Snorkeling with Young Kids

Old May 8th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Snorkeling with Young Kids

We are 2 families of 5 (kids are 2 - 10 years) who are looking to spend 12-14 days in Belize in Feb. 2005. We are looking for relaxation and adventure on a budget. The 2 youngest kids will not be able to snorkel so we have to be on a beach that will be good for them to play in. Here are a few questions:

1. Is there any place where we will be able to snorkel off the beach?

2. Where are some good places to snorkel where the water is shallow? The 5 & 6 y/o's won't be able to go out too far.

3. Finally do you think a good itinerary would be to spend 7 days at Ambergis Caye and then go inland for the remaining days to do some exploring?

Any additional info would be most welcome!

Thanks!
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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On Ambergris Caye, the best snorkeling requires a short boat ride out to the reef, but you can snorkel at the pier at Ramon's Village, where they've built a little artificial reef, and also there's a little snorkeling at the Caribbean Villas pier. Plus you can often see small fish, rays, etc. about anywhere. All beaches in Belize are public, so you can snorkel or swim anywhere.

You may want to choose a place that has a pool. About half the hotels on Ambergris Caye do have pools.

My kids started going to Belize when the youngest was about 2 (she's 15 now), and they always have a good time.

--Lan Sluder
www.belizefirst.com
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Old May 10th, 2004, 05:04 AM
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Better option on San Pedro would be the glass bottom boat-where the youngest can stay on the boat and see the reef and marine life below and older kids can get out and into the water. If you are on a budget, you might want to consider one of the more remote islands on the reef where you can do walk in snorkeling and won;t have to pay for a boat to the reef. Look at South Water Caye (my preferance) or Tobacco Caye. Yes, split your trip between the beach and one of the riverside jungle lodges in the Cayo distrcit. Look at Crystal Paradise for a moderately prices lodge with good services and ambiance.
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Old May 12th, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Lan - Thanks for your good advice. I have learned so much from your many posts to this site! At what age did you start taking your kids snorkeling? Do you think there are safe places off the reef for a 5 year old? It is nice to know we also have the option of snorkeling off the pier. We will try to stay someplace with a pool.

Katie - The glass bottom boat is a great idea - especially for the youngest in our group, who will be only 2 & 4. I checked out a website for South Water Caye and it looks wonderful. My only concern would be with regards to excessive sand fleas. Any comments?

Thanks for your help!

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Old May 13th, 2004, 04:18 AM
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If Feb is dry and breezy, you should not have a problem with sandflies. Blue Marlin Lodge on SWC has with rooms with a/c. Start them snorkeling as soon as you can find a mask that fits and they express interest. I had my fiends 3 kids (10, 9 and 5) snorkeling with whale sharks, 26 miles off the Placencia coast, over maybe a 1000 ft of water. As long as they feel comfortable and can swim, no problem. The SWC runs along the reef, so distance to shore is quite close should one get tired or prefer solid terra firma under their feet.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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When we went snorkeling with our 5 & 7 year olds, the 5 year old just couldn't get the hang of it. I ended up putting on a life jacket and he just rode around on my back. He still had his mask on so when I saw something neat I'd wave at him and he would dunk his head and take a look. It was really pretty fun and allowed us all to stay together.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Kids are different, but it seems like mine were 7 or 8 at least before they could snorkel. And even when they were older they had some reservations about snorkeling in deep water or in strong currents or rough water. Of course, some of the Belizean kids who are around water a lot can swim like fish before they can walk.

The Hol Chan marine reserve where most of the snorkel boats go can have fairly strong currents at times. I know my daughter was stressed out by the currents a time or two.

Katie's suggestions of South Water Caye or Tobacco Caye are good because there is good shore snorkeling there. Tobacco Caye is a budget island. The only problem is that these are small islands and there are no shops or restaurants other than at the few hotels.

--Lan Sluder
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