Spot

Coral Gardens


Coral Garden is one of the very best snorkeling spots around Caye Caulker. Visibility is excellent in its shallow waters and you will love its photogenic coral maze teeming with fish. Even if you can only access it with a boat, unlike other neighboring spots you will be free to wander wherever you like once in the water.
How to get there?

Coral Garden is located in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and the only way to visit it is to book a guided tour. Most tours leave from Caye Caulker, include several stops in neighboring spots (Shark Ray Alley, South Channel) and last for about 2 hours. Snorkeling excursions cost about 35$/person, including a 10$ reserve entry fee, for 2-3 stops. Half a dozen excursionists and dive centers share the market. To reach Caye Caulker you have to take a boat from San Pedro (30mn) or Belize City (70mn). It is an easy trip: two companies run about 15 rides a day in each direction.

Water entrance

Enter the water directly from the boat. You guide will show you the area to explore, follow his instructions.

Aerial view

Exploration

The snorkeling area covers the inner side of the reef. Depth is constant all around (↕2-3m).

coral gardens snorkeling belize
School of grunt at the Coral Gardens, Belize

Wander as you like through a maze of coral formations separated by narrow strips of sand: this gorgeous waterscape is what makes this spot special. You will love the wide diversity of corals (in addition to common and purple gorgons). Pay attention to fire corals: they concentrate in some areas and can severely burn or cut you. Large schools of friendly grunt rest at the bottom of coral formations, and you will have no trouble spotting and following groups of Bermuda chub roaming in the area. Many species typical of Caribbean reefs can be seen here, such as sergeant major, wrasse, damselfish… If you’re lucky you will also spot some spectacular, but wild, stoplight parrot fish.

Since it is perfectly sheltered from currents and waves by the coral reef, this spot is ideal for beginners. Visibility is also generally excellent here: expect crystal-clear water.

Restaurants and accommodation

The spot is located on the coral reef, opposite to Caye Caulker and about 1km from its shores. You won’t find any restaurants here, but your excursion will most likely include refreshments such as water and fruits.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    All levels
  • Maximum depth
    10ft/3m
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a boat
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Low
  • Access costs
    Marine reserve entrance fee ($10pp.) + tour price (approx. $25pp.)
  • Restaurants nearby
    No
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Coral Gardens

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Permit
Trachinotus falcatus
Bermuda chub
Kyphosus sectatrix
Sergeant major
Abudefduf saxatilis
Scissortail damselfish
Chromis atrilobata
Jewel damselfish
Microspathodon chrysurus
Schoolmaster snapper
Lutjanus apodus
Bluestriped grunt
Haemulon sciurus
Smallmouth grunt
Haemulon chrysargyreum
French grunt
Haemulon flavolineatum
Sailor's grunt
Haemulon parra
Rainbow parrotfish
Scarus guacamaia
Purple sea fan
Gorgonia ventalina
Queen conch
Lobatus gigas
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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