Liveaboard Belize Diving
The Blue Hole Belize is probably one of the most famous dive sites worldwide made famous by Jaques Cousteau, but there is so much more on offer on a Belize liveaboard.
Belize diving is truly unique when it comes to ocean currents and topography. Belize liveaboard diving allows easy access to the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere. It is second worldwide only to the Great Barrier reef in Australia.
But the diving does not end there; in addition to the impressive barrier reef, this small country in Central America also boasts three distinct Caribbean atolls. As a result, Belize scuba diving is on walls, pinnacles and the reef flats of the whole diving area.
Belize has the complete package for scuba divers. It is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems and protected as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
The Blue Hole deserves a special mention when looking at diving here, made famous by ocean pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. A truly unique site with stalactites and stalagmites in a sinkhole that descends beyond view. Every diver should experience at least once this fantastic experience.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Liveaboard Belize Diving - 2 LIVEABOARDS
Belize Aggressor IV Liveaboard in the Caribbean
Belize diving on the luxurious Belize Aggressor IV.Book Now
During your Belize liveaboard diving experience be prepared for the fabulous marine life that is diverse and plentiful. Some of the more unique creatures to name a few are manatees, crocodiles, whale sharks and turtles which can be seen along the length of Belize's coastal waters and swamps.
Common sightings are Barracuda, grouper, clown fish, mackerel, angelfish and tarpon with a multitude of sponge varieties and more than 70 hard coral species.
Best Places to Dive in Belize
The best scuba diving in Belize can be split over four distinct areas.
- Lighthouse Reef - offers excellent snorkelling and diving for all and is the home of the famous blue hole, one of the best dive sites in Belize.
- Glovers Reef - is a little larger than Lighthouse and offers some fantastic shallow reef dives.
- Turneffe Atoll and Islands - is absolutely teeming with marine life in the mangrove area which is a nursery for many aquatic species.
- Ambergris Caye - this area is known for the gentle sloping reefs and marine reserves with large biodiversity.
Lighthouse Reef is where the Belize scuba diving is on deep walls with soft coral and sponge gardens that include some amazing finger and groove formations. Here Belize diving can offer a great mix of the larger pelagics and small reef creatures.
Along with the Blue Hole, close by is Half Moon Cay where there is a nature reserve on the island. Guests can spend time here to enjoy sightings of the red boobies during a walk around the cay with its well-organised conservation area.
Glovers Reef is a large atoll that is home to mangroves and sea caves, making this an ideal breeding ground for juveniles.
Ambergris Caye offers Belize diving at its best, the marine park protected area has significant biodiversity and is a sanctuary for sharks and rays. The famous stingray alley is here providing Belize snorkelling with one of the most amazing shallow sites to interact with these creatures.
Best Dive Sites in Belize
The Blue Hole
No Belize scuba diving cruise is complete without a visit to this site. The Blue Hole is probably one of the most famous dive sites in the world and is one of the most photographed. At 10m across and 120m deep it is unique with the stalagmite and stalactite formations at 42m of depth.
No coral can grow due to the lack of light, but reef sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, black tips and even hammerheads are known to frequent the area.
One of the best dive sites in Belize on Lighthouse Reef. With cleaning stations, schooling yellowtail snapper and even dolphins this site is not to be missed. Macro life is not missing with many unusual crinoids with their squat lobsters.
This is a Belize liveaboard staple dive at the south of the Caye due to the manta rays that are in abundance here.
This is one of the most popular sites due to it's colourful and varied marine life. There can be strong currents here that converge and attract jacks, sharks, eagle rays and kingfish. Dolphins can make an occasional appearance too.
Expect to find a beautiful wall with huge gorgonians and sponges in the canyons and rocky ledges and on exceptional days a school of more than 50 eagle rays can be spotted wowing all the divers.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
The reserve was created in 1987 is a shallow site close to shore which is a “little blue channel”. Reef, grass flats and mangrove areas are all included in the location where tidal currents supply food for the filter feeders. This area contains stingray alley famous for the snorkelling with many stingrays that are not bothered by snorkelers, allowing for close interactions.
Belize Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common sightings - Nurse sharks, pipefish, moray eels, lobsters, stingrays
- Special sightings - Whale sharks, eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, dugongs
- Topography - Reef, drop-offs, channels and sinkholes
- Visibility - 20 to 30m+
- Certification recommendations - Good visibility, ideal for beginner divers
- Onboard options - Beach and island visits, Half Moon Caye Nature Reserve
Best Time to Go
Belize is a year-round destination, but there are low, mid and high seasons.
Low Season (Jun-Oct) There can be substantial rainfall from June to mid-November, with the possibility of Hurricanes between August and October.
Midseason is (Nov & May) There are chances of dry days in November along with hot and humid in May.
High Season (Dec-Apr) April and June are the peak season for diving in Belize.
Visibility is pretty constant throughout the year, but surface chop may occur in the dry season.
Water temperature ranges between 26 to 29 C, so a 3mm shorty or full suit usually is sufficient for most divers.
How to Get There
International flights usually stop in the US via Miami, Dallas or Houston. From Cancun, Maya Air fly into Belize City.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
Belize Dollar (BZD)
On entry for most nationalities
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)
Suncream, lightweight and beach apparel, wide brim hat
30 - 34 C daytime, 21 - 26 C evenings
Similar to Mexican/Central American cuisine and Jamaican/Anglo-Caribbean cuisine
Take care when travelling Belize at night, always use official taxis