Spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities await the adventurous traveler to Belize. Diving on Ambergris Caye is an experience like no other. Belize's excellent weather, combined with its wide variety of near-perfect dive locations, makes a visit to Ambergris Caye a must for anyone looking for a world-class snorkeling or diving vacation.
Diving Along the Belize Barrier Reef
Almost half of the 260,000 vacationers who visit Belize each year come to experience the remarkable Belize Barrier Reef. Located only half a mile east of Ambergris Caye, the Barrier Reef is the longest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere.
The reef extends an amazing 190 miles along the entire coastline of Belize. It supports an ecosystem of unparalleled beauty and diversity, including over 100 coral species and 500 different species of fish. Water temperatures here range from the mid-80s during summer months to the high 70s in the winter. In some areas, the water is so clear, visibility can extend to almost 150 feet.
Explore the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Divers and snorkelers who want to see sharks and stingrays up close should be sure to visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the first marine park established in Belize. Hol Chan's relatively shallow waters are perfect for beginning divers and snorkelers to explore.
Hol Chan is a three-square-mile marine sanctuary established by the government of Belize in 1987. It has been called one of the seven best “animal dives” in the Caribbean. The area's protected status has enabled a once dangerously over-fished marine resource to successfully repopulate and restock. Today, fish such as groupers, snappers, jacks, barracuda, nurse sharks and stingrays abound.
A break in the reef called the Hol Chan Cut once served as local fishermen's favorite spot for cleaning their catch on their way back to the island. This never-ending ready-made feast attracted throngs of sharks and rays, which adopted the area as a favorite feeding ground.
Tour guides have continued the feeding tradition to this day, ensuring these beautiful creatures continue to flock to the cut. Here the shallow, crystal clear water teems with friendly, fearless rays and sharks. When diving on Ambergris Caye, don't miss the chance to experience this special marine sanctuary.
Expand Your Scuba Diving or Snorkeling Adventure
Want to venture further? Explore the Mata Cut, Tackle Box Canyons or the Caye Caulker North Channel. Mata Cut offers great diving and the remains of a wrecked barge, called Changa's Wreck – perfect for snorkelers and photographers alike. Tackle Box Canyons is another prime spot for photography lovers, with its deep, narrow canyons and bright, clear water. To see playful young manatees swim up to your boat, take a tour of the Caye Caulker North Channel. There's no end to the diving adventures waiting for you near Ambergris Caye.
As a diving and snorkeling destination, Belize is world renowned. Bring your sense of wonder and spend some quality time in the most beautiful underwater locations you'll ever see.