Whenever people think of diving in Belize, the first place that comes to mind is the Great Blue Hole. However, there are so many other beautiful dive sites that can be explored in Belize.
Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, which is approximately 180 miles long. Huge right? Not only that, The Barrier reef is also home to over 100 types of corals and 500 types of fish species including some of the most rare types. Let’s just say it is a very colorful underwater garden which will leave you in awe! If you’re traveling to dive then Belize is definitely the place for you. Book a diving trip with any of the dive companies around the country. Be sure to dive responsibly and protect the natural beauty that Belize has to offer.
Here’s a look into the top dive site in this fascinating country.
Half Moon Caye Wall
A well-kept secret in Belize indeed. This site has one of the most beautiful views, it’s one of the best you’ll ever see. It is known as the Half Moon Caye wall because of the mounds of coral that are populated with different types of fishes that brings more colors to the corals. The depth of this dive site is approximately 100 Ft so be careful as you dive down because the sunlight can easily trick you into going deeper than the maximum 60 ft depth.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
This reserve is located just south of Ambergris Caye. Hol Chan is Mayan for “little channel”. It got it’s name because this little channel is a breaking point between the barrier reef which gives a way around the corals. When diving this area be sure to look out for the schools of rays or of barracudas. The most interesting part of this dive is visiting the sunken barge that is home to some curious nurse sharks and green moray. Be daring and get the opportunity to dive with these sharks.
Long Caye Aquarium
Usually when you go on a Blue Hole trip, the last stop would be the Long Caye Aquarium. This dive site has a flat area that is covered with clusters of corals. As you go deeper you’ll find a steep wall that drops to about 35 ft and goes deeper. Apart from the wall, the other wonderful thing about this dive is that even in shallow areas you’ll be able to see the colorful corals. You’ll be sure to see something beautiful at this aquarium.
Only 30 minutes away from Ambergris Caye is this unique dive site. At Esmeralda Canyons you’ll be able to dive between canyons with coral walls on both sides. Be ready to swim with eagle rays, turtles, and fishes! If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to swim with dolphins, and hammerhead sharks.
Deemed a world heritage site by UNESCO, The Great Blue Hole has attracted avid scuba divers from all over the globe, the environmentally conscious, and many other travelers to its depths. Even though studies have concluded it was a cave system that collapsed in the last ice age, The Great Blue Hole still retains a shroud of mystery. With stalactite formations that date back 153,000 years, one has to wonder about the secrets the caverns hold. Diving the Blue Hole leaves you feeling small in comparison to the greatness of the sunken cave.
Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve
Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve (GSSCMR) – Located roughly 22 miles East of Placencia or 30.1 miles East of Hopkins village, is roughly an hour to an hour and ahalfboat ride away. This area is bustling with schools of fish and marine life as it covers roughly 26,000 acres of aquatic habitat making it an attraction for the Whale Sharks. It is a fantastic spot for both divers. Diving with Whale Sharks requires an Advance PADI certification with tours going to a maximum depth of 60ft/18m.
The Atolls- Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glover’s
Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glover’s are three of the coral atolls that can be found in the Western Hemisphere. These atolls have a little of everything that you’ll find at different diving sites. Turneffe atoll is one of the largest out of the three, and is one of the best sites. Lighthouse reef is the furthest from mainland and is the reef around the Blue Hole. Glover’s reef is one of the least visited but has 50 miles of fringing reef and is also full of color. The atolls is the place to go if you’re looking for a site that is not crowded with people but with marine life.
Written by CC+L editorial team
Places to stay
A day on Ambergris Caye