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Scuba Diving in Belize

By Scuba Diving Partner | Published On May 29, 2015
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Scuba Diving in Belize

Belize—one of the smallest countries in Central America—packs a punch, including the hemisphere's longest reef, the amazing Great Blue Hole, whale sharks, atolls, Mayan ruins and jungle trekking.

Scuba diving in Belize gives you the chance to plunge into three of the four true atolls in the western hemisphere. Lighthouse Reef, Turneffe Islands and Glover's Reef lie 30 to 60 miles off the mainland, beyond the immense barrier reef, and offer fish- and coral-packed walls that plummet 3,000 feet below. Head to Lighthouse Reef to dive the Blue Hole. Half Moon Caye houses innumerable tunnels and swim-throughs along walls packed with huge barrel and tube sponges, yellowtail snappers, eagle rays and garden eels.

Gladden Spit, near Placencia, is a hot spot for whale sharks. The best time of the year to dive in Belize for whale shark encounters is between March and June. Placencia dive operators take small groups of divers to this reserve, where whale sharks, drawn by spawning dog and cubera snappers, come in search of an easy meal.

Need to Know Best Time to Dive Belize: Year-round; water temperatures are around 82 to 84°F between August and October; in the cooler months of November to July the water is about 78°F.

Average Visibility: On the barrier reef and atolls, vis is often 100 feet or more, but a bit less inside the reef.

Weather: Subtropical, which means pretty warm year-round, especially on the coast, cayes and atolls; luckily, a brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean moderates hot summer temps. Expect summer highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-70s. Winter is cooler, with highs in the low 80s and lows in the high 60s.