Hol Chan Marine Reserve
The three-square-mile Hol Chan Marine Reserve was created in 1987 to protect marine habitats in Belize’s coral reef, seagrass beds, Mangrove beds, and Shark Ray Alley. The reserve can be reached by a 15-minute boat ride from San Pedro. Hol Chan’s protected areas are perfect for snorkeling and diving: The coral reef zone, replete with many varieties of fish and healthy coral, is ideal for snorkeling beginners. In Shark Ray Alley, visitors can swim (while always using caution) with friendly nurse sharks and stingrays. The seagrass beds give swimmers a view of sights like “Neptune’s Garden,” a unique sponge and algae bed.