Belize Scuba Diving

Belize is often referred to as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World. The world's second largest barrier reef runs parallel to its coast, at distances ranging from a few hundred feet at the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, to nearly forty miles at the southern-most tip of the country.

However, the barrier reef is not the only factor that makes Belize one of the world's most popular destinations for scuba divers and snorkelers. Many of the small islands, known as "cayes," that lie off the coast of the Belizean mainland have their own coral reefs, with spectacular underwater gardens teeming with sea life of all types.

The clear turquoise waters (which average 79-84 degrees) and the proximity of the barrier reef make Ambergris Caye a favorite destinations for divers and snorkelers. The most popular destination is Hol Chan Marine Reserve, located 4 miles southeast of San Pedro. The ocean floor ranges from 5 to 35 feet, so both divers and snorkelers have the opportunity to swim in what seems like an underwater acquarium, teeming with colorful tropical fish of all sizes and types and beautiful coral formations. The "cut" (channel) leading out to sea functions as a sort of "fish freeway" for many large fish, including giant groupers, barricuda and nurse sharks, a timid and unaggressive shark species. Divers and snorkellers may enjoy a close encounter with a sea turtle.

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