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The Split is one of the rare shore access snorkeling spots in Belize. This channel, « splitting » Caye Caulker, is a beach area popular with both tourists and locals. The channel, relatively deep and visited by stingrays, and the surrounding mangroves make The Split an original snorkeling location.

Schoolmaster snapper at the Split, Caye Caulker
Schoolmaster snappers sheltering near The Split mangrove.

How to get to The Split snorkeling spot?

The Split is located on Caye Caulker. It is easy to reach the island from Belize City, as several water taxi companies run trips daily in each direction. If you stay in Ambergris Caye, you can also reach Caye Caulker by boat and do the round trip the same day.

Once landed at Caye Caulker, walk approximately 10 minutes along the main road to the northern tip of the island, where the “Lazy Lizard” restaurant is installed.

The Split snorkeling map, Belize

Water entrance for snorkeling The Split

Several ladders allow easy water entrance. The wooden pier of Lazy Lizard is the best option. The snorkeling area covers the channel and the surrounding mangroves, but watch out for boats when you reach the pass, as many boats are crossing in the area.

The Split snorkeling tips and recommendations

This spot features a deep channel (↕20-26ft/6-8m) cutting a shallow mangrove area (↕2-4ft/0.5-1m). We recommend snorkeling the edge of the mangrove, on each side of the channel.

If you get into the water from the restaurant pier, you can start by exploring the area to the left of the restaurant, when facing the channel. Swim towards the mangrove. The sand is replaced little by little by seagrass and small corals, with small sponges and sea anemones attached.

Checkered puffer at the Split, Caye Caulker
Checkered puffers are common in shallow mangrove areas.

Follow the mangrove edge and, here and there, you may spot a checkered puffer, a small group of sergeant majors, or a pair of foureye butterflyfish. At the limit of the mangrove, the atmosphere is darker and the coral disappears to give way to a roots forest.

Cross carefully the channel, watching out for boat traffic and trying to spot one of the starfish that live in the sand. In the central part of the channel, you may encounter juvenile southern stingrays, but they are very shy. If the current is too strong, do not cross the channel and go back to the shore.

Starfish at the Split, Caye Caulker
A Caribbean cushion starfish noted in the sandy beds.

You can now explore the mangrove area opposite the restaurant, which offers more or less the same underwater environment.

The Split is a very popular recreational site (particularly during weekends), so watch out for the boats, kayaks, swimmers and other snorkelers when you are in the water.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There is a wide range of budget accommodations and restaurants on Caye Caulker. The Lazy Lizard restaurant is facing the spot.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth3ft/1m near the mangrove, 25ft/8m in the channel
  • Water entranceEasy, from a wooden ladder
  • Potential DangersBoats
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.