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Dive Sites

Belize offers some of the best and most varied diving-sites in the world and has the added benefits of excellent weather conditions and clear, warm water.

Inside the 185 miles (300km) long  barrier reef, witch the second longest in the world and the largest in the western hemisphere you can see hundreds of brightly colored fish and coral species. We guide you to the dive spots in Belize

GtB Allway Hungry Southern Stingrays and Horse-eye Jacks
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Glover's Reef Atoll
Glover's Reef, which is most south of the three atolls, is often overlooked. It has a diameter of some 40 miles with over 700 shallow patch reefs in its interior. Diving sites include Octopus Alley, Manta Reef, Hole in the Wall,  Parrotfish Falls, Shark Point, Gorgonia Gallery, Long Caye Cut, Turtle Tavern and Dolphin Dance. With the numerous patch reefs this is a great place for snorkeling as well

GtB The interior of the Glover's Reef Atoll
Half  Moon Caye National Monument
Half Moon Caye, located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll, was the first reserve to be established by the Natural Parks System Act of 1981.

One of the main reasons that the natural monument was created was to protect the Red-footed Booby bird and its rookery.

GtB Half  Moon Caye National Monument
The Magnificent Frigate bird shares the rookery with the Red-footed Booby, and both species coexist in apparent harmony. Some 98 species of birds have been recorded on the Caye, of which some seventy-seven are migrants. Regular winter migrants include Ospreys, Mangrove Warblers, and White-crowned Pigeons. The Iguana, the Wish Willy, and the Lizard are permanent residents on the island, while the Loggerhead Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle come ashore annually to lay their eggs.

Hole Chan Marine Reserve
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve highlights and protects the Hol Chan (Mayan Name for "little channel") Cut, which is in the barrier reef some four miles southeast of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.

Hole Chan was established in 1987, as the first of its kind in Central America, includes a five square mile area of three distinctive zones.

GtB Say hello to your old friend, the green moray

Zone A includes the reef (both inside and outside),
Zone B includes the seagrass beds inside the reef,
Zone C includes the mangroves of southern Ambergris Caye.
All three zones are closely linked and are interdependent.

Buoys have been installed to mark the boundaries of the Reserve and to provide anchoring points for dive operators' boats. Since it is illegal to fish and/or collect coral within the reserve, marine life is present in healthy populations.

Shark Ray Alley (part of the larger Hol Chan Marine Reserve), offers visitors the chance to witness and swim alongside Nurse Sharks and Southern Sting Rays. Waters of about eight feet in depth allow for clear visibility as visitors observe and interact with these friendly sea creatures that were originally drawn to the area over time as it served as a common location for fisherman to clean out their catch for the day.

GtB Nurse Shark's are allways curious
Laughing Bird Caye National Park
One of the newest National Parks in Belize, Laughing Bird Caye is located thirteen miles southeast of Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District.
Although the Caye was named for the large number of laughing gulls that once inhabited it, the birds have virtually abandoned their rookery due to excessive human en- croachment.

GtB Hungry Barracuda waiting for a young bird to drop in the water
In an effort to assist the birds in reestablishing their presence, the government is taking steps to minimize the disruption of the Caye.

Since, Laughing Bird Caye is a shelf atoll with deep channels, the scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities are outstanding. Fortunately, these activities can be enjoyed without bothering the birdlife on the Caye. From their boats, visitors are able to observe the birdlife from a safe and unobtrusive distance offshore.

Lighthouse Reef
The Lighthouse Reef is the farthest from the mainland and gets plenty of visitors. Depth near the reef is around 9 feet.

The great Blue Hole at the center of Lighthouse Reef is described as one of the best dive sites on Earth and a must for all advanced divers.

GtB Traffic Jam on the Lighthouse Reef in Belize
Other diving sites are Manta Wall, the Zoo, Cathedral and Half Moon Wall. The Lighthouse Reef teems with birds, including a nesting colony of rare red-footed boobies. Under water life is also rich here, with dolphins and other creatures. The waters off Hat Caye are great for snorkeling.

Silk Caye
The Silk Cayes is the home to the world's largest population of whale sharks during the months of February to May. 

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, and one of the largest creature of any kind alive today.

GtB Whale Shark east of Silk Caye
The whale shark's gentle natures makes swimming with them a special treat for divers and snorkelers and the whale shark's curiosity even pulls fishing parties into its thrall when the huge sharks pull up alongside fishing boats as they sometimes do in the summer and fall months in the Silk Caye area.

Although 3 or 4 days before and after the full and new moons in April and May are the best times to interact with the sharks, they are often sighted through the summer months as well.

The Blue Hole National Park
The "Blue Hole" is located in the center of Lighthouse Reef Atoll, which is about 60 miles due east of Belize City. The hole circular in shape, over 300 meter (1,000 ft) across and 125 meter (400 ft) deep.  The Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off of the coast of Belize.

GtB Blue Hole National Park Belize
It was formed as a limestone cave in the ice age when sea levels were much lower. As the ocean began to rise again the caves flooded, and the roof collapsed. Popularized by the French Jacques Cousteau television special, this has become the most famous dive site in all of Belize. If you are interested in diving this site, numerous dive operators can provide day and/or overnight dive trips from Ambergris Caye, Belize City, or from various other offshore Cayes and Atolls.

Turneffe Atoll
The Turneffe Atoll, the largest of the 3 atolls found in Belize, is 30 miles long and about 20 miles from Belize City.  The water dept measures between 55 and 65 feet. The Turneff Atoll differs somewhat from the other two atolls in that most of the islands here are densely covered in mangroves, especially on the west side.

GtB Hawksbill Turtle close to Turneffe Atoll
The best known dive sites in this atoll are: Black Beauty, Hollywood, Jill's Thrill, Cabbage Patch, the Elbow, The Coral, Gorgonian Bluff, the Secret Spot, Birthday Reef, Myrtle's Turtl and Rendezvous Wall. The Mauger Caye (north of the atoll, with a lighthouse) is known for its sharks.

Wreck Diving
Belize provides few wreck dive opportunities because many wrecked ships actually lodged atop the reef system above water. There is also little chance of finding valuables.

Anything you find of value belongs to the state and cannot be kept. A couple underwater wrecks are:

GtB Sheep Wreck on the Great Reef in Belize
  • Amigo's Wreck - Ambergris Caye, the wreck was purposely sunk in this spot to attract bigger marine life.
  • HMS Advice - Turneffe Atoll - This is the wreck of a British naval cutter which sunk to 16 feet on June 1, 1793
  • Sayonara in Turneffe Atoll - This was a transport boat sitting at 45 feet below the surface.

Guide to Belize,  September 2021



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