Belize is a favorite scuba diving destination for many people. However, Belize is a very diverse destination and there are many places that you could go to, each with very different diving opportunities. Some of these are suitable only for more advanced divers, so you do need to make sure that you remain safe.
Belize Barrier Reef
Belize is blessed with the second biggest barrier reef right of its shore. The diving centers arround the barrrier reef but there are some awesome dive sites within the 3 attols too. Many divers who visit Belize visit one of the locations below.
- Caye Caulker
- Ambergris Caye
Let’s review these sites in a bit more detail.
Diving Belize – Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye
Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are two very popular islands for divers as there are other activities to do there as well. Diving here can be challenging, so do make sure you have the right level of experience. The reef itself is fascinating. It runs the entire length of Belize, all 175 miles of it, and at times comes up to the surface.
The reef lies no more than 100 meters in front of the shore sof Ambergris Caye. The boat ride to the dive site will not take longer then 10 minutes. This is one of the benefits of diving around Caye Caulker.
Of course, another benefit of diving these areas is that there is much more on offer than just diving, including a vibrant nightlife, cave tubing, Mayan ruins and fantastic shops and restaurants. If you are planning a trip to Belize and you would like to stay on Ambergris Caye we can recommend Portofino Dive Resort. This resort run by Sandra en Sjoerd Jan Van Noord will make your trip even more special. Early 2013 Tripadvisor awarded Ambergris Caye as #1 of 10 in best islands in the world
Placencia is a quiet little beach town with a laid back atmosphere. Placencia village lies south of the Placecnia Peninsula and attracts not the amount of tourist that the more famous cayes do. The benefit of Placencia is that it lies on the mainland, so you can stay here and explore the Inland of Belize by car on day trips.
There are multiple dive shops in town and all have big comfortable boats that will bring you to the dive sites. The dive sites are not as close as on Ambergris Caye. Expect to be on the boat 45 min to an hour before you are at the dive site.
Diving Belize – The Belize Atolls
Atolls are bodies of water that are surrounded by a reef. There are four of these in the entire Western Hemisphere, and three of these four can be found in Belize. They are:
- Turneffe Atoll
- Glovers Reef Atoll
- Lighthouse Reef Atoll
The fourth atoll is the Chinchorro Banks, which is just south of Cancun, Mexico.
Atolls have reasonably calm waters, making them more suitable for less experienced divers. The visibility is fantastic and the underwater world itself is absolutely mesmerizing. The downside is that there is little else to do but dive, so this is not a suitable location for a family holiday where only one party enjoys diving, for example.
It is possible, however, to go on a day trip to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and the Turneffe Atoll from Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, so you may be able to combine the two. There are several lodges and resorts around the atolls, so you will be very comfortable. We have dived with the crew from Huracan diving who are based on Long Caye which is located in the lighthouse atoll.
Whale Shark Diving in Belize
It has been found that Whale Sharks migrate to Belize at the Gladden Split. This happens at the same time as the spawning season of the Snapper, between March and June each year. If you want to witness this fantastic feat of nature, try to go during a full moon, as you will be able to see the Snappers spawning.
It is possible to get to this reef in around an hour by boat from many of the main resorts. Glover’s reef is the favorite atoll of many because of this wonder of nature. Be safe and enjoy, but don’t go beyond your skill levels.
Would you like to go diving Belize? Feel free to contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages and scuba lessons.
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Photos courtesy of Canesaurus