Beginner Diving in Belize

Long before the British wrestled Belize from Spanish rule, this relatively untouched Latin American nation was part of the Mayan Empire. While the British influence is evident by Belize being the only Central American nation with English as its official language, the Mayans left behind some of the best—and least-visited—ruins in all of Central America. Throw in the world’s second-largest barrier reef, jaguar-inhabited rainforests and the iconic Blue Hole dive site, and you have the recipe for a fascinating and thrilling adventure as you enjoy the incredible beginner diving in Belize.

The Belizean coastline marks the western limit of the Caribbean Sea and is shadowed by the Mesoamerican Reef, with the corridor between the reef and the land being dotted with picturesque atolls and cayes. The beginner diving in Belize offers the chance to gain further experience in the company of whale sharks, turtles, dolphins and eagle rays, as well as an impressive selection of smaller critters such as seahorses and frogfish.

Our team of Original Diving specialists love exploring the diverse coastline of Belize, from Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve in the south, to Ambergris Caye in the north, and Lighthouse Reef-the home of the Blue Hole-in the centre.

Outer Atolls

The three outer atolls (Turneffe Atoll, Glover's Atoll and Lighthouse Reef) are a huge draw for divers, with Lighthouse Reef's Great Blue Hole topping many visitors' Belizean bucket lists. Although the Great Blue Hole is not ideal for beginners (it's deep and dark), the nearby sites on the protected Belize Barrier Reef offer some of the best beginner diving in Belize, with The Aquarium dive site being a particular highlight.

Southern Belize

The southern region of Belize is perfect for those looking for seclusion and scuba away from the madding crowds. You can stay in a Francis Ford Coppola-owned beachfront resort in Placencia or a private-island paradise on the edge of Gladden Spit. Nearby Laughing Bird Caye offers shallow sites ideal for snorkellers and divers alike, while Silk Cayes Marine Reserve sees annual spawning aggregations of snapper between March and June, which attracts hungry whale sharks to the area.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a stone's throw from the southern tip of Ambergris Caye, boasts colourful coral formations and an abundance of marine life. While nearby Shark Ray Alley is a great place to spot nurse sharks and southern stingrays, its gentle conditions are perfect for diving newcomers.

Beginner diving in Belize should at least feature a trip out to see the Great Blue Hole, and if you don't yet have the required experience to descend into the sinkhole, you can opt for a snorkelling tour instead and spot the Caribbean reef sharks below, and if you're lucky, maybe even a hammerhead shark!

Read more
Show less

Where to go

Where to Stay

Related Collections

Start creating your tailored trip today

Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Beginner Diving in Belize' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972