Trips that Go Beyond the Beach

Find trip ideas that let you explore the coast in a whole new way, from the best beach biking and flightseeing to amazing snorkeling and road trips.

10 Top Spots to Snorkel

Underwater photographer and adventurer Tanya Burnett-Palmer shares her favorite places to sightsee beneath the waves.

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Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize
Tanya G. Burnett-Palmer

Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize

One of the western Caribbean’s great delights resides roughly 20 minutes by boat from Ambergris Cay. On my first visit, I was mesmerized by dozens of nurse sharks, jacks, stingrays, and grunts cavorting with snorkelers over turtle grass and reefs. Here, I have swum with the most substantial wild fish―normally only seen by scuba divers―in only 6 to 10 feet of water.

On-site secret: Float from the feeding area to the shallow reefs and discover a dreamlike setting of sun-dappled coral and tiny reef denizens. Keep an eye out for: eagle rays. On more than one occasion I’ve been thrilled to see a majestic spotted eagle ray soaring through the reefs.

When to go: all year, but check cruise ship schedules to avoid the busiest times; holchanbelize.org.

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