World Famous Diving in Belize
An Underwater Wonderland
Belize is home to some of the finest scuba diving in all of the world. The Cayes (pronounced keys), the offshore atolls, and the barrier reef are the main attractions for Belize Scuba Diving. The barrier reef, which is 185 miles long, is the longest in the Western Hemisphere, and second largest in the entire world. The cayes are coral sand and/or mangroves islands, that are located between the mainland and the barrier reef, on the barrier reef, and on or within the reef perimeters of the offshore atolls.
Tons of amazing dive sites to choose from
Belize Scuba Diving offer over 50 dive sites accessible from San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. Most of the best sites are conveniently located no more than a 10-20 minute boat ride away from San Pedro.
Belize is blessed with a diversity of reef systems which can be fully explored: from the distinctive topography of the Barrier Reef, to the offshore walls of the Turneffe, Glover’s and Lighthouse atolls, and last, but certainly not least, the magnificent, Great Blue Hole which is known as one of the top destinations for scuba diving.
The Belize Barrier Reef
Home to Belize’s most prestigious natural treasure, the world’s second largest living barrier reef at roughly 185 miles/298 kilometers in length, located just off its’ eastern shore, Ambergris Caye is a true diver’s haven.
The reef crest is well defined by a conspicuous line of breaking water that is clearly visible from the shore and at low tide, Staghorn and Elkhorn coral can even be seen protruding above the surface. Over 35 of Belize’s most spectacular scuba diving sites are within close proximity and are accessible by boat via a series of natural channels that traverse the reef crest to the open water beyond.
Dives extend to depths of between 60 and 80 feet where mazes of lobster and Black drum inhabited spur and groove canyons can be intricately explored. Large groupers evasively linger around go-by cleaning stations while turtles and spotted eagle rays make sudden appearances by scurrying over the edges of oncoming canyons. The vibrant waters are also home to a multitude of shark and dolphin species. Swim-through caverns and tunnels provide more adventurous diving venues where divers may exit through sporadic chimneys to discover that they are in a totally different location from where they primarily entered.
Day Trip Diving
The World Famous ‘Great Blue Hole’
Six miles north of Halfmoon Caye, in the lagoon of Lighthouse Atoll, is the Great Blue Hole. The name alone will make it different from some of the other “blue holes” to be found in the Caribbean. This one is the largest, deepest, and most famous. Thousands of divers have made it the reason they have booked our Belize Scuba Diving package.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau who declared it one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world made this site famous. In 1971 he brought his ship, the Calypso to the hole to chart its depths. The Great Blue Hole was formed sometime during one of the ice ages that covered the North American continent several millions of years ago. At this time it was dry and because of its limestone makeup, stalagmites and stalactites were created drop by drop of limestone rich water. Some of these stalactites are nearly thirty feet long and nearly eight feet in diameter.
The top edge of the Great Blue Hole is nearly 1,000 feet across and is ringed by fringing coral that makes for an excellent snorkeling adventure. The base of this fringing reef gradually slopes at about 40 degrees until at a depth of 50 feet it suddenly drops into the Great Blue Hole. A sheer, pockmarked wall, covered in some places with algae called Halimeda, is the only reference as descent is initiated. Most of the time there will be a slight thermocline felt at around 90 feet and at this point the visibility will improve substantially. The stalactites start at a depth of 120 feet and are plainly in view at the limits of sport diving, 130 feet.
This amazing geological formation is not home to a variety of marine life, especially at depth. On occasion, you will see groupers, sharks, horse-eye jack, squirrel fish back up in a nook, and even schools of Reef Sharks. This really does make for an eerie, almost surreal setting.