Best Places to Scuba Dive in Belize
The beautiful Central American
country of Belize has become a top destination for experienced and novice
divers alike. This is due to the unparalleled variety
of dive spots
along Belize's 185-mile
barrier reef coastline. Boasting the second largest barrier reef in the world,
Belize offers every type of diving experience for divers of all levels.
Belize is a short plane trip away
for Canadian and American divers, and the country is tourist-friendly and safe.
English is the official language of Belize and is spoken fluently by most
residents. Ecotourism is well established in the country and tourism is a major
industry. Accommodations range from economy-priced hotels to exclusive island
resorts and many types of diving packages are available. Food is fresh and
delicious, and the weather is sub-tropical, with water temperatures of about 76
Tres Cocos - This site, whose name means "Three Coconuts”, is suitable for
beginners and experienced divers alike. Since it's close to land, the boat ride
is short and the marine life is incredible. Even if you stick close to the
boat, you're likely to see harlequin bass, dusky damselfish, porkfish,
stoplight parrotfish, trumpetfish, French grunts, blue chromis, blushing star,
bar jacks and more.
Bev's Garden at Glover's Reef Atoll - This spot, which is less crowded than other
beginner dive sites, starts over staghorn and lettuce leaf coral reefs and
descends to about 35 feet. You may encounter eel, snapper, hawksbill turtles
and spotted eagle rays.
The Pillar Coral - Novice divers
interested in trying a deep dive should visit the Pillar Coral, where the
current is not strong and the visibility is good. With a depth of up to 70 feet
and incredible coral formations, this site is a perfect first deep dive.
Sayonara Wreck at Turneffe Islands Atoll - This wreck sits at only 50 feet, making it
suitable for divers of varying experience. You may see basket starfish, file
clams and coral shrimp in and around the wreck. You might also see a passing barracuda,
a school of small French grunts or some peacock flounders.
Intermediate and Advanced Dives
The Aquarium - If you are able to
handle moderate to strong currents, you will want to experience this site in
the northwest corner of the country near Long Caye. As the name suggests, this
spot is teeming with marine life!
Hol Chan Marine Reserve - This is a versatile site, with some areas suitable for novices and others
designated for intermediate and experienced divers. There are a variety of
opportunities here, including spectacular night diving.
Punta Arena Canyons - For the advanced
diver looking for a unique experience, this system has a depth range of about
100 feet and features caverns and two canyons that can accommodate two divers
swimming side by side.
Great Blue Hole - Finally, advanced
divers will want to dive the Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef, the holy grail
of dive sites. This incredible 412-foot limestone sinkhole, resembling a pupil
in the ocean's turquoise eye, offers one of scuba diving's peak
Belize is truly a diver's