience on Belize’s gorgeous barrier reef!

My Favorite Places to Stay in Belize

🀿 Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort in Hopkins:Β The best place I’ve stayed in Belize! Hamanasi is located in Hopkins, which is said to be the friendliest place in Belize. The town is full of Caribbean charm, and the resort itself is incredible with next-level service, a gorgeous oceanfront property, and wonderful guided day trips to both the jungle and islands. Read my review of Hamanasi.

🌺 Weezie’s in Caye Caulker: My favorite hotel on the vibrant island of Caye Caulker. Weezie’s has a beautiful property on a quieter part of the island, but it is still very close to all of Caye Caulker’s restaurants. Check Weezie’s nightly prices.

🚠 Gaia Riverlodge in Mountain Pine Ridge: The most breathtaking (and peaceful) hotel I’ve ever seen! Gaia is situated on a cliff overlooking the river and mountains in Mountain Pine Ridge, with an excellent onsite restaurant, and a tranquil area by the waterfalls below to relax. Check Gaia Riverlodge nightly prices.

More Belize Travel Guides

🏺 Worth It? Belize’s ATM Cave Tour

πŸš™ Unforgettable Stops Along the Hummingbird Highway

🚀 Best Lamanai Belize Tours & What to Expect

🐠 My Honest Review of Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort

Final Thoughts: Best Snorkeling Tours Caye Caulker

Given that Caye Caulker is so close to the second largest barrier reef in the world, joining a snorkeling tour is probably the best thing to do on the island! Whether you book this 1.5 hour tiki cruise to shark and ray alley, or join a full-day snorkel tour, you’re in for an unforgettable experience!

As you continue to plan your Belize adventures, be sure to browse my other Belize travel guides for insider tips on all my favorite places in the country, both on the islands and mainland!

This post BEST Caye Caulker Snorkel Tours 2024 first appeared on Your Friend the Nomad.