Home of the largest barrier reef in the Atlantic basin, Belize is a mecca for diving. Located in the Caribbean, on the southern end of the Yucatan peninsula, Belize is easily accessible. As a former British colony, English is widely spoken along with the native Spanish. Resorts are well represented along the coast as well as on the offshore islands. With more than 300km of barrier reef, Belize is truly a world class destination for scuba divers.
The world famous Blue Hole is certainly a highlight but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. With numerous atolls and cays spread from north to south, there are a seemingly endless choice of sites to dive. Warm water and calm conditions mean diving here is perfect for everyone from beginners to experts. Whale sharks are a big attraction at the right time of year as they feed on fish spawn. Sharks, rays, schooling fish, and never ending coral reefs are all highlights when diving in Belize.
Diving in Belize is good all year round. November to April is the dry season, this offers the best weather conditions and least amount of people. May to October is known as the busy season but does bring more rain and the possibility of tropical storms are present. The full moon cycle is a great time to visit as many fish spawn at this time which brings in whalesharks.
Due to its geographical location, Belize enjoys warm weather all year round. Air temperatures typically range from 24 to 30C (75-84C) with the northern winter being the colder end of the range. Water temperatures are similar with colder temps in winter and warmer ocean temps in July and August. There is more rain from July to October with a possibility of storms during Atlantic hurricane season.
The Blue Hole
No list of sites in Belize would be complete without one of the most famous in the world. The Great Blue Hole is near Lighthouse Reef and is a naturally occurring sinkhole through the reef. Measuring at approximately 350 meters (1000ft) in diameter, it reaches over 130 meters (450ft) in depth. Although there is a not a lot of marine life inside, the sheer walls and incredible stalactites inside the hole make it a must see in Belize.
Shark Ray Alley
Home to an array of nurse sharks and stingrays, this site boasts some of the most prolific marine life in the area. Although not really a dive site, it’s a shallow reef where fishermen have always cleaned their catch. It’s a great spot to get up close and personal with beautiful sharks and rays. This can be enjoyed by snorkel or diving and is a favorite spot for underwater photographers.
This area off the south coast is where many species of fish congregate for mating purposes. The spawning events typically happen during the full moon phase so try to time a visit properly. When the fish congregate and release their eggs whalesharks move in to feed on the spawn. This affords divers and snorkelers the opportunity to swim with these amazing giants of the deep.