Southern Belize’s Popular (And Awesome) Diving Hot Spots To Visit

by Larry Waight

The Belizean Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world and one of its premier destinations for scuba diving. One of the best ways to access this remarkable ecosystem is from Placencia, which is just a short boat ride away, making it the ideal base for a diving vacation. Beginning divers will love the shallow coral channels closest to Placencia. These form interesting mazes and underwater avenues with excellent visibility. There is little current here, which makes it easy for beginners to navigate. Not to mention, the variety of sea life is stunning.

Laughing Bird Caye National Park

Splash Dive Center diving Caye by Carolee Chanona

Diving with Splash Dive Center. Photo by Carolee Chanona

During the boat ride to the reef, fortunate visitors might see manatees and dolphin. At the reef, there are manta rays, sting rays, barracudas, mantis shrimp, and moray eels among other species. The rays are particularly prevalent at the Laughing Bird Caye National Park. Since many are spawned in these waters, divers will have the rare opportunity to spot juvenile forms.

Gladden Spit Marine Reserve

whale shark

The Gladden Spit Marine Reserve is another popular destination due to the migration of whale sharks through the area from March to June. Visitors can dive or snorkel with these gentle creatures. In the autumn, visitors can swim among thousands of groupers during their mating season.

Silk Caye

Diving the Silk Cayes with Splash Dive Center. Photo by Carolee Chanona

Experienced divers will want to venture to the outer reef where they will find deep underwater canyons and cliffs at popular destinations such as Silk Caye and Tarpon Caye. Sea turtles, lobsters and moray eels can be seen in these waters.

Pompion Caye

Pompion Caye

Pompion Caye with Splash Dive Center. Photo by Carolee Chanona

A little further south from Silk Caye is Pompion Caye, known for its beautiful coral formations that look like lettuce leaves. These form a coral garden at the edge of a sheer wall that drops into the depths of the ocean. Here you might spot the larger Caribbean reef sharks.

South Water Caye belize island aerial

Aerial of South Water Caye by Duarte Dellarole.

Another unique wall formation can be found between South Water Caye and Carrie Bow CayeThere is a 100 foot inner wall formation here that includes a sandy bottom which forms a marine highway for eagle rays as well as the occasional massive turtle.

Glover’s Reef Atoll

kayaking glovers belize

Kayaking at Glover’s Reef Atoll. Photo by Duarte Dellarole Photography

Finally, there is Glover’s Reef Atoll. While getting here can be a challenge, it is worth the effort for experienced divers. This atoll is actually outside the perimeter of the main barrier reef and is known for its pristine and complex formations. Here you can spot hammerhead and blacktip sharks as well as the elusive white-lined toadfish, which is only found in these waters.

All The Benefits of Diving

Diving in Belize. Photo by Janelle Chanona

Not only does the area around Placencia provide a unique and thrilling diving environment for visitors, it also can enhance one’s sense of well-being, as scuba diving provides many health benefits. These include: 

  • Strength and Flexibility: Divers find that not only their legs but also their core becomes stronger thanks to the work required to push through the water.  
  • Lung Capacity and Blood Pressure: Divers must control their breath while diving. This helps promote lung health and capacity and can even help improve conditions such as asthma. Additionally, once the diver has warmed up, blood pressure and heart rate will be reduced.  
  • Overall Fitness: Thanks to challenging conditions that divers may encounter, there will be times when they must swim against a strong current or deal with increased water resistance. These short bursts of increased activity greatly enhance overall fitness. 
  • Healing Effects of Water, Sunshine and Nature: Many people report that floating in the water for periods of time, as well as being exposed to sunlight, increases one’s sense of security and happiness. Most divers also find that being surrounded by marine life creates a sense of contentment. There is the wonder of being surrounded by a world of exotic colors and shapes. Scientists believe that the variety of colors and shapes experienced while diving can create an uplift in mood.
  • Benefits of Socialization: Because divers typically have at least one diving buddy, there is a social benefit to diving. People often make friends during diving adventures, which increases their quality of life. 

All of these benefits makes scuba diving not only a great exercise for increasing overall fitness but also the ideal stress reliever. It is impossible to be depressed during a dive!

Given the many benefits of scuba diving and the unique beauty of Placencia, it makes sense to plan your next diving vacation in this region. One of the best ways to create special memories is to contact the Splash Dive Center in Placencia.

Finding a trusted, local Dive Operator 

Splash Dive Center can arrange everything so that you can relax and focus on enjoying your vacation. They have years of expertise and a deep knowledge of the area as well as a commitment to their community. This allows them to provide the perfect guidance you need for the best possible experience.

splash dive center Patty Ramirez belize placencia

Whether you are a beginner needing lessons and a PADI course or an experienced diver needing help finding a challenging adventure, the experts at the dive center can set you up. They can also help provide snorkeling trips for the non-divers in your party if you are traveling with a group.  

For those who wish to try other activities, the guides at Splash can even help arrange inland adventure tours, even helping you find accommodations.

Whether you are a solo traveler or part of a family or larger group, you can trust the experts at the Splash Dive Center to help you arrange the perfect diving vacation.

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