Belize Day 5: Hol Chan Marine Reserve

2019.11.25 085.belize holchanmarinedive

Monday was the day we started training for in October.  Belize Dive Pro Center picked us up at our dock at 8am for our snorkel/dive combo adventure.  After checking in at the dive shop and getting our gear, we took the boat out to Hol Chan Marine Park, a marine reserve covering approximately 18 kmĀ² of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forest.  Colt and I had an AMAZING dive, while Susan and the girls snorkeled.  Each of had a guide, and experienced the best snorkeling/dive that we've done.  We saw schools of eagle rays, nurse sharks, sea turtles, and countless species of fish. 

After our dive, we took the boat over to what's known as Shark Ray Alley, a popular spot known for its largely harmless nurse sharks and rays.  Local fishermen used to come to the spot to clean their catches, filling the waters with morsels that were perfect for the bottom feeding nurse sharks and rays.  Swimming with these creatures was an incredible experience! 

After our dive, we stopped at the Palapa Bar in San Pedro for lunch.  Colt and I started a tradition of burgers after diving during our certification training, and we continued it at the Palapa Bar with burgers for lunch.  They have a sweet waterfront spot with a swimming area - where that day a lionfish decided to hang out.  We did not get in the water there since they are venomous, but it was neat to see one up close.  Lionfish are an invasive species of fish and not good at all for the reef, so hopefully this one was harvested soon after. 

After lunch we did some grocery shopping while we were in town, then headed back to spend the rest of the afternoon at the villa.  We'd spend the rest of the day lounging sea side and watching movies once the sun went down.  What. A. Day.

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