silk cayes belize

Top Places in Belize to Experience Marine Life

            It’s no secret Belize’s reputation of unparalleled diving and snorkeling experiences lives up to its name. There’s a reason many flock to Belize’s waters to witness the abundance of marine life dwelling beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea. While you’re bound to encounter colorful tropical fish and multicolored corals anywhere you choose to snorkel, here are the best places in Belize to spot eclectic marine life.

  1. Silk Cayes. What these three cayes lack in size, they make up for in paradisiacal views and stellar snorkeling. Located in a marine reserve, the Silk Cayes are about an hour from Placencia village in the Southeast. Here, you will encounter harmless jellyfish, giant sea cucumbers and schools of rainbow-speckled parrotfish. Nearby is also a popular spot to swim alongside nurse sharks, who frequent the area since back in the day fishermen were known to clean their catch there and throw their remains overboard.
  2. Shark Ray Alley. Perhaps the most popular spot to experience nurse sharks, Shark Ray Alley is also in a marine reserve. Many travelers from Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye take the short boat ride here to literally jump into a multitude of (nurse!) sharks. Often stingrays join in the fun, which make that experience much more exhilarating.
  3. South Water Caye. There’s nothing like trailing a giant Loggerhead turtle as it swims in the deep blue. You can experience this at South Water Caye Marine Reserve, about an hour and a half from Placencia. This idyllic ideal seems straight out of a postcard, dotted with palm trees and soft, white sand. The snorkeling here is impeccable, and full of bonefish and even seahorses! This island is especially popular with families and young kids, with on-site facilities and unobstructed sea views.
  4. Laughing Bird Caye. Named after the Laughing Gull bird that once used to breed on the island, this tiny caye is considered a national park just 11 miles off the coast of Placencia. Here, you’ll encounter giant lobster and the occasional dolphin family. One of the highlights is also the coral nurseries you can witness underwater, an effort that was created by the community-based organization “Fragments of Hope.”

For more information on marine activities in Belize, email us at or call us toll-free at 1-800-62-0686.   

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