This list of the Top Ten Belize Dive Destinations was compiled by the Belize Tourism Industry Association with suggestions and recommendations from local dive professionals and divers who have visited here. The criteria was simple. Select the premier dive destinations a diver would consider a must. It is interesting that contrary to popular perceptions, neither Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker make the cut for world-class SCUBA diving . The Belize and Stann Creek Districts are the top ranked destinations for divers. Here are the best areas to snorkel or scuba in Belize. Dive Map at end of article.
The Arena: This site is the whole package, offering the ideal setting for discovering scuba diving, wall diving and night diving. Located near Sergeant’s Caye, the spur and groove formations shelter a multitude of marine life. Keep a look out for pelagic mantas and loggerhead turtles.
Chasbo’s Corner: This site is a magnificent example of wall diving on the northwest Turneffe Atoll. Sightings here include various sharks, sailfish, dolphins, false orcas and even manatees. Close inspection reveals decorator crabs, curious yellow-head jewfish and the elusive seahorse.
Belize Blue Hole: Recreational divers cannot reach the bottom depths of the world famous Blue Hole, but they can swim between the stalactites more than one hundred feet down, stark reminder that this geological formation was once above ground.
The Elbow: As currents converge with changing tides at the southern tip of the Turneffe Atoll, thousands of fish gather among deep canyons and spur and groove formations. Especially around the full moon, this site is always an underwater show-stopper.
The Chimney: Located on the Halfmoon Caye wall at Lighthouse Reef, this site is for the adventurous and experienced diver. Descend deep canyons and tunnels full of groupers, tarpon, moray eels, octopus, corals and sponges.
Southwater Caye: In this area divers swim through a corridor of coral with schools of spotted eagle rays, sharks and turtles for company.
Glover’s Reef: For prime examples of colorful coral gardens, sponges and marine life, Glover’s Reef is worth the hour and a half journey from Placencia. Don’t worry, there is usually an obliging dolphin escort on the way.
Gladden Spit: Plan to dive in Belize between March and June, preferably around a full moon, for the spiritual experience of diving with the largest fish in the sea, the famous Belize Whale Shark.
The Silk Cayes: These idyllic islands boast extreme beauty above and below the waterline. Loggerhead turtles are almost a guaranteed sighting on wall dives in this area.
Laughing Bird Caye: Located just eleven miles from Placencia Village, this dive site is within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This protection status has created an awesome abundance of marine life. Great for all levels of diving experience.