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Top Five Dives in Belize
Belize is home to the second longest barrier reef in the world, spanning the country’s entire coastline. With over 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, over 400 species of fish, and the occasional hammerhead or whale shark, this underwater world is one of the best places on the planet to go snorkelling or diving. With 185 miles of reef, 450 small islands and atolls, knowing where to start is tricky! Therefore our guys on the Latin America team have narrowed down the top 5 dives sites they think is worth a mention.
The Blue Hole
Named as one of the top ten dive sites in the world this large underwater sinkhole oozes mystery and beauty. Located in the centre of the Light Reef Atoll and circular in shape, the Blue Hole is approximately 1,000 feet in diameter and approximately 410 feet deep, making it the world’s largest natural formation of its kind. With a wide array of bizarre multi-coloured stalactites and limestone formations it offers an eerily yet spectacular setting. Along with that, divers are allured to these crystal clear waters to see myriad species of marine life, including tropical fish and spectacular coral formations.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley
This is one of Belize’s oldest and most visited sites, located approximately four miles south of San Pedro- Ambergris Caye. Hol Chan meaning ‘little channel’ in Mayan refers to a natural break in the reef. The channel walls are decorated by luminous corals which in turn attract an astounding variety of marine life including turtles, black groupers, moray eels, colourful fish and more. The Marine reserve also consists of other zones including the sea grass beds, the mangroves and more famously shark ray alley. Shark ray alley, guarantees the chance to swim alongside nurse sharks and southern sting rays up close and personal which is an exhilarating experience. However this popular occurrence is more because of the food boats provide rather than it being a ‘natural occurrence’. Due to the shallow waters, this site is great for beginner dives or snorkelling.
Glover’s reef Atoll
This is the third of Belize’s atolls (there are three in total) and considered as a World Heritage Site and marine reserve. As one of the most remote atolls in Belize, it offers a unique and pure diving experience. Expect to see hundreds of different species of colourful fish, coral gardens and sponges. It’s possible to stay on Glovers Atoll although accommodation here is basic and can also be accessed from Placencia town located about an hour and a half away.
South Water Caye
This Private Island sits right atop the barrier reef, right in the middle of Belize’s largest marine protected area, South Water Caye Marine reserve. The area is best known for its off-the-beaten-reef diving due to its pristine reefs and corals. Offering excellent opportunities to swim through coral corridors where schools of spotted eagle rays, sharks and turtles can be found the diving here is spectacular and completely undisturbed.
Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
The reserve contains some of the healthiest parts of the reef system due to its elevation and good water quality. It boasts over 25 species of reef fish, including the spectacular and gentle whale shark. These gentle giants can be found passing the area ten days after the full moon between the months of March and June. It has been said that they are allured here by the abundant snapper eggs in the area which they feed on.
It’s important to note that most of these sites are for the more avid diver and whilst we can organise your Belize holiday for you, we always recommend letting us hooking you up with the best dive hotels for you and then you booking your dive sites on arrival so we can guarantee your experiences are matched to your interests and level of expertise.