Southern Belize Diving: An Overview
The least populated region in the country, southern Belize remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. However, make the effort to go down south and you'll be rewarded with lush landscapes, glistening beaches and superb diving in the largest marine reserve in Belize. This is nature at its finest.
Diving in southern Belize mainly revolves around the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, one of the largest marine reserves in Belize. Expect 39 square miles full of plunging walls, canyons, healthy coral reefs and abundant marine life.
Perhaps the most celebrated diving in the area occurs specifically around Gladden Spit. A sloping shelf reaching a max depth of 40 metres, the site attracts a spawning aggregation of jacks and snapper between March and June, which, legend has it, attracts whale sharks. Although it is rare to see these spotted beauties these days, keep your eyes peeled and you might just see one slink by aside Belize's permanent (and equally enthralling) residents such as sea turtles, moray eels, dolphins, barracuda and eagle rays, as well as a heap of macro critters.
Above water, the reserve is dotted with uninhabited cayes that host a wealth of nesting seabirds, making for some marvellous birdwatching, while inland, southern Belize is a naturalist's dream with thick rainforests, thundering waterfalls, rugged mountains, ancient Mayan ruins and eerie caves. It's all very Jurassic Park; apt, considering its howler monkey residents were recorded for Spielberg's dinosaur cries.