duPlooy Travel to Belize - Ambergris Caye
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Belize Diving From Ambergris Caye

The Belize Barrier Reef begins at the northern end of the country off Ambergris Caye and continues some 150 miles south, ending with a series of small sandy islands off the southern coast of Belize. This immense span of living reef encompasses every kind of coral and reef know to nature. 

The reef's close proximity to the Belize mainland and it's Cayes is a huge attribute. From the Cayes local dive sites are reached in a matter of minutes. Additionally, protected waters inside the reef make getting to dive sites easy and comfortable.

GrouperDivers and snorkeler's will find the Caribbean waters comfortable, with constant year-round temperatures in the low 80's. Visibility is excellent, sometimes seeming endless. The undersea world appears in vibrant colors and underwater photos develop just as you see it, crisp and clear.

snorkel

 

Divers traveling with non-divers won't have any problem. In a number of places, snorkeling can be equally rewarding in both spectacle and color. Although the waters are rich with exotic dive sites, there are plenty of locations for the not-so-serious diver. 

The Blue Hole

Lighthouse Reef, best known for the Blue Hole, the subject of a documentary by underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, continues to be the big draw for scuba divers to Belize.  In the lexicon of diving, Belize is synonymous with the Blue Hole, a circular cave system  which formed before the last ice age and collapsed when sea levels rose 300 to 400 feet, forming a blue hole more than 400 feet deep and nearly 1,000 feet in diameter. 

Dive down to a depth of 130 feet where you will be awed by enormous stalactites the size of trees. This area is a favorite hangout of Hammerhead Sharks and other exotic marine species. The Blue Hole is about 2½ hours by boat from San Pedro, so the excursion can be enjoyed as a day trip or as an overnight. 

Turneffe Atoll

The Turneffe Islands make up the largest of the three offshore atoll reefs in Belize and offer a diverse scuba environment, including shallow coral head diving, wall diving and wrecks. 

Turneffe - Black HoleWithin the cluster of islands, the interior lagoon is a maze of mangrove-lined channels and tiny uninhabited cayes. Offshore beautiful reefs and dramatic walls offer incredible diving with great visibility. 

For many, "The Elbow" is the most exciting dive. Often hampered by strong currents, it is these same currents that make "The Elbow" so spectacular. Schools of Jack, pompano, chub and snapper cruise the reef.  Large predatory fish such as sharks and big Grouper are often seen. The shallows and flats are also home to the manatee. This huge air-breathing mammal can often be found feeding in the grassy flats.

NOTE: San Pedro is the only location in Belize with a re compression chamber - a facility which is maintained by a small per-tank contribution raised through the dive shops. 

Snorkeling From Ambergris Caye

Most of the area inside the reef is less than 20 feet deep and you can see as much with a mask and snorkel from the surface as you can diving. In just 6-10 feet of water you'll find an amazing diversity of marine life. Also the reef provides protection which makes for extremely clear, calm water so it's ideal for snorkeling.

SnorkelThe most-popular areas for snorkeling from Ambergris Caye are Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark-Sting Ray Alley and Mexico Rocks. Visits to Hol Chan and Shark-Ray Alley to the south of San Pedro are usually combined into one trip, while Mexico Rocks to the north of town is usually a separate trip.

These snorkeling trips usually last two to three hours. Typically, snorkel boats go out once in the morning and once in the afternoon, more frequently during busy periods.

GrouperHol Chan Marine Reserve, located 4 miles southeast of San Pedro. It's like diving in your own aquarium. The ocean floor has a maximum depth of 30 feet, so both divers and snorkeler's have the opportunity to swim in waters teeming with colorful tropical fish of all sizes and types along with beautiful coral formations.  Divers can also enjoy the deeper waters outside the channel.

Night Dive or Snorkel
Hol Chan is a totally new world at night. Huge stingrays sleep in the sand. Immense rainbow parrot fish are wedged in the most improbably-tiny coral caverns Octopus, sea snails, lobsters and  moray eels can be seen foraging. Smaller creatures like glowing marginella, harlequin shrimp and hot pink file clams with their pure white tentacles can be found in their secret places. 

Shark Ray AlleyShark/Ray Alley
Only a few minutes by boat from San Pedro. Hundreds of sting rays of all sizes congregate here accompanied by families of nurse sharks. With a depth of only 8 feet, the Sand Bar offers great photo opportunities. 

Mexico Rocks & Tres Locos
are located to the North of Ambergris Caye. Snorkel the shallow waters of Mexico Rocks and Tres Locos. See a wide range of coral formations including flower, elk-horn and giant brain coral.

This area is protected from ocean swells and currents, so it makes for easier snorkeling. Depth is only about 6 to 12 feet, so you can see everything up close. Water visibility is about 50 feet or more.

SnubaSNUBA (Hookah Diving) -
If you're looking for an underwater adventure without the hassle of becoming a certified diver; then SNUBA is for you!

SNUBA diving is a safe and easy way to experience the fascination of scuba diving with the simplicity of snorkeling. You can SNUBA down to 20 feet with no prior experience.

Glass Bottom BoatGlass Bottom Boat Tours
For snorkelers and non-snorkelers alike. Enjoy the reefs abundance of coral formations, fish, sharks and stingrays from the glass or from the side of the boat.

You can swim alongside the boat at Hol Chan where the water is waist deep or sunbathe on the top of the boat.

 

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