Occupying only 8,867 square miles (22,965 square kilometers), Belize is a small tropical country in Central America with a Caribbean vibe. Almost half of the country’s mainland is rainforest, much of it under government protection. The Belize Barrier Reef is about 185 miles (298 kilometers) long, making this the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere. Belize’s unique and diversified culture and natural attractions make it the perfect travel destination in the area.
Belize is an important destination in the diving world because it’s home to the largest blue hole on Earth. But that’s not all; the amazing and unique coral reef and species of large marine animals would make any diver want to take a plunge here. It also doesn’t hurt that the country enjoys some of the best weather and water conditions you could ask for.
Diving in Belize. Photo by Adam
Diving in Belize is possible all year round, but March through December is considered the perfect period because that’s when you can enjoy optimal conditions for diving. During the wet season - August through October - divers experience the best surface conditions, which means all sites are accessible.
The water temperatures range from 79° F/26° C to 83° F/28° C, so you can expect pleasant conditions year-round.
Excellent visibility all year round. The rain during the wet season makes little difference to the offshore visibility.
As the largest underwater sinkhole in the world, the Great Blue Hole of Belize measures over 300 meters (984 feet) across and bottoms at about 108 meters (354 feet). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is on many divers’ bucket list, but this is mostly due to its grandeur. In reality, besides some stalactites and a few fish, there’s not that much to see. It is, however, a popular “playground” among deep divers and freedivers.
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is comprised of seven protected areas, including the Blue Hole Natural Monument. The Barrier Reef exhibits the best reef growth in the Caribbean and provides a habitat for an abundance of marine life, including a number of threatened species. Part of the uniqueness of this reef system lies in the array of types of reef contained in a rather small area. Patch reefs, fringing reefs, barrier reefs, and off-shelf atolls are just some of the natural wonders found here.
The Belize Barrier Reef is thriving with marine life. Nurse sharks, whale sharks, southern stingrays, and spotted eagle rays are just some of the impressive creatures divers can observe here. But the reef is also home to species of octopus, sea turtles, lobsters, shellfish, and many other forms of marine life.