What is the Bacalar Chico Run you ask? Is it really something where you have to put on your tennis shoes and RUN? NOOOOO. If you find yourself wanting a great combination of snorkeling and fishing, this is the trip to take. You should, of course, do Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. But this particular adventure takes you north all the way to the Mexican border. What is so special about this run? There are a few tour shops that do this run well, and we would recommend Genie at Coral Divers. This all day run starts at about 8:00am and you will arrive back home when the sun is just setting.
The trip starts with the boat picking you up at your dock, (now depending on where you are staying will determine where you start the “run”). Once they pick you up, the first stop is to gather sardines for fishing. It is really a treat to watch them catch these fish with their nets, once aboard the boat, these little sardines are jumping all around the boat, so “you” must put them in the bucket of water. Slippery little buggers!
Now it is time to head north to Tranquility Bay, take a turn to the reef through the Basil Jones cut. Then you are outside the reef for about 20 minutes until we head back over to the other side at Rocky Point. We find a great spot to anchor up, now whatever you chose to do, it is time to snorkel or fish! For a couple of hours while sipping on a little rum punch or some Belikin beer. Depending on the time of year, if you’re snorkeling, you can catch some conch for ceviche later or even spear your own lobster, if you are lucky enough to spot one. We’re hopeful whoever is fishing will catch us a few snappers, trigger fish, grunts, barracuda, you name it, but that will be our lunch, so if you come up empty, it will be a very hungry boat! Now once everyone is back on the boat, our next stop is a great little spot on the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, called Una Mas Cantina. Stopping here is a delight, with beautiful beaches, little colorful casitas, a little restaurant, and bar. As our crewmen make our nummy lunch, we enjoy cocktails, soda or water, while listening to music on the beach. We laugh, enjoy each others company, and just chill until we launch off after lunch.
Once we have our bellies full, it is time again to take a spin towards the mangroves to do a little more snorkeling and fishing, with a possible opportunity to spot a manatee, if you are lucky enough!
The journey home leads us winding in and out of the mangroves with Mexico to our north and Belize to the south, it is so beautiful, also another opportunity to spot a manatee. I actually saw one and jumped in the murky water, but to no avail did I get up close to him. Once through the mangroves we are now cruising with one more stop at the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. A great spot to tour the visitor center before enjoying some fresh cerviche, a cold beer, and chat with the local guide.
Back on the boat, for the final “run” home. This trip takes us on the “back” side of the Caye. You can enjoy sitting on the front of boat while cruising through the shallow waters, the wind blowing through your hair and if you are lucky enough a beautiful sunset to top it off.
We LOVE this run and would recommend it to anyone who wants a different fishing & snorkeling adventure. Contact us for Genies’s number, he is the best!