Belize Dive Sites
The unique area of Belize has a diverse marine life and topography. The famous sinkhole “The Blue Hole” with stalactites at 40m is like no other dive site worldwide.
Belize’s dive sites are diverse in terms of both marine life and topography. A liveaboard diving cruise to this amazing country proves to be a very rewarding choice.
Anonymity is part of Belize’s charm. This small country is relatively quiet with only a few tourists visiting and this has kept Belize’s Maya ruins pristine. The large rainforest area and especially the Belize Barrier Reef is still “unspoiled” for all to enjoy.
The Blue Hole dive site made famous by Jacques Cousteau is located here. It is a truly unique dive with wonderful stalactites and stalagmites in the deep. The Caribbean reef sharks and massive groupers are a sight to enjoy.
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Belize Dive Sites - 2 LIVEABOARDS
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There are four main dive areas in Belize: Lighthouse Reef, Glover's Reef, Turneffe Reef and Ambergris Caye.
Lighthouse Reef Highlights
Topography here is varied and diverse with plateau’s, shallow reefs and coral gardens. It also includes one of the most famous dive sites in the world, The Blue Hole.
The Blue Hole
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.
Half Moon Caye
Half-Moon Caye is a diverse site where you feel you are visiting several in one dive.
It is split into two reefs with a sand spur between, among the teeming reef life look for tilefish, snappers, parrot and angelfish
The reef is covered in gorgonian fans, sponges and hard corals with swim throughs and overhangs.
Look for mantas, eagle rays, sharks and a large variety of pelagic species along the wall.
Long Caye, this site got named due to the protruding ridge of reefs that form a small headland just north of Tres Cocos. With some of the most stunning reefs and abundant coral in the atoll.
Look out for groupers, rays, turtles, blennies, crustaceans like crabs and lobsters.
Tres Coco or three coconuts is a spur and groove site with narrow canyons and a sandy bottom.
Even staying within sight of the mooring line the marine life is very diverse including harlequin bass, trumpetfish, French grunts, porkfish, blue chromis, stoplight parrotfish and squirrelfish among the coral cover.
Yellowtail snapper, grey angelfish, bar jacks, black durgeon and Atlantic spadefish are found in the water above the reefs or in the canyons between. Diverse coral life is also seen with lettuce, boulder, brain, and stag-horn coral as a small example found here among the sponges, crinoids and anemones.
The Aquarium is a dive consisting of rock and coral outcrops in shallow water, there are some swim throughs and tunnels.
Look out for the many cleaning stations, schools of yellowtail snapper, jacks and turtles, even dolphins have been seen in this area.
Both the common and unusual can be seen here and the crinoids on the top of the wall are especially visible here with their partner lobsters.
Glover's Reef Highlights
Glover's Reef is slightly larger than Lighthouse Reef and surrounded by coral breaking the surface.
The Pinnacles at the south-west corner of the atoll offer a great change to the walls dives, descending to 30m from the start point of 8m.
Covered in sponges, plate corals and gorgonian fans the pinnacles have sand channels between them where hog snappers and schoolmasters can be seen.
Pelagic species like reef sharks, mackerel, tarpons, and barracudas are regularly seen.
Manta Wall is in the south of the caye and is a large reef covered in sponges and corals. Along with the variety of fish life, manta rays are in abundance here.
Turneffe Reef Highlights
Turneffe Reef is the largest of the atolls, home to mangroves and sand cayes.
The Elbow is one of the most popular sites due to it's colourful and varied marine life. There can be substantial currents here that converge and attract jacks, sharks, eagle rays and kingfish, and 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.
The Sayonara Wreck
The Sayonara Wreck was the transport boat of the Turneffe Islands Lodge until 1985 when it was scuttled to provide an additional dive site. She now lies in 12-14 m and her wooden frame is disintegrating, but she still provides a home for many reef fish, including resident barracudas. Her outside is covered in crustaceans, coral shrimp and even basket stars along with the sponge life encrusting everywhere.
The Sayonara rests on a sandy slope with patch reefs featuring many coral heads.
Ambergris Caye Highlights
Known for the gentle sloping reefs and marine reserves with considerable biodiversity.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Hol Chan Marine Reserve created in 1987 is a shallow site close to shore which is a “little blue channel”. Reef, grass flats and mangrove areas are included in the site where tidal currents supply food for the filter feeders.
Nassau groupers, black groupers, Atlantic spadefish, snappers and a huge congregation of schoolmasters all also enjoy the site where fishing is prohibited.
Tuffy Canyons is a channel dive opening onto the ocean with coral bommies and staghorn corals.
The site is named after the shrimp boat called Tuffy which sank here. This was completely broken up many decades ago.
Look for the nurse sharks and eagle rays, black tip reef sharks along with turtles eating the sponges. Fish life includes jacks, groupers, barracuda and angelfish.
Victoria Tunnels are canyons overgrown with corals with a huge variety of fish life including jacks, groupers, snappers, parrot fish, angel fish, barracuda, eels, spider crabs, lobster, and nurse sharks. Some archways or tunnels act as swim-throughs and a cement crucifix statue at about 20m of depth.
Cypress Canyons again is a channel dive with canyons running off the reef line. Very colourful with staghorn, lettuce and coral bommies interspersed with barrel sponges, crinoids and algaes.
Macro life is excellent here with many juveniles as well as invertebrates hiding in the structure.
There are schools of yellowtail, grey, black and red snappers present in the area.
Mexico Rocks is a shallow patch reef and marine reserve off the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, on the Belizean Barrier Reef.
Known for conch, shrimp, arrow crabs along with flinders, stingrays and nurse sharks, you also have the occasional passing turtle.
Shark Ray Alley
Shark Ray Alley is a very shallow area for snorkelling. The site is known for the rays and sharks in the area but also has groupers, moray eels and yellowtail snappers.
There is an opportunity to disembark on the final day to take some land excursions in Belize.
Belize has along with the spectacular scuba diving and islands some ancient Mayan ruins and tropical rainforest that is home to exotic species of birds, plants and animals.
There is caving, tubing rafting or visiting ancient sites in the area.
Marine Park and Conservation in Belize
There are a variety of Marine and terrestrial parks located in Belize, in the marine parks there is a no collection or spearfishing rule.
Drones are also not permitted in Belize.
Marine park fees will be collected on your liveaboard cruise.