sea turtle hol chan marine reserve

Small Group Dive & Snorkeling Tour

Longtime tacogirl readers, Michael and his wife Deb have been traveling to San Pedro for 19 years, and he wanted to share a review of his favorite dive shop. Michael also decided to add a couple of food options that they love, and frequent every time they come to Ambergris Caye.

Reef Adventures

My wife and I have been diving with Reef Adventures annually since 2003. I want to tell you why. Ched Cabral and his dive team have two things going for them. First, their attention to detail and safety is paramount. They have state of the art gear if needed. Smaller groups are his specialty, which gives you a more personal diving experience. We had so much confidence with Ched, we had him certify my niece at 15 years old in 2015.

Secondly, my wife and I almost have 300 dives with Ched and his crew. His infinite knowledge of the reef, ecosystem, and marine life is unparalleled. I will attest that to this day, every time we dive, I learn something I didn’t know. He excels at forwarding his knowledge of the underwater world to all that want to learn. Ched is also currently working with PADI to educate local youth as part of their educational program.

His shop is conveniently located on Palapa Bar pier. But no worries if you cannot get to him, he will pick you up daily on your reef side dock. His rates are competitive with every dive shop on the island. If you truly want a dive experience you will never forget, Ched and his team at Reef Adventures, will not disappoint.

See more of this year’s short 42 vacation dive videos on our MrMrs Snappy youtube.

Jambel Jerk Pit

For a truly economical and great dining experience, you must check out Jambel Jerk Pit. My wife and I have been dining with Fitzgerald Brown since 2002. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, he has all you can eat buffet for $25US. Included is Fisherman’s soup, Salad, Jerk Pork and Jerk Chicken, Fried Plantains, Rice and Beans, and my wife’s favorite ‘Jamaica me Crazy’ shrimp, along with dessert. You will not leave hungry. Conveniently located on the beach at Sunbreeze Suites Hotel. Tell Fitz hello from Michael and Deb, and enjoy a wonderful dining experience. * tacogirl note during Covid they do their buffet slightly differently and you just order what you want more of instead of going and helping yourself at the buffet table.

beach front restaurant san pedro

Chicken Lady

For 20 years every Sunday, we go to what we call the “chicken lady.” She is a street vendor that has the best BBQ on the island. Located at the end of Middle Street by the circle in front of the K-mart store. For $5US you get 2 pieces of chicken white or dark meat), with rice and beans and coleslaw. This year I tried the BBQ pork ribs, amazing….. Bang for your buck and the delicious BBQ sauce she has is one of the best on the island.

We are already counting down the days till our next year’s trip – Michael Reick.

street bbq san pedro

My Private Hol Chan Experience

Since I had the privilege of spending time with Michael and Deb on their trip this year, as you may have seen in my great travel tech tip post, I got this fabulous Independence day present. That is one of the things I love about living on Ambergris Caye – something so simple as a yard barbecue can lead to unexpected fun.

I knew we were going to have a small group, but I was still pleasantly surprised when it was just the three of us and two guides.


Reef Adventures is a great small group diving and snorkeling experience. They cap their numbers at 10 per tour and do a 4 to 1 ratio. If there are 8 divers they have two dive masters. Being there were only 3 of us Michael and Deb did their dive with the owner, Ched, and I got to have my own private guide.

diving hol chan marine reserve

We started out in Zone A, the coral area. My snorkeling guide Wilkie, was great as he always made sure I was close by and that I saw lots of sea life and corals. Baracuda, Sargent majors, parrotfish, jacks, blue tang, pufferfish, grunts, bluehead wrasse, Christmas tree worms and so much more.

snorkeling hol chan marine reserve

I paused for a moment to enjoy a tranquil, meditative experience, watching a turtle swim up to the surface and back down to the seagrass bed for breakfast.


Wilkie and I didn’t find Nemo that day, but we found Dory’s cousin 😀 While double-checking that my picture was a blue tang, I came across a fun Padi article – Finding Dory: Blue Tang: Fact or Fiction. They did a comparison of the animated Dory with the real-life blue tang.

atlantic blue tang hol chan belize

I love watching prehistoric looking rays gliding gracefully by.

snorkeling hol chan belize

On a recent Belize forum, I saw a post asking about coral bleaching so I asked Ched about it. He said on a scale of 1-10, it is about a 2, and that coral tissue disease is what’s causing the damage. For bleaching to happen the temperature has to constantly be above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Presently it’s in the 77° -79° range. When the disease kills the coral (colorful when alive) you see the white skeleton, hence divers think it’s bleaching. Thankfully we did not see a ‘coral graveyard’ that morning.

snorkeling in belize

As we were getting back on our boat, Bubbles, about 5 groups were starting their tours and the snorkelers were starting to plunge.

So we moved on to some private time at Shark Ray Alley, located in Zone D of Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

hol chan marine reserve Belize

We made it back to the Palapa Bar dock where the dive shop is located just in time before the rain hit. We all took shelter except Michael, he ran over to make a reservation at Jambel’s. By the time he got back, the rain was finished and the divers were ready to head north to Buena Vista Canyons. As for this lone snorkeler, my outdoor fun was done and it was time for me to walk down the beach and back to my desk 😀


One thought on “Small Group Dive & Snorkeling Tour

  1. Michael&Deb says:

    Thank you for adding our comments. We had a wonderful time with you. Please keep sending good stuff out there for Ambergris Caye.

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