If you love scuba diving, a visit to Ambergris Caye is a must . There are a number of diving options around the island. You can also dive further out into the waters from atolls. InBelize you can dive round the year. The chances of rain putting a damper on your diving trip are least in February and March. August to October is the peak rainy season.
Although the calm sea waters around Ambergris Caye do not have many ship wrecks, the marine life will not disappoint you. While scuba diving on Ambergris Caye you are likely to come across a wide variety of small and large fishes, dolphins and tortoises . Swimming through the kaleidoscope of the colorful reef is unlike anything else.
Ambergris Caye offers ideal conditions for beginners as well as advanced divers. The temperature of the water ranges from 25 to 29 degree centigrade. Depending on your comfort level, you can scuba dive in 5m to more than 40m deep waters. The clear waters offer between 10m to 40m visibility. The water is usually calm near shore, but get choppy as you move away from land. There are as many as 30 dive sites around Ambergris Caye.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve is also known as the Hold Chan Cut/the Cut. It is famous as the country’s first marine reserve. It is one of the most popular sites for scuba diving. The marine wildlife that got depleted because of indiscriminate fishing has been flourishing rapidly since the area was protected. The site is located at a distance of just six kilometers from San Pedro in the southeast. Hol Chan Marine Reserve is a not-to-be-missed site when scuba diving inBelize.
The five square miles area covered by the sea includes mangroves, sea grass flats as well as the barrier reef. A BZ$5 entry fee is levied to cover the enforcement and maintenance costs. The hands on rangers and mooring buoys make the marine reserve an ideal site for scuba diving.
The cut is nine meters deep. The walls of the reef are adorned by sponges and gorgonian sea fans. The occasional strong currents bring in food for these stationary creatures. The reef also shelters a wide variety of small colorful fishes, crabs and morays. In the main flow you will find cubera snapper, mutton snapper, grunts, black groupers,Nassaugroupers, schoolmasters, Atlantic spadefish and more. Advanced divers can venture into the drop off for a closer look at barracudas and eagle rays. During night you will find octopus, lobsters and flame scallops among the boulders and corals. The irregular topography at the bottom is useful for hiding from strong currents.
Apart from Hol Chan Marine Reserve, other popular dive sites in the vicinity include the Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocks, Punta Arenas, Rocky Point, ParadiseCanyonsand TackleBoxCanyons. All the sites offer a glimpse of the underwater world at close quarters. Equipment for diving in Ambergris Caye is available at a number of local outlets. You can also opt for guided tours. The government has implemented a number of measures to preserve the marine environment and ensure the safety of divers.