Explore the underwater wonders of Belize and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Swimming with large nurse sharks up close was an exhilarating experience. Next time I hope to have an opportunity to swim among Whale Sharks, which can be found in the waters off Placencia typically around the Full Moon in April or May.
Belize is also home to The Great Blue Hole, which is the world's largest sinkhole, measuring an incredible 300 meters (984 feet) across and roughly 125 meters (410 feet) deep. In fact, a team of scientists -- including Virgin billionaire Richard Branson -- has recently returned from a groundbreaking mission to the bottom of Belize's Great Blue Hole with exciting findings. There’s a whole documentary on it!
Here are some of the most popular dive & snorkeling spots in Belize. Don’t miss an opportunity to Xplore the underwater wilderness of Belize.
Glovers Reef Atoll - The 2nd largest and most southern of the 3 Belizean atolls set outside the barrier reef, has dive sites ringing it on all sides, and is also a marine reserve and protected area. The eastern side that faces the Caribbean Sea offers steep walls. Near the southern end is a double wall system that starts at 45 feet and features abundant gorgonians, sponges and wire corals, with heavy plate corals as you go deeper. Going north to the more eastern side, there are is network of swim-throughs along the wall where various species of snapper and grouper like to shelter. Reef shark are often seen cruising the edge of the wall together with spotted eagle rays and turtles.
South Water Caye - This is the largest marine reserve in Belize, and encompasses several dive sites along the barrier reef there. Eagle ray sightings are numerous all along this stretch of reef. Some stretches of the reef wall offer stunning relief with ridges and vertical wall formations. Dive sites are so numerous here that divers can visit South Water Caye Marine Reserve for a week of diving and never dive the same dive sites.
Silk Cayes - These 2 tiny cayes sitting just inside the barrier reef offer wonderful snorkeling around their perimeter in this marine park. Nearby is a location called shark ray and turtle alley
The most popular snorkeling sites off Ambergris Caye include Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Hol Chan boasts a wonderfully healthy and diverse population of marine life, including 160 different species of fish. You’re likely to spot large schools of snapper, grouper, and jack fish darting among the impressive coral formations, as well as larger creatures like sea turtles and stingrays. Hop back aboard your boat for a quick ride over to Shark Ray Alley, a shallow channel in the reef where these two bottom feeders are found in abundance. Swim among gentle stingrays, with wingspans up to 4 feet (1.2 meters), as well as harmless brown nurse sharks that can reach lengths of more than 9 feet (2.75 meters).