Scuba diving in Belize? Belize…Have you ever been there? If the answer is no, you are not alone. In fact, Belize is one of the most overlooked travel destinations in the world. Not very many travelers, no matter how widely traveled, can put a notch on their belt for visiting Belize. Could it be that Belize doesn’t have that much to offer or is it one of those gems that have yet to be discovered? The latter is most likely true, and the lack of interest in Belize has left its natural wonders intact and unspoiled by man. Mayan ruins, pristine rain forests, and the large Belize Barrier Reef remain the same today as they have for scores of years.
Belize is located in the heart of Central America right under Mexico and neighbors Guatemala. Its main attractions are scuba diving attractions and include breathtaking offshore atolls and the longest barrier reef in the Caribbean (185 miles). Not only is the Belize Barrier reef the longest reef in the Caribbean, it is also the longest reef in the whole Western Hemisphere as well.
Scuba diving in Belize is extremely diverse and includes several different types of reefs including fringing reefs, patch reefs, faroes, barrier reefs, and atolls. At each of these different types of dive spots it is likely that you will be thrilled to experience numerous marine life up close and personal such as lobster, barracuda, jaw fish, octopus, spotted drums, sea turtles, morays, scorpion fish, crabs, hog fish, lizard fish, sting rays, eagle rays, corals, sea fans, and sponges. Here is a brief overview of each of the different types of reefs that you can visit while scuba diving in Belize:
Fringing reefs – Fringing reefs are found in close proximity of mainland shores. Belize is home to one such reef at Rocky Point on the northern tip of Ambergris Caye. Here the reef rises out of the water and you can walk across the coral skeletons that have become imbedded in the rock. Scuba diving and snorkeling is also very popular at this spot:
Patch reefs – While patch reefs are abundant in the coastal region of Belize, the majority of them can bee found in the south in the complex barrier platform region south of Southwater Caye. Patch reefs range from small clumps of coral to huge sprawling reefs and are ideal spots for viewing marine life while scuba diving in Belize.
Faroes – Faroes are ringed reefs that enclose a central lagoon. They are also called shelf atolls. The best example of a faroe in Belize is the Laughing Bird Caye.
Barrier reefs – Barrier reefs are continuous walls of coral. The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the largest in the world.
Atolls – Atolls are further out to sea than the other types of reefs and can sometimes resemble small islands.
The variety to be found in the waters of Belize guarantees that you will never bore of scuba diving in this region.