Belize, located in Central America, is an underwater extravaganza that offers adventures for all levels of divers from beginners to the more experienced. One could spend weeks exploring the various reef types and diving adventures in the turquoise waters off Belize's coast. Packing more eco-diversity into one square mile than any other country on the planet, Belize is exploding with animal and plant life of incredible assortment.
The Belize Barrier Reef is 185 miles of unblemished beauty. Between the mainland and the reef are shallow, sandy waters with numerous mangrove-covered islands, known as cayes. The Belize Barrier Reef is made up of 127 offshore cayes. In fact, it has the best preserved marine ecosystem in the world and is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site, offering crystal clear waters where divers can discover hundreds of unique species of fish.
Explore Belize's Amazing Atolls
The atolls of Belize are consistently rated amongst the world's top scuba diving locations
. An atoll is a ring of coral that grows completely around the shoreline of an island and over time continues to grow upward on top of itself as the island erodes away.
Turneffe Atoll – the largest and most diverse coral atoll in the Caribbean, Turneffe offers spectacular underwater terrain including spur and groove formations, sandy ledges and sheer walls providing spectacular dive sites for every level of diver. The eastern side of Turneffe is protected by 35 miles of reef and drops gradually to a depth of about 60 feet. Turneffe's southern point houses the Elbow, which is well known for schools of pelagic fish.
– home to the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, this top dive destination
includes 15 square miles of atoll in addition to another 15 square miles of surrounding waters. Lighthouse Reef has been a protected marine reserve since 1981 and has rich underwater life that includes dolphins.
Glover's Reef – this is Belize's most remote atoll and has elk horn coral forests. Covering 90 square miles, the waters of Glover's Reef are renowned for remarkable clarity and profusion of marine life. The ring around Glover's Reef outlines the shoreline of an ancient island that once existed in this location.
Beyond the atolls, Belizean waters are host to eight protected marine sites that showcase the region's remarkably unique marine ecosystems.
Belize is a Diving Destination
Another top place to dive and the most famous spot in Belize is the Great Blue Hole. Ranked as one of the top 10 best places to dive in the world
, this circular deep depression in the centre of more than 75 square miles of shallow, blue-green water has a maximum depth of 412 feet. Plan to dive either the north or south side to a depth of 100 to 150 feet, where the shallowest cave features are found, and remember to begin your dive by snorkeling the coral rim as this will conserve air.
To access these exceptional dive sites quickly, stay on the luxurious private island of Belize Dive Haven, located 30 miles offshore from Belize City in the centre of the country's diving mecca. Whether you are a seasoned scuba diver or are looking for your first underwater adventure, Belize Dive Haven offers a variety of breathtaking dive sites for you to discover.