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Snorkeling in Belize, the World’s Second Largest Barrier Reef

Hello Belize!

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I’m aboard the Carnival Magic for a summer getaway to the Western Caribbean. Our first two days were spent at sea, and then we toured the shores of Cozumel by jeep. On day 4, we sailed to the Carribean Islands and anchored right off the island of Belize. Waking up to these blue, crystal waters was surreal! Belize is a tiny country located in Central America with more than 200 tropical island cays, housed with incredible natural treasures – including the world’s only jaguar preserve and the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef. It’s nearly 200-miles-long! That said, we had to snorkel over Belize’s famous barrier reef so we chose the Sergeant’s Cay Snorkel Adventure.

SEE ALSO: 7 Best Things to Do in Cozumel, Mexico

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Enjoying breakfast on the back deck with this amazing panoramic view of Belize! I fueled up on grapefruit, smoked salmon with bagels, and lots of coffee.

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Since the island of Belize is so small, and there’s no port for ships to dock at, the only way to the island is to take a tender boat. A 15-minute tender ride from the Carnival Cruise ship will take you to the Belize village. Taxis into the city are available.

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We boarded our tender boat and cruised through the Caribbean enjoying the sea breeze along the way!

Spanish Lookout Caye

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Our first stop was at the Spanish Lookout Caye to pick up our snorkeling equipment (snorkeling mask, fins, snorkel and a neoprene inflatable snorkel vest are provided). Spanish Lookout Caye is privately owned and operated by the Hugh Parkey Foundation for marine awareness and education. They offer kayaking, snorkeling, diving and manatee tours. How cool are these over-the-water cabanas!? Enjoy the coastal sea breeze from your room or jump off the porch straight into the Caribbean Sea!

Sergeant’s Caye

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We then headed for the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and Sergeant’s Caye, the smallest island with a population of one!

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Our local guides led us over the coral landscape and pointed out the sea fans, sea urchins and endless schools of tropical fish. Snorkeling over the world’s second largest (after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef) barrier reef was exhilarating. We saw parrot fish grazing on coral, angelfish chasing each other, and various schools of rainbow-hued fish swimming through the forest of swaying sea fans. It was surprising how warm the water was, and how clear. You could see all the way down to the lanes of sugar-white sands!

Spanish Lookout Caye

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After snorkeling for an hour and enjoying the small island of Sergeant’s Caye, we headed back to Spanish Lookout Caye for a private island beach break and rum punch. You could snorkel from the beach, kayak, or relax on the beach in the tropical sunshine. I followed the locals who showed me the little fish that hide near the mangroves and the starfish that accidentally strand themselves on the beach. Did you know that starfish can grow to a couple of feet across?

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Our next stop is Mahogany Bay on the island of Roatan, Honduras. I heard the island is known for their diving, fishing, and beautiful beaches!

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.