Hol Chan Marine Reserve

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Diving in Belize is one of the main reasons why tourist visit Ambergris Caye.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Belize. Mayan for “little channel”, Hol Chan is the oldest marine reserve in Belize, established in 1987.

The reserve covers an area of three square miles (7.8 sq km) and focuses on a cut through the reef, which is little more than 75 feet (23 meters) wide and 30 feet (9 meters) deep about 4 miles (6 km) southeast of Ambergris Caye.

Visiting Hol Chan

Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Belize

Hol Chan Marine Reserve is located just off the coast of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, which are both east of Belize City. By boat, the reserve is about 20 minutes south of Ambergris Caye and 40 minutes north of Caye Caulker.

Known for having abundant marine wildlife, Hol Chan is frequented by guests on snorkeling or diving vacations. On a typical day, you can encounter numerous types of fish, sea turtles, manta rays, crabs, eels, lobsters, and friendly nurse sharks.

The reserve is divided into four zones (habitats), with the most popular being Coral Reefs and Shark Ray Alley:

  • Zone A: The Coral Reefs
  • Zone B: The Seagrass Beds
  • Zone C: The Mangroves
  • Zone D: Shark Ray Alley

Here’s a video of what snorkeling at Hol Chan looks is like: