Ambergris Caye is the largest and northernmost of the cayes and
is blessed with beautiful beaches, superb snorkelling and access to
some of the best advanced diving in Belize.
Ambergris Caye has something for everyone, though, with Hol Chan
Marine Reserve located just four miles from its southern point. Hol
Chan is the oldest marine reserve in Belize, and divers and
snorkellers can spot nurse sharks and southern stingrays, as well
as numerous species of coral and three different species of sea
But if you're looking for the more advanced diving in Belize,
then a trip out to the barrier reef will bring you to deeper
waters. The sites are crawling with marine life, with Nassau
grouper, angelfish, lobster and moray eels commonly encountered. On
the deeper sites, you may also be rewarded with reef and nurse
sharks, and you should keep your fingers crossed for a passing
whale shark or loggerhead turtle.
Three out of the four atolls in the Caribbean - Turneffe Atoll,
Glover's Reef and Lighthouse Reef - are located in Belizean waters.
Lighthouse Reef is home to one of the world's most famous dive
sites - the Great Blue Hole. The vast sinkhole disappears into the
depths of Lighthouse Reef, revealing immense stalactites and
circling Caribbean reef sharks.
The Blue Hole is also home to midnight parrotfish and other
juvenile fish species, while the lucky few may get a glimpse of a
bull shark or a hammerhead. The cave-like nature of the dive site
makes it off-limits to novice divers, but places it at the top of
the list for advanced diving in Belize.
Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve provides the best
opportunities to enjoy the more southerly advanced diving in
Belize. Gladden Spit is a promontory that forms the southernmost
tip of the sunken atoll. The spit features a short sloping shelf
down to 40 metres, before plunging dramatically down to more than
two kilometres in depth. The Silk Cayes - North Silk, Middle Silk
and South Silk - lie to the south of Gladden, and make up the rest
of the marine reserve.
Gladden Spit itself hosts a plethora of colourful reef fish, and
divers can also spot turtles, moray eels, dolphins and barracuda,
while glances out towards the blue can reveal eagle rays conducting
But the area is best-known for its spawning aggregation of
mutton snapper and grouper from March through to June. Local
fishermen have known about the aggregations since the 1920s, but
they are not alone in noticing the abundance of food in the water
during this period. The local whale sharks have also caught wind of
the all-you-can-eat buffet and occasionally stop by for a snack
too. Diving the aggregations can be a little on the deeper side, so
this is best left to the more experienced diver, but it's easily
one of our favourite advanced dives in Belize.
Our team of dive travel specialists have dived extensively
along the Belizean coast, and if you're looking to put your skills
to the test with some of the more advanced diving in Belize, we can
help put together the perfect itinerary to suit the kind of
challenging diving that you enjoy the most.