Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley
Ambergris Caye Travel Blog› entry 2 of 10 › view all entries
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Located off the southern end of Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan is a very popular spot for snorkeling (and diving) on the Belize Barrier Reef. Hol Chan is Mayan for "little channel" which signifies the natural cut in Zone A of the reef. This has created a unique and diverse area for marine life, which is why it is such a popular spot with snorkelers and divers. The Hol Chan area is divided in three distinct zones but they have now included the second stop on the trip, Shark Ray Alley, as Zone D.
I've done this trip three years in a row now and managed to have a whole new experience each year.
Shark Ray Alley
Seeing that hammerhead did prove to be a sign of good luck as we prepared for the second snorkel stop on the tour, Shark Ray Alley. This is where we ended up seeing several sea turtles and some of the largest rays. Shark Ray Alley is basically a sandy bottomed area in the reef where nurse sharks and stingrays tend to congregate. Reports indicate the area was traditionally used by local fisherman who cleaned their nets prior to returning to port. The sharks and rays were attracted by the abundance of food and now they practically swarm the tour boats on approach as the guides feed them to ensure visitors have ample opportunities to see them.
I wish the pictures had come out better but the underwater camera didn't perform so well (either that or it was due to operator error which wasn't me of course!! HA HA).