Long Caye in Lighthouse Reef Atoll, home to diver-revered Itza Resort, is possibly the most environmentally focused private-island development resort and research community in the Caribbean. Combining a deep respect for nature with a desire to share the area’s natural beauty, Itza welcomes guests to fully appreciate the magnificence of wild Belize. We are the only beachfront dive resort within 50 miles of the Great Blue Hole and all the other famous dive sites in the Lighthouse Reef.
Diving Belize Lighthouse Reef Atoll offers the most remote, pristine coral ecosystems in the Americas, as it’s located on the Mesoamerican Reef — the second-largest barrier reef in the world — and is one of only four atolls in the Western Hemisphere. Warm waters, calm conditions and 50- to 100-foot vis draws thousands of divers from across the world to this corner of Belize, but because you’re staying right in the heart of the atoll, you often get the sites all to yourself. Itza’s boat is the first one out in the morning to many spots, including the famous Great Blue Hole, which is only 15 minutes away. That’s one of the best things about Itza: The best diving in Belize is only a short boat ride away — so short, in fact, that you return to the resort for each surface interval.
With such a wide variety of dive sites in the area, it can be hard to narrow down where to spend your dive time. To make it easy, leave the site choice up to Itza’s knowledgeable divemasters. Simply tell them what you want — walls, drop-offs, drifts, reefs, you name it — and they’ll pick the perfect site to suit your desires, ensuring that no matter your skill level or experience, your dives will be enjoyable. Don’t forget to schedule a night dive to see Belize’s incredible underwater world after the sun sets.
And there are so many ways to enjoy this untamed retreat. Each of the resort’s 24 rooms is situated right on the beach of Long Caye, so you are always just steps from your bed to the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving world famous dive sites are obvious ways to spend your days on Long Caye, but if you’d rather opt to stay dry, there’s no shortage of engaging activities for you to try, from paddleboarding, kayaking or biking around the caye to lounging in a hammock or playing a game of beach volleyball. Plus, you can end your days with a spectacular sunset, a beach bonfire complete with live music and dancing, and unbelievable stargazing — being 50 miles from city lights allows the night sky to shine brightly over this slice of paradise.
As part of the Caye's eco-philosophy, the majority of Long Caye’s land has been reserved as a permanent preserve and conservation zone. The entire caye is run by the Lighthouse Model for Resilience and Sustainability. The model uses science, policy monitoring, adaptive management techniques, education and an overall respect of the land to uphold three main pillars: community, culture and conservation.
There has been long-term undergraduate and post-doc research happening on Long Caye ever since famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and his team camped at the Itza site when conducting their groundbreaking research of the Blue Hole in the early ‘70s. Today, the resort partners with the Lighthouse Reef Conservation Institute, a nongovernmental organization that helps support the preservation of the caye, to welcome academics and researchers to Long Caye.
For more information on Itza Resort and to book your stay, visit itzaresort.com.