Shark Ray Alley Tours
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Part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley is home to a multitude of 6-foot (1.8-meter) nurse sharks and stingrays with 4-foot (1.2-meter) wingspans. Over the years, fishers went to the site to clean out their catch—eventually, nurse sharks and stingrays started gathering in search of the boats and their daily treats.
While you might picture a scene from Jaws, swimming among the nurse sharks in this area of the reserve is safe as well as thrilling. For the most part, the sharks are harmless to humans, and are familiar with encountering boatloads of tourists. (But don’t touch, because they’ll bite if stepped on or bothered.) Tour guides are allowed to feed the sharks from aboard the boat.
Guided tours typically combine a visit to Shark Ray Alley with Hol Chan, the reserve’s most popular zone. There, you’ll be able to spot coral and marine life like angelfish, turtles, and snapper.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can watch the activity from the boat, if you’re not interested in swimming.
- Besides stingrays and sharks, be on the lookout for huge elkhorn coral.
- The waters at Shark Ray Alley are ideal for beginners.
- Take a waterproof camera.
How to Get There
Accessible only through licensed tour operators, Shark Ray Alley is located just southeast of San Pedro, near the island of Ambergris Caye. Tours depart from San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and Belize City, and normally include round-trip transportation from area hotels.
When to Get There
Shark Ray Alley is a top attraction, so be mindful of other boats and snorkelers, especially during Belize’s peak tourist season (late November to mid-April). Tour operators generally offer morning and afternoon departures. Some travelers prefer to head out in the morning, since afternoon weather can be unpredictable.
Part of the smaller Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, Coral Gardens features an array of colorful coral formations that are easily explored thanks to the relatively shallow water (up to 13 feet, or 4 meters, deep). You’ll also see schools of fish, including grunt and Bermuda chub. Because the area is sheltered from currents and waves, it’s good for beginners—plus the visibility is considered excellent.
Address: Ambergris Caye, Belize
3 Tours and Activities to Experience Shark Ray Alley
Discover Ambergris Caye’s wildlife and coral reefs on this sailing and snorkeling tour to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and shark ray alley. Swim above bright coral formations in Hol Chan, and watch for the sea turtles, eels and fishes that thrive within the protected area. Slip into the water with the stingrays and nurse sharks at shark ray alley, watch them feed on fresh sardines, then enjoy tropical breezes and a comfortable seat on deck as you return to San Pedro Town.
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
* We cater to smaller and private groups. * Over 20 years in the Hospitality Industry. * Fully Licensed and Insured Tour Operator. * Exceptional Service. * Felxible and able to operate almost all tours with as few as two persons
Discover the highlights in the area on your private catamaran! We start the tour with snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. Hol Chan has the largest variety of species to be seen in the area and is often compared to an aquarium, while at Shark Ray Alley you get to experience a close encounter with nurse-sharks and stingrays. Watch from the boat or swim with them! On a full day, we serve our famous Belizean buffet lunch on-board. Traditional Belizean dishes like stewed chicken and rice and beans with our Captain’s secret recipe BBQ fish! We then stop at the neighbor island Caye Caulker for approx. 2 hours of free time to explore the island, followed by a relaxed sunset cruise back to San Pedro. You can also choose to return earlier to the boat for one more snorkel stop on our way back. During the sunset cruise a fresh ceviche is served. Open bar featuring local rum drinks like rum punch and "panty rippers" is included all day. Half day tours can be combined with sunset.
Taking safety measures
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Shark Ray Alley?
The best ways to experience Shark Ray Alley are:
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve Snorkel Tour on the 40' Sirena Azul Sailboat
- Speedboat Tour Snorkeling, Fishing and Beach Bar B Que
- Private charter
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