Our day trip begins with the fitting of snorkel fins and mask at the SEArious Adventures office on the beachfront of San Pedro Town. Onboard the skiff, our Captain Aron introduced his skipper James and went ahead to discuss our day’s agenda and itinerary. Our most anticipated stop was Swallow Caye, a wildlife sanctuary about 30 miles from our location or 5 miles east of Belize City. This sanctuary spans about 9000 acres and the ocean floor is covered with turtle-grass beds, making it the ideal habitat for a healthy population of about 30 West Indian manatees that roam the area. The sea grass is what attracts these clumsy yet graceful mammals to this location, and they can feed till their hearts content. According to our guide Aron, Manatees can eat over a hundred pounds of food a day. On our arrival to the site and deceleration of the engine, the captain signaled his skipper to take over the steering as he climbed atop the bow and started to look for signs of these elusive creatures. With curiosity peaking, anticipation high and our eyes on lookout for any water movements, we finally got some eye-catching glimpse of these gentle giants in their most natural habitat. Our patience was rewarded with several sightings of feeding manatees and a fortunate sighting of Mother and calf swimming together.
Seeing these manatees in one place is an amazing experience, and as a rule of thumb, we were reminded that these gentle sea cows are there for survival. Whether you’re on a solo kayaking trip or a manatee boat tour, always mind your “Manatee Manners”— look, but don’t touch and turn your engines off. Their lovable appearance and peculiar mannerisms make them a favorite among tourists, especially children. This SEArious adventure was an enlightening, informative and fun tour that we recommend you experience on your next trip to #Belize.
After our magnificent Swallow Caye Manatee watching experience, our Captain Aron took us to Goff’s Caye, our second stop on this combination tour. Look out for part two of this all day adventure in next week’s blog!
About the West Indian Manatee:
Manatees weigh around 1,200 pounds (550 kg) and are herbivorous, meaning they only eat plants. Manatees are related to the dugongs of the Pacific Ocean. It is the Antillean manatee subspecies of the West Indian manatee that live in Belize. Manatees require very warm water and large amounts of plant material to eat on a daily basis. The coastline of Belize have many inlets and tributaries as well as dense mangrove forests and large beds of seagrass. Furthermore, Belize has protected manatees since the 1930s, a key step in protecting these fragile creatures.
About Swallow Caye Sanctuary:
Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary is readily accessible by boat. Its neighboring communities are Mapp Caye, Belize City, St. Georges Caye and Moho Caye. Approximate Distance from Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary to: Belize City – 3 miles / Caye Caulker – 20 miles / Ambergris Caye – 32 miles.
About Serious Adventures:
Searious Adventures offers reasonable, professional tours that include refreshments such as water, juice, soda, and even alcohol to make your voyage as comfortable as possible. This manatee watching tour is part of a bundled/combination tour that includes snorkeling, barbeques, tarpon feeding, and a visit to The Split in Caye Caulker. NOTE: Our tour desk can help arrange all and any tour in #Belize prior to your arrival and during your stay. Contact us at; Info@banyanbay.com