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Shark Ray Alley
Shark Ray Alley

Shark Ray Alley

star-5
429 Reviews
Free admission
Ambergris Caye, Belize

The Basics

While you might picture a scene fromJaws, swimming among the nurse sharks in this area of the reserve is safe as well as thrilling. For the most part, the sharks are harmless to humans, and are familiar with encountering boatloads of tourists. (But don’t touch, because they’ll bite if stepped on or bothered.) Tour guides are allowed to feed the sharks from aboard the boat.

Guided tours typically combine a visit to Shark Ray Alley with Hol Chan, the reserve’s most popular zone. There, you’ll be able to spot coral and marine life like angelfish, turtles, and snapper.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Ambergris Caye

star-5
Highly recommend
Danyon_S, Jun 2021
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
I really enjoyed our experience. The captain ‘Burger’ and his Cree were very knowledgeable. They were very helpful in instruction from everything to sunscreen to being in the water. We started a practice snorkel and saw a turtle! They gave everyone fruit and water to help stay hydrated. The sharks were amazing! So many! I couldn’t believe it! Not scary. The sharks are docile. The half day was a perfect amount of time to be out and get a great experience.
star-5
Wonderful
Brenda_C, Apr 2021
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
Guide showed us all the different kinds of fish. The sharks and stingrays were a highlight to the day. It was amazing
star-5
Best Excursion of our Cruise
Sarah_M, Mar 2020
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour
The crew was excellent. The captain had a keen eye and spotted turtles, manatees and a crocodile for us. It felt like we got the VIP treatment. I couldn't have been happier!
star-5
Great for all ages
Lyle_P, Feb 2020
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour
Father daughter trip 02/20. We both really enjoyed this tour. Best money we spent on entire trip, including our scuba and snorkeling excursions. Staff are very friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable. They deliver what they advertise and more. Be aware the shuttle pick up is near the caves, and not in the city. Renting a car was cheaper than another shuttle to the meeting point.
star-5
Under The Sea
UNA, Apr 2021
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
Our guides were super friendly s d efficient. They knew what they were doing and we're very informative about the reef, wildlife, and their ecosystems. Swam with fish and nurse sharks as well. Really good time, and next time, we'll check out the night snorkeling!
star-5
Great experience
Laura_K, Mar 2020
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
The trip was definitely the best part of my stay in San Pedro. The guides were super nice and knew what they were doing, so we felt safe the entire trip. Would definitely recommend going!!
star-5
Super Fun Snorkeling and Must See Cay Caulker Island
Super2016, Jan 2020
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour
Our boat driver Emerson took his job as our boat driver very seriously. The 45 minute ride out to the reef on his super 35mph fast with 200hp motor boat was a little choppy on the way out. On the way back after our Wow snorkeling with sharks and stingrays he drove the boat to the back side of the island and showed us how the tarpon fish jump high for fish. We want to go back to Cay Caulker island - the lunch was great and the town is super tropical (no cars - only bicycles and golf carts). Caesar a snorkeling guide was great with our 3 year old grandson which was his 2nd time snorkeling. On the way back to Belize City we spotted a group on dolphins.
star-5
Best family snorkeling adventure. Highly recommend.
Scott_G, Feb 2020
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
We did the snorkeling adventure through Amigo Del Mar Dive Shop. Our guide Carlos (AKA Meow) was amazing. Made everyone comfortable and very professional. The knowledge and skill this guy has would be hard to beat. I would recommend this company all day long. Thanks for the Awsome experience Carlos. We will be back.
star-5
Amazing Day
Cindy R, Dec 2019
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour
The whole experience was amazing! Our snorkel tour guide, Stacy, was patient and incredibly knowledgeable. She pointed out fish and coral and was able to name them. One of the best parts was when Stacy dove down and an Eel followed her out of his cave. Then she took us in the water to watch the Nurse Shark feeding. She was right in the middle petting the sharks and helping us touch them. James was the boat driver and Jose was along to help us. They were both friendly and helped make it a great day!
star-5
Amazing Tour
Praline111111224fg, Aug 2019
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
Everything was perfect. We were picked up promptly, saw an abundance of fish- including enormous sharks and rays. One of the best things I’ve done. It would still be a bargain at twice the price! Excellent value.
star-5
Unforgettable day!
Philip A, Dec 2019
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour
We had a wonderful day exploring the Belize Barrier Reef with Stacy. She was an awesome tour guide - she shared so much with us about her country. It is obvious that she is passionate about Belize and loves to share that passion with people visiting. My husband was excited to snorkel, but I am not a strong swimmer and was very nervous. They made sure I was comfortable, helped me get my bearings in the water and I had the most amazing time watching the wildlife and seeing the reef. Just stunning! Unfortunately, there was a large group of people that booked our tour as well and insisted that it was a private tour and were rude and disrespectful to the staff. They refused to board the boat until Stacy had already tried everything, so we left and then they yelled and forced us to come back. It was really frustrating for us as fellow tourists because these rude people basically took almost an hour of our day. But we were just in awe with how Stacy, Patrick, and the rest of the crew continued to smile and be as kind to them as possible and kept the tour on a positive note. We chose this tour last minute because Royal Caribbean canceled a previously schedule excursion on us at the last minute. I'm so grateful that happened because this day couldn't have been better! Thank you, Stacy! We will look you up when we move to Belize! ;)
star-4
Saw a variety of marine life!
emg3ny, Jan 2020
Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour - Ambergris Caye
We did a half day tour with Jonathan and it was fantastic! He was able to point out and name all kinds of fish and marine life, including a puffer fish and spotted eagle ray. We spent about 45 min snorkeling at Hol Chan and it was the perfect amount of time. Only complaint is that I wish we stayed at Shark Ray Alley for longer than 15 minutes. We caught the tail-end of another boat feeding the nurse sharks and were able to see them for a few minutes, however once the food was gone the sharks were gone as well. Not sure why our guide didn't bring bait to keep the sharks around and give us time to swim.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • You can watch the activity from the boat, if you’re not interested in swimming.

  • Besides stingrays and sharks, be on the lookout for huge elkhorn coral.

  • The waters at Shark Ray Alley are ideal for beginners.

  • Take a waterproof camera.

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How to Get There

Accessible only through licensed tour operators, Shark Ray Alley is located just southeast of San Pedro, near the island of Ambergris Caye. Tours depart from San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and Belize City, and normally include round-trip transportation from area hotels.

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When to Get There

Shark Ray Alley is a top attraction, so be mindful of other boats and snorkelers, especially during Belize’s peak tourist season (late November to mid-April). Tour operators generally offer morning and afternoon departures. Some travelers prefer to head out in the morning, since afternoon weather can be unpredictable.

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Coral Gardens

Part of the smaller Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, Coral Gardens features an array of colorful coral formations that are easily explored thanks to the relatively shallow water (up to 13 feet, or 4 meters, deep). You’ll also see schools of fish, including grunt and Bermuda chub. Because the area is sheltered from currents and waves, it’s good for beginners—plus the visibility is considered excellent.

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