Mexico Rocks Marine Reserve in Ambergris Caye
If the idea of going snorkeling sounds exciting and fun—-but you’re shy when it comes to trying things for the very first time—there’s a Belize destination that has your name written on it: Mexico Rocks Marine Reserve located off the nation’s largest island, Ambergris Caye.
Settling into its current depth and shape over the past 420 years or so, Mexico Rocks was declared a national treasure and given marine preserve designation in 1978. It’s only been four years since it was officially linked to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, one of the most important ecotourism sites of Ambergris Caye.
Mexico Rocks’ reputation for being an awesome venue for beginning snorkelers has spread like wildfire. And since Belize has been proclaimed the destination of choice in the Caribbean for vacationers by tourists and travel authorities, you’ve got two solid reasons for shaking off your nervousness.
Dive shops abound in Ambergris Caye, so you’ll have no trouble finding a resource capable of providing you with gear and getting you to Mexico Rocks. Come during shoulder season when the water’s warm, resources are plentiful, and rates start dropping from their winter highs. Convinced? We thought you would be!
First, you’ll take a short boat ride from San Pedro to the Mexico Rocks site, arriving at what’s officially called a “star coral patch” sitting in shallow waters between the caye and the barrier reef. In fact, there are about 100 of these patch reefs made up of boulder star corals.
What can you expect once you’ve put on your gear? An underwater world that puts Disney movies to shame, wonderfully lit by the sun. You’ll spot all sorts of marine life that range from fish and turtles to rays and eels, but what you’ll notice most is how shallow this area happens to be, so you’re going to feel safe and comfortable.
While your snorkeling companions may decide to wander off to the maximum depth area (about 12 feet), you can experience just as much awe-inspiring wonder beneath the surface without having to go deep to do so.
Mexico Rocks is strategically located at a point that’s inside the reef, so you can forget about being drenched by giant waves as you browse fascinating corals and sponges that appear to be painted by Mother Nature’s brush. Even the fish in the area are small and non-threatening.
Depending upon the time of year you visit, you could spot a lobster or nurse shark. Don’t worry. These marine creatures are as skittish about you as you are about them, so there’s more likelihood that you’ll share a short staring contest than come into physical contact. Mexico Rocks can be your introduction to the wonderful world of snorkeling, so don’t hesitate to say yes when time comes to book your Belize adventure!