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Here is some information on Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley:
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley are the most popular diving/snorkeling sites in all of Belize. This is due to the close proximity of San Pedro, the large amount of fish life found with the Hol Chan “cut” accessible by snorkelers and beginning divers, the diversity of marine life encountered throughout the 4 zones of the park and the excitement and novelty of swimming with large numbers of nurse sharks and sting rays.
The Hol Chan Cut is only 15 minutes (4 miles) south of San Pedro and about 30 minutes north of Caye Caulker. Trips from San Pedro last about half day, while trips from Caye Caulker last a full day including a visit to San Pedro. During the boat ride to the park, keep an eye out for jumping rays and flying fish.
Shark Ray Alley is one of the seven best “animal dives” in the Caribbean SKIN DIVER MAGAZINE. For years, local fishermen cleaned their catch just inside the reef, to the south of Hol Chan Cut and Ambergris Caye. The fishermen soon noticed that the offal from cleaning fish was attracting Nurse Sharks and several Southern Sting Rays. When the dive operators of San Pedro found out, they quickly investigated. What they found was a bonanza, and “Shark-Ray Alley” quickly became a very popular dive site.
The sharks and rays hear the dive boats approaching and begin to school in anticipation of bait being thrown into the water. When you arrive, you will see the surface often boiling with rolling sharks and sting ray wings as they vie for the scraps.
These creatures have a great tolerance for divers and snorkelers. The rays, which have a ‘wing-span’ of two to four feet, swim directly towards the divers, mouths often turned up hoping for a hand held tid bit to be placed near their mouths. Other have learned to swim in circles around the divers, as if performing for food. The docile Nurse Sharks average four to six feet in length and can be a bit more aggressive than the sting rays.
A perfect way to maximize your Belize beach vacation!