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#431259 - 02/24/12 04:03 PM Belize Scuba Diving Overview
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Belize Diver and Turtle photo courtesy of White Sands Dive Shop
As the saying goes, big things sometimes come in small packages. With Belize—the second smallest and least populated nation in Central America—this couldn't be any more true as it packs a hemisphere’s worth of adventure within its borders. Divers obviously come for the prime oceanfront real estate along the second longest barrier reef in the world, but there’s so much more to see and do here. That means it's an ideal holiday location for nondiving family or significant others. If your idea of rest and relaxation includes beaches, rainforests, hiking, mountains, cave tubing, wildlife and touring Mayan ruins, you’re in luck. Book your ticket for Belize now.


Ambergris Caye
Belize manatee photo courtesy of White Sands Dive Shop
Just offshore from the quaint village of San Pedro is Hol Chan Marine Reserve, one of the coolest dives in Belize. It’s a strictly enforced marine park situated at a deep cut in Belize’s barrier reef. The park enforcement has paid off in spades with abundant marine life, healthy corals and throngs of grouper, snapper, barracuda and jacks. At Shark Ray Alley, you’ll leave dive gear behind and snorkel with—you guessed it—nurse sharks and stingrays.

Find a PADI Dive Center or Resort near Ambergris Caye

The Blue Hole
Belize Blue Hole Image Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board
If you call yourself a diver, you’ve undoubtedly heard the hype and seen the aerial shots of Belize’s signature dive. And, truth be told, it’s definitely one of those dive-before-you-die sites. At more than 300 metres/1000 feet across and 135 metres/450 feet deep, this spectacular hole-in-the-reef dive is a day-trip away from most of Belize’s dive resorts. Take the trip and you'll be rewarded with a payoff that includes reef and bull sharks and fascinating stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Find a PADI Dive Center or Resort near the Blue Hole

The Atolls
Outside of Belize’s barrier reef, the water gets clearer and you'll find three of the Western Hemisphere's four true coral atolls. At Turneffe, the largest and northernmost atoll, a dive site called The Elbow has a remote, pristine Pacific-esque quality to it where you can expect big animal action and stunning reefs. Glover’s is the most remote—and least visited—but has more than 80 kilometres/50 miles of fringing reef.

Find a PADI Dive Center or Resort near the Atolls

Stann Creek District and the South
Belize image 4 photo courtesy of Ecologic Divers
South of Belize City and north of Guatemala, the Stann Creek District is where the coast starts curving away from the barrier reef. Here, quiet dive resorts are the jumping-off points for Belize’s southern barrier reef or day trips to the atolls. This is also ground zero for whale shark encounters at sites off Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes.

Find a PADI Dive Center or Resort near the Stan Creek District


Depth: Because Belize houses the second largest reef in the world, you'll find a wide range of depths. From shallow coral gardens and animal encounters to deep walls dripping with life, the choice is yours. Take your pick.
Belize image 2 photo courtesy of Ecologic Divers

Visibility: Off the barrier reef and atolls, visibility is often 30 metres/100 feet or more. It might be a touch less inside the reef.

Currents: As with many dive destinations, currents here are variable. They range from calm at some of the tranquil caye sites to ripping at Hol Chan.

Water Temperature: Plan on a bathtub-warm 30° C/85° F in summer and a "low" of about 26° C/79° F in winter.

Dive Season: Year-round. Whale sharks sightings are virtually guaranteed from April to June along the southern barrier reef.
Belize Black Grouper photo courtesy of White Sands Dive Shop

Weather: The subtropical weather in Belize means it is warm year-round, particularly along the coast. A brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean tempers the summer heat a bit. Air temperatures in summer range from about 24-29° C/75-85° F. Winter is cooler, with a daily low of about 21° C/70° F and a daily high of about 27° C/80° F.

Access: You’ll more than likely fly into Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport outside of Belize City, then take a small aircraft (usually 8-12 seats) from the city’s municipal airport to your final destination. Keep in mind that you'll likely have strict weight and/or baggage requirements on the smaller aircraft so check with your airline or travel professional. Some resorts also offer land transfers.

Skill Level: Dive newbies and veterans alike will find something to love about Belize.

Scuba Gear: It's always nice to bring your own gear, but Belize has a mature, developed dive industry, so many dive resorts and live-aboards hire gear.

Length of Stay: Many divers opt for a one-week package at a dive resort or live-aboard, but to get a true feel for the variety of available diving, you'll want to stay longer.

Featured Creatures: You'll find the usual Caribbean suspects here, but in seemingly greater numbers. Expect sharks, big schools of fish and whale sharks in the right season.
Belize image 3 photo courtesy of Ecologic Divers

Language: Belize is the only Central American country with English as the official language. There are enclaves, however, where Spanish, Maya, Garifuna and creole are spoken.

Currency: The Belize dollar (BZD) is tied to the US dollar, where one US dollar is equal to two Belize dollars.

Transportation: This small country has a highway system that connects the main towns, but small aircraft flights are the easiest and quickest way to get around.

Major Airports: Most tourists enter the country through Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE), Belize’s primary Belize Image Courtesy of Belize Tourism Boardinternational air gateway. Many then transfer to Belize City Municipal Airport (TZA) to catch a domestic flight.

Religion: Nearly 80 percent of the population is Christian, but there is a wide variety of other religions, including Hindus, Baha’is, Buddhists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Rastafarians and Mennonites.

Electricity: Most electricity in Belize runs at 110 volts/60Hz and uses the same plug type (Type A and Type B) as the United States. Belize also has some 220 volt electricity that uses a three-pronged plug (Type G) common to the United Kingdom. Belize Cayo Xunantunich Image Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Airport Entry/Exit Fees: Belize levies a departure tax ranging from $3.75 to $39.25 that varies based on how you are leaving the country. The fee is sometimes included in the airfare.


#431261 - 02/24/12 04:08 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Good Stuff!
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#431692 - 02/29/12 03:37 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

VIDEO: Belize Diving Adventures - Tackle Box

Five minutes from dock to site. Great dive, a brief view of a Hammerhead, Nurse Sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays. It was good day on the reef.

#432012 - 03/03/12 02:55 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

VIDEO: Belize Diving Adventures at Esmeralda

Dolphins, Eagle Rays, Grouper, Sea Turtles....another good dive here on the Belize Barrier Reef.

#432028 - 03/03/12 04:40 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
What a great team these two are! I've been diving with Everett since he was a skinny 19 year old dive master. Now, not only is he an instructor with his own shop but also treasurer of the Tour Guide Association. It has been a pleasure watching him mature. Maybe I should post some of my video of BDA?
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#432086 - 03/04/12 02:21 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

VIDEO: Jesus on "The Reef" Ambergris Caye, Belize

Dive site "Christ of The Abyss" Watch the left eye appears to glance at the lens as I approached. Great Dive and Good video, aome nice reef photos as well. Belize Diving Adventures, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, CA

VIDEO: Diving Ambergris Caye

"Five minutes from the dock. Good Sea Turtle and coral film clips in this episode. Local Diving with Belize Diving Adventures, San Pedro Ambergris Caye

#432128 - 03/04/12 11:57 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
Thanks for sharing you gave me the courage to post mine. Here is one of Tacklebox & Tuffy Canyon. http://youtu.be/NZEhWrvT69I

Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#432270 - 03/06/12 03:49 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
awesome Harriette, thanks!!! here's another one.....

Local Corals and Reef Residents

Have a look at local coral and reef residents just ten minutes from the dock

#434145 - 03/27/12 01:38 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

VIDEO: A Great Sunday Morning Dive

#434689 - 04/03/12 02:17 PM Re: Belize Scuba Diving Overview [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Turtle Time at Hol Chan

Sanjiv and Sunnie spend some time with Hol Chan marine residents, especially Mr. Sea Turtle

Exploring Shark Ray Alley with Nipa and Ayisha

Nipa and Ayisha snorkel with sharks and rays on the Belize Barrier Reef.

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