Snorkeling Gladden Cayes
Dense Interesting Reef Life

Snorkeling Gladden Cayes was well worth the trouble of getting there. If you look at a chart, the Gladden Cayes are located inside Gladden Spit, a break in the barrier reef north of Placencia a short distance.

To get to Gladden Cayes we sailed through the Badlands, an area inside the reef littered with shallows and patch reefs. And boy was it worth it!

Our snorkel spot was actually a small ways southeast of Gladden Cayes in a circular patch of reefs. And this area was full of interesting sea life. These patch reefs are littered with sponges and small corals growing in ways we had never seen before. Sometimes in bizarre ways. And this abundance of life was so crammed onto the surface of the reef that we really had to take our time to explore what was in front of us.

Dense reef seen when snorkeling Gladden Cayes
Brain Coral
Algae, Coral & Sponges seen at Gladden Cayes - Belize

Pillar Coral

Forest of Sponges growing out of a coral head.

Once again at this location we encountered the amazingly intelligent and family oriented Caribbean Reef Squid. They were so fascinating to watch, and were a real highlight of our Belize snorkel trip. In the video below watch for the four squid that come in from the left and do a big color change.

Caribbean Reef Squid - Belize

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We did not see lots of fish when snorkeling Gladden Cayes. But it is always a pleasure to see a Gray Angelfish. The one below looks like it is in between stages, from juvenile to adult. Adults don't have those white vertical stripes. We did find a nice Southern Stingray though.

Gray Angelfish - Belize
Southern Stingray


Enjoy a few more picture below of our adventure.

Big Vase Sponge - Belize
Colorful Reef Patch
Purple Sea Plume
Tiny Toby Fish

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