With all the scuba diving and snorkelling I’ve done this week in Belize I feel like I’m an extra on Finding Nemo. If you ever go to the island of Caye Caulker you absolutely have to go to the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. It was one of the coolest things I’ve done.
Take a tour with E Z Boys – there are loads of tour operators on the island, but this came recommended and was awesome – $70BZD and you’ll get to go to four spots to wet your snorkel. After spending the morning drinking rum punch and learning the words to Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid in preparation, 2pm came round and off we went.
We had the boat to ourselves; me, Coco and Dick. Real name, seriously, I checked his driver’s license. And it turns out ‘Coco’ is what they call lady parts in Belize. I had to start going by VJJ just to fit in. We became pretty popular.
Our tour guide went by ‘Harry Potter’. He was awesome and put up with a lot from us, seeing as we’d been at Belize’s finest rum for the last few hours. He drove us out in the boat to our first stop on the coral, and then gave us a guided tour pointing out all kinds of creatures hiding in the crevasses.
Sharks and stingray in Belize
After the coral it was time for the sharks and stingray. I still have a fear of stingray. I was in Australia when Steve Irwin was barbed in the heart and I just can’t forgive them or get over it. I know they’re not actually dangerous but automatically I kept putting my hand to my heart when a stingray came near. They were pretty awesome though. Huge. The sharks were cool too. I’d seen some when I was scuba diving so I managed to keep my cool when they were about. We’d done some research on killer sharks the night before and knew that these little guys were harmless.
Snorkelling Caye Caulker
Next up was a free snorkel to go where we liked. We checked out the coral and practiced free diving. Coco knew all about the fish on the coral and pointed out a lionfish aka Pterois. These fishies look cool but are venomous to humans, they’re the only ones you’re allowed to kill on the protected marine reserve as they were mistakenly introduced from Asia and are actually classed as a pest here now. A guy from another boat heard us talking about them and got a spear hook, then went and hunted it down for his dinner. Brutal.
Tarpons in Caye Caulker
Then we went to see the tarpons – huge fish that can grow up to 280lbs. It was pretty cool just to look down off the side of the boat and see them all swimming there alongside us.
The whole trip was about 3 1/2 hours and had all the snorkelling gear included and a little pineapple snack. ‘Harry Potter’ was a cool and interesting guy, who just thought we were nuts and probably couldn’t wait for the day to end to be honest. He let us jump off at the end and swim back to the pier as the sun was setting. A beautiful end to another brilliant day!