Best Diving sites in Belize

I dived there!
Have you been diving here? Rate it!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(49 votes, 3.33/5)

If you have dived in Belize before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)


The Great Blue Hole of Belize photograph by John C Bullas

Scuba diving in Belize is simply oustanding. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The barrier reef is some 300-kilometer or 190 miles long and 40 kilometers (25 mi) at its greatest distance from shore but reaches to just 300 meters (980 ft) at its closest point. The atolls are out beyond the barrier reefs and offer outstanding dives.

The barrier reefs and their lagoons give divers a different dive experience than the atolls and closer to shore are the fringing reefs and numerous patch reefs. The Mesoamerican Reef, that divers love in Mexico, includes the Belize Barrier Reef. However, only the Belize portion of the Mesoamerican reef is a barrier reef.

Barrier reefs are unique in that they separate the land from deep waters, and provide a shallower lagoon that helps protects the shores. These deep waters bring nutrient rich waters to the top of the reefs enhancing the growth of corals and marine life. They also bring large pelagics such as the sharks and rays to the shallow for feeding. The naturalist Charles Darwin referred to the Belize Barrier Reef as “The Most Remarkable Reef in the West Indies”.

Most of the waters and land of the country of Belize is under some degree of protection. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The site is made up of seven marine reserves and covers about 12% of the total reef. There are other marine protected zones such as the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. This reserve is the only know aggregated spawning site for a number of species of grouper and snappers. This spawning activity draws a vast number of whale sharks of feed on the eggs. Whale shark dives in other countries are really snorkeling activities, but here divers descend into the waters to meet the whale sharks on their turf.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley at only 7.8 square kilometers is the smallest marine reserve in the world, but in water no deeper than 9 meters/ 27 feet it has one of the highest concentrations of sharks and rays in the world.

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Belize.

Best Dive Review


Photo by Karla Brunet/Errante

Belize offers a wide range of diving destinations.  Overall it depends on what you are most interested in. Here are a few of the diving destinations within Belize:

  • Blue Hole Natural Monument, Located on Lighthouse Atoll this protected area has one of the best known dive sites in the world, the Great Blue Hole of Belize. The Blue Hole is around 1,000 feet or 310 meters across and drops 135 meters or about 450 feet. Stalactites and stalagmites are found in caverns as you descend. Photographs taken from the air have been awing television viewers and nature magazine readers for decades. Jacques Cousteau introduced it to the world in March 1971 on his “Secrets of the Sunken Caves” episode of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” (1968–1976). Cousteau had frequently declared it one of the top ten dive sites in the world. The Great Blue Hole of Belize is located on Lighthouse Reef Atoll, which is one of only four true atolls outside the Indo-Pacific region. Glover’s Reef Atoll, and Turneffe Atoll are two other of these atolls and are also in Belize.
  • Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, is also located on Lighthouse Atoll. The Half Moon Caye wall is one of the dive sites located here and it has been called the most colorful wall dive in the world. Mot dive operators will call here after diving the Blue Hole. The Caye itself is a bird sanctuary and dive operators will often offer guide hikes and lunch on the beach during the surface intervals.
  • South Water Caye Marine Reserve. This reserve is located at the southern border of Belize and is the largest of the marine reserves. It also sits just 16 kilometers off the coast. Many diving experts consider this the best all around diving destination in the world. The 12 kilometer long sections of barrier reefs provide awesome wall dives. The deep waters means there are frequent pelagic interactions including sharks,tuna, barracuda and rays. During the grouper and snapper breeding season whale sharks are found in large numbers. The lagoon behind the barrier reefs is mostly shallow with very few sections deeper than 25 meters. Patch reefs, fringing reefs and small inlets and cayes provide fruitful conditions for reef fish, corals and sponges. Scuba Divers of all skill levels will find this a interesting place to dive.

How to dive Belize?

You could start a never ending debate on whether Belize is better as a liveaboard diving destination or a resort based destination. You could intensify that debate with the question of a resort based on the mainland, Caye or one of the remote atolls.

The liveaboards do have the ability to cover a wider area. So in that case you could dive South Water Caye Marine Reserve as well as the remote Blue Hole National Monument, and Glover’s Reef Atoll.

While a resort on one of the Atolls would not likely have trips to the South Water Caye, they would offer you hundreds of lightly dived sites as well as being at the Blue Hole and finished before the divers staying at the land or Caye based resorts arrived. The liveaboards would not likely offer you the chance to explore some of the ancient ruins that the land based resorts would do.

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Belize as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Belize

There is little difference in the quality of the diving year round. Most of the concern for Scuba divers is the water conditions and how many other people are visiting. While close to Cancun Mexico, the tourist season is different. Cancun gets busy during the American summer season and the “Spring Break” time. Belize gets more snow birds, that a term for people who travel to warm weather climates during their cold weather months.

  • The peak season is during the months of November, December, January, February, March and April, which is also close to the dry season from November to June.
  • Whale shark season is March to May, and many divers consider this as the best time overall for a visit.
  • June until October is the wet season, also called the green season.
  • During the green season, rain is not constant and seldom has consecutive days of rain. However, the seas can be rough and trips to remote areas might be canceled.
  • Belize is outside of the traditional “hurricane belt” and has a short hurricane season just August and October.



Top liveaboards in Belize according to divers reviews

Dive courses

Belize is an excellent destination for dive training. Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water and Drift diver are the most common courses taken, however, most courses are offered.

Scuba Diving conditions

scuba diving belize

Photo by Karla Brunet/Errante


Scuba Diving conditions in Belize are good year round with little difference in visibility or water temperature. June until October can bring rough sea condition which can make the trip to the Blue Hole and other remote locations questionable.


Snorkelling in Belize

Many of the most popular destinations have sites that are suitable for snorkelers. Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley is one of the best snorkeling sites that allows interaction with rays and sharks. Most of the resorts have house reefs that have snorkeling sites.

Fishes and Coral


Photograph by Gustavo Vier a creative commons image

The diversity of marine life in Belize is slightly better than other Caribbean destinations. Here is some highlights:

  • 18 Ray and shark species including Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Black tips, hammerheads, Bull sharks, nurse sharks, tiger sharks and whale sharks (March to June).
  • 5 species of turtles, Leatherback, Loggerhead Green, Hawkbill, and Olive Ridley turtle
  • Large Pelagic such as Jacks, Barracuda,Tuna, and Tarpon
  • The largest aggregation of Groupers in the world during March to June
  • and 500 species of reef fish

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Belize, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Belize is an excellent destination for a diver looking for a well rounded dive experience without higher risk dives. The mainland based and Caye based dive resorts also provide the diver the opportunity to explore the ancient Mayan culture that had once flourished in Belize.

Photos Belize

No related photos found. See all Photos

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Belize Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

No related page found

Dive spots reviews in Belize

No dive sites reviews found

Liveaboard Reviews in Belize

MV Belize Aggressor IV

Aggressor Fleet, based in the USA, has w

MV Belize Aggressor IV Liveaboard Review

MV Belize Aggressor III

USA based Aggressor Fleet have a liveabo

MV Belize Aggressor III Liveaboard Review

Belize Aggressor 3

Boat Review Cruising at a top speed of 1

Belize Aggressor 3 Liveaboard Review

Belize Aggressor IV

Built in the late 1990’s, the Belize Agg

Belize Aggressor IV Liveaboard Review

Diving centers in Belize

No dive centers found

10 dive logs in “Belize”

  1. I’ve only been snorkeling in Belize a few weeks back, but OMG… it’s amazing. The reefs are healthy, colorful and they come in all shape! I will surely come back with friends and hopefully I can leave the kids with them a few hours and go for some diving.

    I hear the blue hole is overrated though…

    • Hi Natalie! Thanks for the review, Belize indeed sounds amazing! If ever you come by again, would you please let us know of your best spots ?

      Thank you! Safe travels!

    • I wouldn’t say overrated but it’s just not what people generally expect. Personally I loved the simple but intense thrill of simply being in the big blue, it’s empty… calm… then some carribean sharks shows up… anyway, it’s just another feeling, but not the typical colorful coral dive! :)

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the blog, its interesting. I am looking for diving course either in Belize or in Cozumel. Do you know which place is cheaper and also which is better in terms of marine life.


    • Hi Kavya! (love your name by the way!)
      Thank you for reading Divezone and contributing to it!
      Unfortunately I can’t relate to neither Cozumel or Belize from my personal experience… hopefully I will soon! But, from what I know, I often hear that sites in Cozumel are very close to shore while some of the best diving of Belize is further away, which means more time on the boat everyday. I know that it can be a decisive factor as if your stay is shorter and diving a max is a priority. Otherwise, from reviews we have on the destinations, they seems to both be teeming with marine life… I’ll leave it to other people to review, hopefully you’ll get some replies! :)

      It will be my choice to make someday, so I will sure await for your very own review after your trip! ;) Safe bubbles!

    • Hi Kavya,
      We are in Belize now and having just come from Mexico and spending a month diving in Cozumel with Cozumel Dive School (my partner did his Divemaster course there). Personally, having done both, I would learn to dive in Cozumel over Belize. Being a barrier reef I had high expectations of Belize, but I found the diving, for both marine life and water clarity better on Cozumel. That said, there are lots of nurse sharks in Belize, more than Cozumel so if sharks are your thing, you should come here! Hope that helps :)

    • Hi Kristian!
      Thank you for reading DiveZone and for taking the time to review Belize as a diving destination! I’m glad to see that you appear to have had magical dives! Also, thanks for the dive center recommendations, always useful for the divers planning their trips to Belize!

      Safe bubbles!

  3. There is absolutely world class diving in Belize. I have not been diving in many different places so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt. But my uncle has over 11,000 dives and has lived in over 70 countries and done many a diving trips. He has now lived in Belize for 20+ years. If you want an amazing place to eat good food, be central for good day/overnight trips to Central America, experience great diving I highly suggest Ambergris Caye. I usually dive with Chuck and Robbys Dive Shop because of their fun and lighthearted attitudes while also being professional.

Have you been travelling or scuba diving here? Rate it!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(49 votes, 3.33/5)

Have you dived in Belize?

Have you been diving or snorkelling in Belize? Consider sharing your experience with the diving community by leaving a comment below!

Some inspiration for your dive log comment: conditions of the dive (visibility, current)? Did you have a good time? What fishes or other interesting things did you see? Your email address will not be published.