Hol Chan, Belize
One of the very popular diving and snorkeling spots in Belize is found in between Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. The whole diving/snorkeling trip is often referred to as Hol Chan, the name of one of the sites. Although Hol Chan is the most beautiful spot visited in that trip, it is not the only one worth mentioning.
Close to it is Shark-Ray Alley, where you can swim with dozens of Nurse Sharks and Stingrays. The sharks and stingrays in this area are so used to human contact that they barely react when you swim close to them. When I did this tour, one of the guides from Raggamuffin Tours, Kimani, took a few of the sharks and turned them upside down so we could pet them.
I took the opportunity to pet the shark; of course, since this is not something you find every day. To my surprise, the skin is somewhat rough, in contrast to the soft slippery skin I was expecting to touch – as stingrays do have.
While it is totally safe to touch the sharks since they are harmless, I personally don’t like too much the idea of constantly handling them since it interrupts their daily cycle. But still, if you’d like to have a front row experience touching a shark in the open sea, Hol Chan is the place to go.
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