begins at the northern
end of the country off Ambergris Caye and continues some
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
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
, 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.
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.
, 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.
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.
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.
Within 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.
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
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.
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.
Hol 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.
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
SNUBA (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 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.
Visit Ambergris Caye on a duPlooy Travel
Dive Package or Create Your Own Vacation Package