Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Caye Caulker Travel Blog

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At 9am went to Ragamuffin Tours to get our snorkels and flippers fitted. Afterwards had a majorly crappy and rip-off breakfast at the Tribal bar across the road. At about 11am we finally set sail on our red yacht the 'Raga King'. They had overbooked so unfortunately Sammy didn't get to go, as he wasn't paying, however the Gap leader did get to go which I was MAJORLY pissed off about. I sat in stony silence for the first 10-15min of the trip trying to get over my anger. The boat was so packed, there were about 22 people on it.

The first place we stopped was quite nice and there was lots of fish. The reef was really shallow though so you had to be careful that at the low point of the wave your body didn't scrape against it. The second site we went to was the Hol Chan Marine Reserve where we went off in groups of 8 people with a guide. I preferred going off by myself though as there were too many people and bubbles and flippers everywhere. We dove through a little cave about 3m down and I seriously thought my ear drums were going to burst! Even for about 5min after I'd surfaced I was in excruciating pain. We saw lots of large manta rays in this spot which glided over the guides hands. The final spot we stopped had heaps of nurse/reef sharks up to 2m long and really huge barracuda.

Unfortunately I felt quite nauseous for the whole trip and Rowena and Terese actually vomited. It was really beautiful though and we sailed back as the sun was setting.

Back on land we went to the Lizard Lounge at the Split (the channel running between the two halves of Caye Caulker) where I dove off the 3m diving board. Got too adventurous at one point though and did a back dive, slapping my outer left leg hard onto the water - now have lovely purple spots from mid thigh to ankle to show for it, haha.

Returned to the hostel and showered before heading to bed as was feeling ill again.

Reephboy says:
I'm glad you enjoyed Hol Chan! Sometimes there really are way too many people there. I actually worked for HCMR for 2 years as the biologist, and we did a visitor impact survey where I followed groups of snorkeling tourists around to see how much damage they did to the reef. I did see quite a bit, but the outcome determined that it wasn't receiving too much pressure. We get about 50-60k visitors a year there!
The rays and nurse sharks really are cool aren't they? Good times. 8D
Posted on: Apr 10, 2008
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Caye Caulker
photo by: vulindlela