Belize formerly: British Honduras is a small paradise located in Central America that shares a border with Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the east. To the west, Belize has nearly 300 kilometers of coastline overlooking the Caribbean Sea and a multitude of atolls, islands and islets that combine some of the best Caribbean dive sites. The word Belize would mean “road to the sea” and we understand why. Many divers place the small country at the top of their dive list but few divers know that the ideal way to visit its turquoise waters, and incidentally the famous Blue Hole, is to book a liveaboard in Belize.
The best destinations for diving in Belize
Turneffe Island Atoll is the largest atoll in Belize. Probably the most touristy, it is very close to Belize city and was classified as a natural reserve in 2012 because its waters are inhabited by many endangered species. You can discover beautiful corals and beautiful gorgonians as well as turtles, manatees and dolphins.
Lighthouse reef and the blue hole
Lightouse is often considered the best diving spot in the Caribbean thanks to its legendary Blue Hole of Belize . This magnificent Blue Hole is located in the center of the Lagoon of the Atoll. The hole is 300 meters large and 120 meters deep. But the Lightouse Reef atoll has nearly fifty extraordinary dive sites that are worth a visit such as the Half Moon Caye’s dive sites.
Gladden spit and placencia
Palencia is a small and heavenly peninsula, far from the tourist flow, which is located south of Belize. This small peninsula is perfect for a diving trip in Belize if we want to be away from the hustle of the hotel-island. It is simply a paradise for nature lovers. If Palencia has several interesting diving sites, the Laughing Bird Caye and Gladden Pit Marine Parks are the best place to dive in Placencia. Gladden Pit is often considered, like the Lighthouse Reef, as one of the best diving sites in the Caribbean. Many whale sharks come to rest there from March to June and in this period you are, so to speak, pretty sure to be able to dive with whale sharks.
Glovers Reef is probably one of the most remote and difficult diving sites to access in Belize. You can only dive at the Glovers if you book a liveaboard trip in Belize. It is possible to make the journey from the continent when the sea is calm but few diving centers will make the trip. And yet the dive sites of the Glovers Reff marine reserve are really worth a visit.
Best time to dive in Belize
It is possible to dive throughout the year in Belize but we advise you to avoid the so-called rainy season from August to October. Be aware that during this season, the wind is very strong and it is warmer than the rest of the year. Ideally, we recommend to dive in Belize from February to May, which is the most enjoyable month but also the season of whale sharks that you can observe in the reserve of Galdden Spit.
Visibility is constant throughout the year around 30 meters or 100 feets. When the north winds blow strongly, the visibility tends to decrease.
The currents are generally low and constant. You can make nice drift dives in Belize but they are not very difficult.
The difficulty of scuba diving in Belize is very variable. Some sites are perfectly suited for beginner divers wishing to do a dive in Belize while other diving sites such as Blue Hole will delight experienced divers.
The temperature of the water in Belize varies between 26 ° C and 30 ° Celsius.
Take a diving cruise in Belize
The best way to visit Belize is to book a scuba diving cruise. Indeed, many dive sites are only accessible by cruise. The Glover Reef Marine Park is too far from the coast and the dive centers do not make the trip. In addition, to dive on the blue hole from a dive center in Belize, it will take about 3 hours 30 boat and leave at 6 am. Many dive boats crisscross the seas and you will certainly find a cruise in your budget.
What to see while scuba diving in Belize
First of all, the flora of Belize is particularly known for its soft and hard corals that are very healthy and particularly colored. One can observe a multitude of absolutely fabulous black corals. On the other hand, we find all the common fish in the Caribbean, such as parrot fish, or balisters. In addition, you will be able to dive with manta rays, grouper turtles but also a multitude of sharks such as nurse sharks and gray sharks. If you are lucky, you might be able to dive with hammerhead sharks. The wildlife is exceptional and diving in Belize should be at the top of the wish list of divers from all over.