Belize Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Snorkeling Excursion by Boat with Caye Caulker (S1623)

Duration 5 h 30 min
Activity Level Moderate
Minimum Age All Ages
Languages EN | ES |
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Shark Ray Alley & Hol Chan reviews
100%Recommended
4.5/5
11 Reviews
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SEE1623
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By Boat, Not by Plane. See Famous Shark Ray Alley and Enjoy Hol Chan Snorkeling!

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  • Round trip boat ride from your Belize cruise tender pier!
  • English speaking snorkeling guide!
  • Guided snorkel, instruction!
  • Snorkel set includes varied sized fins, sanitized snorkel, silicone mask, and vest!
  • See Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Park!
  • 2 incredible snorkel sites!
  • Beach Break at Caye Caulker!


For those guests arriving at Harvest Caye, Belize please see our Harvest Caye Excursions.

One of the most popular things Belize is known for is its incredible snorkeling. And the two most famous snorkeling sites in Belize are Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. On this excursion, you get to snorkel at both! No worrying about catching an airplane as this excursion is done all by boat!

Your friendly English speaking guide will meet you outside the cruise terminal and get the adventure underway. You will be taken to your boat for the 30-minute ride from Belize City over to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Mayan for "little channel", Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of the most popular dive sites in the Caribbean. The entire reserve focuses on a cut through the reef. The "cut" is just a little more than 25 yards wide and 30 feet deep.

Hol Chan is now a unique refuge filled with incredible coral formations and a vast variety of marine life. The Government of Belize established the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on May 2, 1987. Your guide will pass out all of the snorkel gear and show you how to use it before leading you on a guided snorkel of the Hol Chan "cut". You will want to bring a waterproof camera to capture the images!

Then the boat will head to the neighboring Shark Ray Alley, named for the nurse sharks and Southern Sting Rays that have been coming to the spot for years. The local fisherman would stop in this area and clean their catch. The scraps that were thrown overboard attracted the resident nurse sharks and rays. As the years passed, the sharks and rays still come to get a free handout.

When you arrive, you will see the surface ripple as the sharks and stingray come for their fish snack. The rays, which have a 'wing-span' of two to four feet, swim directly towards the divers, mouths often turned up hoping for a handheld fish morsel to be placed near their mouths.The docile Nurse Sharks average 4 to 6 feet in length. Here, you will feel the excitement and novelty of swimming with both species!

Although both species are non-aggressive, you will be instructed by your guide not to try and touch them by yourself. The guides will always be in the water with you and show you the correct way to handle and feed them. If you do not feel comfortable, you may always wait onboard the boat and watch.

When your snorkeling is completed, you will have a beach break on Caye Caulker (1.5hrs) and return to your Belize tender pier.

NOTE: This excursion needs a minimum of 6 participants. There are several boats used depending on group size for that day - ranging from 23 feet to 38 feet (15 to 35 passengers) but larger boats available. This is also available as a private excursion - S1619.

Belize Excursion Experiences

AdventureBoatingEco TourFamilySnorkelingSeniors

Belize Excursion Operating Days

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Belize Excursion Price

Price: Total payment including all fees and taxes.
Deposit: Booking deposit or full payment (if applicable) to guarantee your reservation.
Balance: To be paid upon check-in on site with your local Shore Excursion operator (does not apply to full payments).
MED: Multiple Excursion Discount Automatically applied to your shopping cart when booking TWO or MORE participating Belize Excursions in the same shopping cart.
Category Price Deposit Balance MED
Adults (11 years and up): $74.99$9.99$65.00$2.00
Children (5 to 10 years): $54.99$9.99$45.00$2.00
Infants (4 years and under): Free! -
Sub Total: $0.00
Down Payment: $0.00
Balance Due: $0.00

Similar Belize Excursions (7)

Belize Excursion available to the following cruise lines:


Belize Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Snorkeling Excursion by Boat with Caye Caulker Reviews

4.5/5

Just a short boat ride to some of the most incredible snorkeling ever! Enjoy the famous sharks and rays and Hol Chan Cut! Beach Break at Caye Caulker.

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Lysa USA
Some things were great and some weren't
     3/5 Visited in December 2016
5

Not sure if we just didn't have the best of luck that day but our tour started off very disorganized then we were crammed into a van. Seemed like there were some last minute tour joiners. After having been in the boat for 40 minutes, we were ready to get into the water but we stopped at Caye Caulker, walked to a restaurant and ordered lunch. Couldn't have they brought the menu to the boat? This took a good 30 minutes off our tour. The snorkeling at Hol Chan was great. The staff was attentive when we were in the water. The stop at Shark Ray Alley felt rushed. By the time we got back to Caye Caulker for lunch, the party of 11 that joined last minute complained that we might not get back to the ship on time, demanded that we be taken back to the tender and ruined the mood for the rest of us. Lunch wasn't great. This tour mentions a beach stop but we did not see a beach. Overall, I'd say the tour would have been great under more organized circumstances. The time management could have been better and there were just way too many people in the boat. Made me think that I would have had the same experience going on the Carnival excursion. This was not my usual Shore Excursioneer experience.
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NoNickname Biella
Great experience!
     5/5 Visited in May 2016
22

Before booking I was a little bit concerned about missing the excursion due to ship arrival time or delays, but everything was perfect. We were cruising NCL and set on local time, took the first tenders and were on perfect time. Boarded on a boat with our guide Leon and the crew and other 6 pax, we headed to Caye Caulker island to order our lunch and have it ready for lunch time with no delays. Then we had a short boat trip again to the first snorkeling site in Hol Chan that was amazing. We swam very close to turtles, saw stingrays and many other fishes and corals. Leon paid a lot of attention to us and to our safety in water as well. After that we boarded again and after a short ride we met and swam with the sharks and rays. We headed back to Caye Caulker for lunch and for some free time, and than back to the cruiseship pier where we docked at 2:30 PM, in perfect time to catch the tender to the cruiseship with no hurry. Everything was perfect, I do recommend this excursion!
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NoNickname Santa Fe, TX USA
Would recommend this tour and company to anyone
     5/5 Visited in June 2017
0

The Belize shark ray alley and Hol Chan snorkeling was an incredible day. The entire event from meeting the guides to the boat ride and return was memorable and educational. The main guide was very personable and provided information about the country and the islands. The snorkeling was great. The swim with the sharks, and don't forget the stingrays, was breathtaking. The small restaurant we stopped at to order and later eat at was one of the best meals we had. I talked with others that did different but similar excursions, and paid more, didn't have near the great experience we did. Would book this again if the opportunity arises..Thanks again to the great crewman and boat captain..
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gtcs07 Houston, TX
Sharks were awesome
     3/5 Visited in January 2017
12

My friend and I did this excursion in January 2017. Water was so very clear, fish were everywhere. I was able to actually touch the shark. (just like the photo on here) it was so incredible. We only saw one sea turtle, which was disappointing, but we are in the open ocean, so it can't be guaranteed. Only complaint I have was the lunch. We had to pre order it, then we left to do the snorkel. When we came back to the restaurant (2 hours later) our lunch was not ready. we had to wait another 30 minutes for it. So any site seeing at the island wasn't possible. The service at restaurant was terrible. Bathrooms were gross, with no toilet paper. Once we took the boat ride back (it's an hour boat ride, and it's bumpy, just be prepared) the city folks were so nice to us. Shopping there was very pleasurable. We will definitely go back to Belize and stay for a few days. I recommend eating very good before getting off the boat, as it will be a long time before you eat again. Bring a couple bottles of water too.
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Joe18 West Palm Beach, FL
Great Excursion despite poor weather
     5/5 Visited in December 2016
15

The excursion started from the port with a short 5 minute van ride to the dock the boat was located at. We had 9 other people on this excursion with us, putting the total at 11 people which is probably why we were on a smaller 28' center console boat with no cover. From there we took the boat about 35-45 minutes to Caye Caulker. We were in storms the entire way which made for a rough and wet ride. Once we arrived at the island we went inside the little restaurant and placed our lunch order and then boarded back on the boat to head to the barrier reef for our first dive. My girlfriend wasn't very comfortable on the ride to island so she decided to stay at the restaurant while we continued the tour. From there it was about another 15 minute ride to our first dive spot. Once we arrived the heavy rain had diminished to a light sprinkle. There we snorkeled for about 35 minutes. The water was beautiful even though it was rough from the weather. We saw a sea turtle, nurse shark, eel, sting rays and lots of beautiful fish and coral. The guides were very helpful in the water and led us around the reef to show us everything. Once we got back on the boat we drove about 10 minutes to the second dive spot. Here they put some chum in the water and within seconds nurse sharks and stingrays were everywhere. It was one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced. We were in the water with around 40 sharks swimming all around us. The amazing part was I felt completely comfortable in the water with our guides. They even held one of the sharks in their arms. After about 30 minutes in the water there we drove back to the island and made a quick stop in a small lagoon and hand fed the large tarpon swimming in the shallow water. After that we went back to the restaurant and our lunch was ready for us. Then we headed back to the port. The nice part was they dropped us off directly at the port instead of having to take the van back from the boat's dock. I definitely would recommend this excursion to anyone going to Belize. Despite the bad weather it was an amazing experience.
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Susan (Mama) Texas
Best part of our entire cruise!
     5/5 Visited in July 2016
16

My husband, granddaughter and I went on this Excursion in July of 2016. A little late with my review! We had a wonderful time. Our guide met us at the gate in Belize City. A fast boat ride from the mainland to the island was fun. A short walk away we ordered our lunch at the small waterfront café. Yes it's an outside spot with sand and dirt streets. But that's Caye Caulker. Part of its charm. The fact it's a fishing village founded in the 1800's is really cool. The Locals were so kind and inviting. We did order our lunch prior to going out to snorkel. I had the grilled Red Snapper. It was delicious. I'm sorry I can't remember the names of our guides but our main guide was female. She and the two males were very knowledgeable, explaining everything, made us comfortable. We all enjoyed both snorkeling sites. Beautiful warm water, reef and all the sea life was awesome. We loved it so much, we are going back to Caye Caulker this June for a week. Staying at Weezies Penthouse condo. Certainly plan on hooking up with these guys. The highlight of our trip. Our weather was great. I understand if it rains, if you have preconceived ideas about how you think it will be, you may not have as much fun. It's not a "Resort town" I suggest you open up. Go with it. These guys showed us a great time. I have to admit, I enjoyed our lady guide calling me "Mama" throughout the day.
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JPFun Lisbon, Portugal
Amazing experience
     5/5 Visited in June 2016
17

We recently passed on Belize by cruise and went on Excursion "Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Snorkeling by Boat with Caye Caulker". It was really a fabulous experience, complemented with the great service delivered by Nelson and his team. Nelson really made all efforts to give us the best time. Would definitely recommend this tour.
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Cindy Texas
Most amazing excursion!
     5/5 Visited in March 2016
20

We got instructions on how to meet someone outside the gate. They led us to a pier that was across the street from the Radisson Hotel. Here we paid our balance in cash. The boat was not large but there was only our group of 5 which included a 4 year old and another 4 guys. The ride to the island was fun. We were going pretty fast and we stopped to see the mangroves for a few minutes and learn a little about them. We stopped at Caye Caulker for a bathroom break and to place orders for lunch if we wanted. Back on the boat it was about 15 minutes more to Hol Chan. The water was crystal clear and the most gorgeous color. Our 4 year old grandson was a little afraid and didn't want to wear a mask and didn't want to get into the water. Our guide was so awesome. He gave him an extra vest to float on top of the water and he put an arm around him and told him to hold onto the life preserver which he had so that the group could spot him. He talked to him and entertained him all along the way. We saw a barracuda, an eagle ray, a sea turtle and many fish and beautiful coral. When we got back on the boat our grandson said he saw them too. They gave us water to drink and in a few minutes we were at the shark/ray alley. It was incredible! There were a lot of nurse sharks and tons of amber jacks and stingrays. Dennis, the captain sat at the back of the boat with our grandson and let him throw out the sardines to feed the sharks and stingrays. He also talked to him and every time we checked on him he was having a great time. Nelson, one of the guides, would catch a nurse shark or stingray and let us all touch them. We had plenty of time and my husband got some great video with his GoPro. When we got back on the boat they gave us some really good rum punch and chips and salsa. In about 10 minutes we were back at Caye Caulker. We highly recommend the shrimp ceviche at the restaurant there and have a local beer called Belikin. Everyone agreed to leave a little early because Nelson said they would take us to the other side of the island for something extra. We went through the split in the island that was made during a hurricane. On the other side, we stopped and there were hundreds of tarpon (large fish) and many pelicans. Some of us were able to hold up a sardine and the fish jumped out of the water to take them. Dennis taught us to say in the broken English that the Belizians speak in...Ima gan ta Belize. He said to tell everybody it was unbelizable! And it was! We have no problem recommending shoreexcursioneer. They were fun, friendly and really went the extra mile to make sure we all had a great time.
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Flounder Pleasant Grove, UT
Rocky start, great excursion
     4/5 Visited in April 2015
8

I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous booking outside of the cruise line. When we got off the ship we had to leave the gates to meet someone who walked us around some less than desireable areas, through a hotel lobby, and to a dock. Everyone sat in silence, a little nervous. Some of the equipment was low quality and the masks were scratched and had poor visibility. I was so disappointed. Fortunately things improved dramatically. They brought nice equipment (hooray for snorkels with a purge valve!!!). We got on the boat and the trip was beautiful! The water was gorgeous, the mangrove forests were amazing. We got to feed some fish. The snorkeling was good, not as great as we were expecting though. However, feeding the sharks was so much fun! Many thought it was the highlight of the trip. We had heard some excursions take you to areas shallow enough to stand. We liked the deeper water and saw and touched a lot of sharks. We saw rays and even a sea turtle. Definitely a highlight for the guys. We just wish it had started better.
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Hillbilly Conway Arkansas
Booking it again
     5/5 Visited in November 2014
14

We did this in November last year, it was our first time snorkeling in the ocean. And wow what an exciting time we had. The Island break was fantastic and so was the food. We are booking again for February.
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