We did all of our dives on the Southern Barrier Reef, because the weather was to rough to go to the atolls. No whale shark diving either. We planned our trip dates around the full moon with hopes of swimming with the most magnificent sea creature.
We dove with Hamanasi and loved them! The trip was about 30 minutes to South Water Caye where we geared up. The water was very rough but the protected waters by this particular caye were serene. Most of the dives were 50-80 feet and you swim on top of a shelf right beside a wall that plummets to sometimes 2000 feet. We saw sooooo many stingrays and eagle rays. We even had the privledge of seeing a family of eagle rays with baby in tow. Lots of baracuda, lobster, crab, turtles and even a stone fish. Our last dive we were accompanied by a remora who was exceedingly friendly. He also seemed to have a fondness for my blonde hair!
Big Fish is based out of Front Street on Caye Caulker. They are a smaller, more personalized dive charter that treats you like a grown-up, experienced diver. They only need two people to take a charter out, they give great advice for the local area. Had I known they were there (their store front is hidden), I would have avoided Frenchie's like the plague!
The dive site was about 5 minutes from their dock: Caye Chapel Canyons and Caye Caulker Canyons. We took our surface interval at Sting Ray Alley, a shallow patch of sand and seagrass to swim with sting rays.
Amigo Del Mar is one of the largest and most professionally run dive ops in Ambergris. Larger boats and excellent service do make a difference. They're pro shop is well equiped and they are easy to get to.
Adventure to the town of Placencia. Small, yet possesses salt of the earth characters and very nice diving opportunities. Take a guided jungle trek and experience the Howler monkey's hair raising shrill. GREAT, off the beaten path place to visit.
Belize is one of the most popular spots in the world. I was only there a few days so I didn't take as much advantage as I should have.
There are TONS of diving copies up and down the beach of Ambergris Caye. All publish the same prices, but I did see a few divers that were there for a week get better deals when they stuck with the same dive master the whole time. Ask around of the other divers in your hotel. There is one company there that actually had a guy die in the Blue Hole. I used Hustler Tours and I heard Amigos Del Mar was recommended as well. You give them your gear. They put it in the boat and it's taken care of the rest of the time you're there. You just wake every morning and show up.
For beginning divers it's a good place for some shallow dives if someone is apprehensive. There is also shark ray alley for snorkeling or diving.
I did not get the chance to do the Blue Hole. I heard it was amazing to be that deep but that the periphary dives were actually better. The Blue Hole was more of a 't-shirt dive' like "I've gone diving in the Blue Hole" type thing.
Diving the Barrier Reef and, if you can afford it, the outer islands.
Quite simply gorgeous. Hundreds of miles of reef offer limitless opportunities to explore. The inner reef is pretty with lots of different fish, but comparatively high traffic. Once you get to the outer reef sites the traffic is less and there is very little damage. The outer islands and atols are pristine. If you dare, the Blue Hole offers a unique and exciting dive that you will come home screaming about. (see travel log)
The Blue hole is an old sinkhole that is now underwater. The lip of the hole begins at 40 ft and it goes down beyond visual range. Once in the hole you can see where stalactites formed when the oceans were at much lower levels and this hole was part of a cave complex. There are bull sharks present in the hole. We saw 5-6 bull sharks. They come there because some dive boats feed them. There is not alot of other sea life in the hole and it is a short dive due to the depth. It is a deep dive(130-140ft) so inexperienced divers may want to skip it.
Be warned the boat ride out to the hole is 2 hours or so and can be a bit choppy. Take motion sickness pills and be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Go snorkeling or diving in the barrier reef off the coast. There are many guided dive and snorkel trips that you can take for a few hours and it is worth it for the novice. Although it may seem that you would have a 'canned' experience, that isn't the case. I am always careful of going in the water in areas I'm not familiar with, even though I consider myself a fairly strong swimmer; you never know if there is a rip current. Knowledgable staff will take you to areas where you are gaurenteed to see a plethora of sealife and the second the first sting ray swims up to you, you forget all about the other people in the water with you. One of the most memorable experiences of my life was swimming upside down along the underside of those gorgeous animals. I also swam with some reef shraks, chased around countless schools of fish and was harassed by a curious grouper. It is not something to pass up if you are anywhere NEAR Belize!
If you like jungle...you may do what I did...rent-a-car in Belize city and drive in Central Belize. Roads are mostly unpaved and you may see wonderful sceneries such as rainforest and waterfalls, wildlife and uncrowded places.
But as I said, the main reason why I went to Belize was scuba diving. Belize is known as one of the best diving spot in the world. There is a huge coral reef off the keys with abundant wildlife, blue holes formations and plenty of shallow and safe water if you are only a snorkeller.
People is friendly and helpful.
If you can, you must go scuba diving. The reef is part of the second longest barrier reef in the world (beihind the great barrier reef). The spots in Belize have the most fish life of anywhere I have been.
Diving Diving Diving, if U go there and don't go diving U are missing out
U can see what other people only dream of sharks, turtles, barracuda, reefs, all the multi colored fish that U only see on tv.
Hands down the best to the Blue Hole or the Elbow from San Pedro. They have the best boat and a really good crew. They are also good for local diving in Belize.
Belize has the 2nd largest coral reef in the world.
seeing sharks, manatees, stingrays, all kinds of fish
Up to 60 metres visability
Great visibility, friendly guides, perfect weather, large variety of marine life. Loved the nurse sharks and rays!