The 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.
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 (Caye Caulker 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.
Enter the water directly from the boat. You guide will show you the area to explore, follow his instructions.
The snorkeling area covers the inner side of the reef. Depth is constant all around (↕2-3m).
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.
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.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.