On the island of Caye Caulker we awoke to the sounds of birds chirping and the smell of the salty ocean breeze. Today we were going on a snorkel day trip from the island to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. The weather was cloudy so we were a bit down, worried that we wouldn’t see much. After grabbing breakfast, we strolled over to the tiny office to size up our masks and fins, then we headed out on the dock to meet our boat and guide. Harry, our Afro-Caribbean guide, introduced himself as Harry, “man of the sea”. Little did we know he truly had a special connection with nature.
On our first jump into the water we swam around for a few minutes following Harry’s fins and suddenly he dove 5 meters to the bottom of the reef and scooped up a straw-coloured stingray. As he cradled it in his arms like a baby, he swam towards us to show us the gentleness of this peaceful creature. Slowly the stingray swam away in the distance and crossed the path of a sea turtle gliding through the water gracefully. Her camouflaged shell easily blended in with the grass of the seabed. With a few flaps of her flippers she slipped behind a huge purple brain coral. Tropical fish with black and white stripes, neon blue, bright pink and electric yellow colours zipped around us like little neon signs. Curious crabs with red and pink polka dots peered out from soft, flowing sponge coral. A small nurse shark swam by and again Harry swam to catch it so we could feel the coarse, sandy skin on its body. Blue starfish, spiny sea cucumbers, electric eels, black sea urchins and seahorses bobbed in the current of the ocean all around us. Finally we swam forward towards two large masses in the distance and realized that what we were witnessing was two manatees mating. They seemed to be hugging each other with their tiny flippers and massive bodies pressed together.
Enjoy snorkelling through mazes of pristine coral reef and get the unique opportunity to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays: Snorkel with Sharks & Rays
We were thrilled to have the chance to see so much marine life and be able to get so close to it all! Despite the overcast weather and our worries about not seeing anything, we realized that we were immersed in a completely different world. In fact, everything under the surface had a unique life and purpose of its own. In all of my travels around the world, this has been one of the most extraordinary encounters I’ve experienced so far.
Take on a full Belize experience and choose to relax on beautiful sandy beaches, enjoy tasty seafood and snorkel among stingrays and nurse sharks on this amazing 4-day trip: Caye Caulker Experience 4D/3N