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  • Writer's pictureLauren

Snorkeling and swimming with sharks in Belize

Day 3. Swimming with the sharks (not in a scary way don't worry)

7 am rolled around and we rounded everyone up on our dock for our snorkeling and beach BBQ excursion. We booked this excursion through a recommendation from our host with Suya tours which is located in San Pedro. The tour was $125 USD a person, but I do think it was worth it, if not worth more. To start off the boat actually came to us to pick us up for our snorkeling adventure. The tour included 3 snorkeling stops and a beach BBQ with fresh seafood.

Our first snorkeling stop was in the protected area of the Belizean reef. It was one of the most unbelievably beautiful things I've seen. It seemed like I was planted in a mature documentary. Our tour guide let us know it wasn't one of the clearest days but compared to any water I've seen it was still plenty clear. Belize has the second biggest reef in the world. The reef was full of colorful, tall coral at various depths, huge schools of fish and even sea turtles. While we were in the water a barracuda even parked itself under our boat (the tour guide assured us he was a nice one). We swam around a small section of the reef, taking everything around us for about 45 minutes.

The second stop of the tour was the real highlight of the tour and is on the top 5 list of things to do in Belize. Shark and Stingray alley! This is an area in the protected area of Belize's reef, where many nurse Shanks and stingrays congregate. As soon as the boat pulled up dozens of nurse sharks started congregating at our boat because a lot of tours will feed them so they stay close by.

This was the one thing that was top of my list to do in Belize so I was so excited to see all the sharks swimming around us, and of course, I did get a little nervous too but it really was blocked out by excitement and curiosity. Nurse sharks are essentially giant, harmless fish but they're still sharks and they do look pretty intimidating!

After admiring the huge creatures from the boat it was time to get a little more up close and personal, which meant making the leap into the water. I had so much fun doing this I followed and observed and just generally enjoyed being around creatures. It was a rush to experience swimming around with the sharks, some fish, and some Stingrays. These are animals that you see all the time in movies or TV but to experience them in real life is a totally different experience where you can really appreciate their beauty.

I honestly was a bit more scared of the Stingrays than anything. After the adrenaline rush of being with sharks, we re-boarded the boat I went to a third spot. This spot was much calmer and not in the protected waters. It served two purposes as a stop. 1 we got to chill in some really nice water and snorkel some more if we chose to. 2. our tour guide hunted. Yes, he hunted for Lobster and fish.

The tour guide, Chico, got in the water with a spear, dove to the bottom and hunted for lobster. After finding them he picked them off with the spear and brought them back up to the surface. It was INCREDIBLY impressive. Even more impressive them the lobster hunting was spearfishing. He caught different types of snapper with his hands, in the same fashion as the lobster.

Of course, we helped by holding up the lobster-like we caught it after he handed it to us to take back to the boat. Not to sound like I'm in middle school but it was pretty awesome. Once the bag was secured we traveled to a remote different part of the Island to do a BBQ. We docked & While the tour guides prepped the food, they gave us some Rum punch, we played some music and had a mini photoshoot.

Our first course was some ceviche, which was literally fresh from the ocean. Then For the main courses, there was lobster, fish, rice and tortillas. Everything was grilled on the beach and was the freshest food I've ever had. Oh my gosh. It was so good. We ate all of it and by the time we were done I was ready to sleep. After our lunch BBQ, we headed back to the condo to do just that. The Beach BBQ was a great experience. It had everything you need for a great day on the water, the snorkeling was amazing and the food was fresh and flavorful. The guides were kind, funny, and personable. This was my favorite experience on this trip and was one of the best excursions I've done while traveling. After being out on the water for about 7 hours we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing 3 for dinner went to Palapa bar where we ate more ceviche and drank Rum punch.


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