Belize’s Great Barrier Reef is only a 10-minute boat ride from Ambergris Caye, allowing divers to come back to shore between dives to relax at their hotel instead of idling the time away on boat – which can be dull!
Nick, Original Diver
Half an hour's flight from Belize City lies some world class diving and a great chance of whale shark sightings at the right time of year and some fantastic diving.
Why we think you’ll love it
- A great chance of whale shark sighting from March to June at Gladden Spit.
- Lots to explore on both land and sea with good coral reefs and jungles in the interior.
- Head to Placencia Lagoon to see some of the few remaining manatees - 500 kgs water-faring sea cows - in the wild.
From the gallery
Our Guide to Belizean Coast Diving Holidays
This is a world-class dive destination, with most of the diving organised as day trips, either to the inner atolls or the barrier reef, the former being 30 minutes away, the latter about an hour.
With all the day trips, except for the whale shark dive where you have to stay on the boat in the protected waters of the inner reef, your surface interval is spent on the pristine white sand beach of some palm fringed island enjoying a delicious lunch.
Most of the sites are an hour or so away by the fast comfortable boats and consequently are really day trips. Laughing Bird Cay, a submerged atoll, is half that distance, and used for shorter trips and night dives. It is home to two rare toadfish, endemic to Belize, and some inquisitive lemon and nurse shark.
If you are dived out, you can head inland; the area contains some extremely well preserved rainforest and National Parks, and there are plenty of bird and other wildlife spotting possibilities here, notably in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition, many of the towns in this area have a strong Garifuna community and tours can be arranged.