So you are thinking of Scuba Diving Belize? Great and good choice! But just how and where in Belize are you planning to Dive. It's a bit tricky but with this guide we can help you on your way to enjoying your adventure above and below the waves. Belize can rate among some of the best dive sites in the world for example the blue hole. To get an idea of the problem of choice lets take a look at the map of Belize.
Belize is a diverse diving destination with multiple locations, there is too much choice.
Let us first talk about how NOT to Scuba Dive Belize, and that is doing it by visiting on a cruise ship. While many scubadivers visit Belize on cruise ships and understandably want to dive Belize, the problem with that is the cruise ships dock in Belize City.
Belize City has never been a top diving destination as it’s mainly used as a base where all the Belize liveaboards dock and resupply for there next trip.
The waters around Belize City are churned up due to the river mouths that empty into the ocean close bye, if you dive from Belize City you have to travel about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the Belize Barrier Reef where the visibility is much better.
The dive sites that you will be able to dive from a cruise ship will not be the best dives in Belize and as long as this is understood then go ahead and dive, they are still very nice dives.
From a cruise ship, at best you will dive along the Barrier Reef close to Goff’s Caye the sites will be nice sites but certainly not the best diving Belize has to offer so by all means take a dive but plan a trip back to Belize for a week of the very best diving Belize has to offer.
Let’s look at the different types of diving Belize has to offer.
Barrier Reef Diving
Belize Barrier Reef diving is incorporates the following areas starting in northern Belize starting with Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, St Georges Caye gradually heading south for 175 miles. The further south you the longer boat ride is out to the Barrier Reef.
The reef has natural classical spur and groove formations as the coral grew out.
The inside of the Barrier Reef (sandy color) is a protected area and is at most 8 -10ft deep. The white you can see in some photos is where the waves are forced to break on the edge of the reef. It delineates clearly the reef and it can be seen from space.
Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
These island cays are the most popular destinations for Diving Belize as they offer a nice array of activities other than Scuba however both these destinations offer challenging diving.
These cayes offer the reef but can be quite challenging for many divers. The Barrier Reef runs 190 miles the entire length of Belize the only way out is via 'cuts', these are natural ways out to sea and deep enough for boats if you make an accurate path. Navigating through cuts means that you can't soften the blow of waves so December to April can leave divers on board feeling like they might have been on a bit of a coaster ride sometimes the boat slams in the 5ft waves even with the best of captains.
Once you have dive the Belize Barrier Reef from these locations most other tropical destinations will be easy for you so take the challenge and get on that reef!
Doing the reef from Ambergris and Caulker is also popular as they offer other things such as Mayan ruins tours and cave tubing, the islands have shops restaurants and nightclubs so its a great vibe and atmosphere.
Other Dive Areas of Belize
Atolls: Turneffe Atoll, Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Glovers Reef
Not part of the mesoamerican reef system.
These Atols are natural formations created from seamounts or volcanoes
These are the best diving options open to a diver perhaps in the Caribbean! They are quite remote but can be done from Abergris and Caulker. Liveaboards are a way to do these and they operate out of Belize City. Alternatively check out this remote resort- http://www.turnefferesort.com/.
Lighthouse reef is where you get to the blue hole which is a blog post in itself, for now think bull sharks massive schools of jacks and impressive topography. There are many more reefs to explore anyway this is a special part of the world.
Cover: The Blue Hole Belize - https://www.instagram.com/alexartist4life/
South Belize Diving
Migrating Whale Sharks visit Gladden Split coordinating with Snapper spawning in March to June the best time to dive is on full moon it's impressive.
The ride out to the reef takes about 1 hour from most of the mainland resorts from Hopkins down to Placencia.
You can also access Glovers reef from the southern resorts this is a great atoll to target too.
So there is a half thousand words is Belize diving, if you liked this information would like to add to it or crrect anything then please do let us at Caribbean Diving know.