If you are holidaying on Caye Caulker then a trip out to the reef will obviously be on your list of things to do as it is widely renowned for its abundant marine life and beautiful coral formations….But there is another marine abundant sanctuary right on the island that few visitors are aware of, but that is equally impressive!
To get to this “secret” spot you turn left down the street just before the Raggamuffin office and head to the back of the island. At the end of the street you will arrive at ‘Purnell’s Property’ (a local fisherman). Ask permission before entering the property and then head out to the pier….There in the water you will find over 100 3-4 foot tarpon swimming around! If you don’t know tarpon are a large sporting fish which are catch and release only. It really is an incredible site to see so many large fish swimming in one area together, but it ‘s something that you need to see for yourself to really appreciate. You can also kayak around to this spot which only adds to the experience.
The owners of the property did not create this reserve for tourism purposes, but simply to create a safe-haven for the fish where they could live in peace and be feed regularly. Starting off with only a handful of fish the numbers have continued to increase over the years. There is a strict ‘no fishing’ policy in this area to protect them.
To see these fish in action you can purchase sardines and bring them down with you and feed the tarpon. They are incredibly fast and agile. And if you are brave enough you can even hop in the water and swim with them! Don’t worry they don’t bite A few meters out from the dock there is a sink hole where the tarpon and other types of fish gather. If you sit still enough in the water above the cave the fish will swim all around you.
If you get a chance while you are on the island I definitely recommend going down to see these beautiful creatures. Whether take the plunge and go swimming with them is entirely up to you. No pressure
(* Photos by Underwater Ally Productions)