Lighthouse Reef is the easternmost atoll of the Belize Coral Reef. It is 80 kilometers south-east of Belize in the Caribbean Sea and is the healthiest atoll of the three Belize atolls, the other two being Turneffe Atoll and Glover’s Reef. The waters of Lighthouse Reef are simply transparent, with colorful reefs and varied wildlife, so the atoll is often considered the best destination for a diving trip in the Caribbean. The best way to visit the best diving sites of the Lightouse reef is very clearly to book a liveaboard in Belize. Lighthouse Reef is located about 80 kilometers southeast of the city of Belize. This large Atoll of nearly 35 kilometers on nearly 8 kilometers has in its center a large sandy lagoon of 120 square kilometers. The lagoon is generally relatively shallow and has many vertical corals. However, in the center of the lagoon, a magnificent circle is drawn like a well of 126 meters depth. It is the mythical Blue Hole of Belize. The Great Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye have been designated natural monuments and have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage since 1996. The atoll consists of several islands: Sandbore Caye, Northern Caye, Half Moon Caye, Saddle Caye, Long Caye , Hat Caye
What to see by scuba diving in Lighthouse Reef?
Lighthouse Reef is often considered one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean. Indeed, Lighthouse has magnificent reefs very well preserved and lined with beautiful gardens of colorful corals. In addition, the atoll offers a multitude of dives of very high quality and a great diversity between tombs, caves and potatoes covered with magnificent barrel sponges and violet, yellow and orange gorgonas. Moreover, the diverse and diverse underwater wildlife and waters are still populated by some endangered species such as the American crocodile, 3 species of sea turtles and the green turtle.
Scuba diving sites at the Lighthouse Reef in Belize
Most of the diving sites of Lighthouse Reef are relatively easy and shallow. The Blue Hole, certainly the best dive site in Belize, is located in the lagoon and although you can dive at any level, the most interesting part is reserved for level divers 2. Other dive sites are worth visiting, such as the Half Moon Caye Sites, which alone would deserve a diving trip to Belize. Let’s not forget that the best way to visit these dive sites is to book a diving cruise in Belize.
The Blue Hole of Belize
This is probably the best diving site of Belize. The commander cousteau, who discovered it in 1970, quoted it in his Top 10 of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Long ago, it was a huge immersed cavern whose dome collapsed at the rising waters. It is a huge hole nearly 300 meters in diameter for nearly 125 meters deep. It is located in the middle of the beautiful lagoon of the Lighthouse Reef. This wonderful dive site, beyond its exceptional architecture, is home to a multitude of fish such as nurse sharks, bull sharks, reef sharks and barracudas in the midst of its translucent waters. Only the advanced or level two divers will have the chance to go down to observe stalactites and stalagmites covered with corals and sheltering turtles, octopuses and eels. The Blue Hole is certainly the best diving site in the Caribbean.
Diving spots around Half Moon Caye
This is a very nice little island if located south of Lighthouse Reef and classified as National Park. Two dive sites are particularly known around this beautiful island thanks to their turtles, their eagle rays and the beautiful structure of the falls.
Half Moon Caye Wall
This magnificent wall is entirely covered with sponges, multicolored gorgones and beautiful corals. The architecture of the site is wonderful and consists of submarine tunnels and rockslides. The spot also has the advantage of an unusual visibility that can exceed 60 meters. You can also dive with manta rays, eagle rays, nurse sharks and groupers.
It is actually a long chimney lined with barrique and yellow sponges as well as black corals. Many small cavities such as crevasses or small caves dress the wall and house small crustaceans and beautiful tarpon. Further down, the large sandy areas are inhabited by planting eels, while all around it is a ballet of barracudas, grouper, and parrotfish.
Diving sites around Long Caye
Long Caye is the largest of the islands of Lighthouse Reef. Diving is generally done on magnificent slopes particularly covered with wonderful gardens of soft and hard corals. These wonderful cities made of flora are inhabited by thousands of fish of all sizes and shapes. These are probably the best sites for diving in Belize.
Eagle Ray Walls
It is a magnificent falling or live many eagle rays but also turtles and snappers. At the bottom of the tomb, magnificent black borars shelter blennies and nudibranchs.
A multitude of fish moves at the top of this magnificent tomb that begins at 8 meters depth. The fall, which descends to 18 meters is covered with beautiful sponges and has one of the most beautiful collections of gorgonas in the world. Reindeer sharks and beaked turtles and sometimes even green turtles and manta rays are common.
The current passes through the center of this magnificent canyon and thus has a high concentration of placton which attracts a very varied animal fauna. A family of dolphins often play in the canyon. The nudibranchs and the shrimp are lying in the middle of a multitude of corals. A very nice dive in Belize.
The dive site was called Tres Coco because you could see three large coconut trees on the beach. A first tree fell and the name evolved to be called Dos Coco may since a recent strong wind the last two coconut trees have fallen and the underwater diving sites of Lightouse Reef is now sometimes nicknamed No Coco. It is a magnificent tomb covered with black corals. You can cross huge griseruoupers and beautiful sharks while the washing station that is on the site teeming with life.