It is always amazing fun to get to snorkel with a sea turtle or a sting ray but the folks who posted this video from an April Belize snorkel dive must have felt especially blessed. The sea turtle they found seems to absolutely love humans.  He simply won’t go away. And meanwhile, a virtual “flock” of stingrays also seem intent on sticking around.

The fact that we have so many different water sports out on Adventure Island means that no matter what the weather in Belize is like on a given day, there are always some of the sports that are perfectly suited for those conditions.

 If the winds are blowing but the surf isn’t up, the conditions are ideal for windsurfing and kiteboarding. If the surf is up but the wind is calm, it’s ideal for surfing, kayak surfing, and stand-up paddleboard surfing. If both the wind and surf are down, those are perfect conditions for sea kayaking, snorkeling and diving.

On Long Caye, we’re blessed to have easy access to a long list of incredible sites for snorkel diving. One of our nearby favorites we call The Channel. Come on, slip out of your mental sea kayak for a minute and join us for a snorkeling adventure!

Below is a map of our top 10 snorkel sites. You can see how close they are to our adventure center. That kind of close proximity and variety is one of the many things that sets our resort apart from the rest.
Belize snorkel map

You can snorkel right from our shore by swimming to nearby snorkel spots, or use our kayaks to access even more areas. In the photo above, 10 spots that we explore each week are shown and listed here:

1. Practice Reef. This is where we conduct our snorkel orientations and where we also go night snorkeling. Our most accessible reef, you can walk or swim to it, and much of the surrounding sand at this patch reef is only about 3 feet deep, so you can stand up right next the coral whenever you need a break.

2. The Aquarium. Just a 1/2 mile paddle away, this is our favorite snorkel. A very shallow reef, you can stand up all around this beautiful patch reef. Most of the incredible snorkel images on this site are taken here.

3. Dado’s Reef. This reef is just a swim away. It is quite deep in places. One of the most beautiful snorkel spots you will ever see.

4. The Horseshoe. This nearby reef is accessed by kayak, although for a longer swim you can also swim there with a safety kayaker joining you. It is just over 1/2 mile from our island. This is usually our first paddle/snorkel, where you paddle to a patch, tie your boat up to the guide’s boat, and jump out WITHOUT tipping over (we teach you to do this.)

5. The Wall. When the conditions are right we swim to this famous Belize dive site. This entire snorkel is over your head, and conditions have to be calm. Here we can see huge loggerhead turtles swimming right in front of us!

6. The Cut. Here we swim from the southern end of the island along the barrier reef of the atoll from the inside. We cut through the boat channel, and return on the outside of the reef. A fantastic, long exploratory snorkel.

7. Snorkel Around the Island. We often swim almost all the way around, and the outside of the island is the best. We are not as far out as The Wall snorkel, the coral and parrot fish here are amazing!

8. The Channel. We paddle out to a deep patch reef between Long and Northeast Cayes. Huge schools of fish, black grouper and spotted eagle rays are seen almost every time!

9. Northeast Caye. There are several areas of reef over near this caye that we like to paddle to. A fairly deep snorkel, it’s nice to have your boat to hang on to if you need extra flotation. This is a gorgeous area.

10. Drift Snorkel. We swim out from the north end of our island, and then drift with the prevailing winds which takes us by three small patch reefs. Then we swim back in at the south end. A very aerobic swim!

Glover’s Reef is famous for its pristine coral reef environment, which means snorkeling at our Long Caye island resort affords our guests easy access to some of the worlds most amazing marine life. The photo below is quite typical of what our guests might see while diving in our lagoon, especially if they’ve been quenching their thirst with a few of the local Belikin beers.

One of the many odd-looking creatures we see while diving and snorkeling at Adventure Island on Long Caye is the batfish, which actually looks nothing like a bat at all (baseball OR vampire). The species we have on Glover’s Reef is the Short-Nosed Batfish, but there are about 60 species of fishes of the family Ogcocephalidae (order Lophiiformes), found in warm and temperate seas; of which our Short-Nosed Batfish is a member.

Batfish can reach a size of around 15 inches, they grow extremely fast.  broad, flat heads; slim bodies covered with hard lumps and spines; some species have an elongated, upturned snout; about 14 in. long. They are poor swimmers and usually walk on the sea bottom on limblike pectoral and pelvic fins; most live in deep sea but some inhabit shallow water; members of a group known as anglerfish, are equipped with a “fishing pole” tipped with a fleshy “bait” to lure prey close enough to be eaten; unlike other anglers, can draw apparatus into a tube when not in use.

We love Batfish and see them quite often. It’s always a thrill to see one. The name “Batfish” holds special significance for us at Adventure Island because that is the name of our shuttle boat. Read more about our Belize shuttle boat here.

If you’ve ever wondered what our guests experience while visiting Long Caye in Belize, this 35 min. video, shot by one of our guests and posted on Youtube last October, is a true, full immersion experience. The clarity of the photography is amazing, especially the close-ups of the reef and associated marine life through the crystal clear water.

 

Of the many fascinating marine species we encounter frequently on Adventure Island in Belize, perhaps the most exotic and majestic is the spotted eagle ray.

The dorsal spots make the spotted eagle ray a big attraction, although because of their shyness, interaction with humans isn’t common. Nevertheless, there have been the rare incident reported of spotted eagle rays leaping out of the water onto boats and landing on people(!)

Eagle rays are a cherished sighting for snorkelers and divers because of their large size and graceful, “flying” motion through the water.

Spotted eagle rays have flat disk-shaped bodies, deep blue or black with white spots on top with a white underbelly, and distinctive flat snouts similar to a duck’s bill.

Their tails are longer than those of other rays. The front half of the long and wing-like pectoral disk has five small gills in its underside. Mature spotted eagle rays can be up to 5 meters (16 ft) in length; the largest have a wingspan of up to 3 meters (10 ft) and a mass of 230 kilograms (507 lb).

The spotted eagleray, a cartilaginous fish of the eagle ray family, Myliobatidae, can be identified by its dark ventral surface covered in white spots or rings. Near the base of the ray’s relatively long tail, just behind the pelvic fins, are several barbed stingers.

Spotted eagle rays commonly feed on small fish and crustaceans, and will sometimes dig with their snouts to look for food buried in the sand of the sea bed. These rays are commonly observed leaping out of the water. The spotted eagle ray is hunted by a wide variety of sharks. The rays are considered Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.