With more than 180 miles of barrier reef, hundreds of square miles of shallow reefs and three offshore atolls, Belize has ample diving variety

Colorful Reefs, Green Jungles and a Blue Hole

Flanked by the world's second longest coral reefs, Belize rewards divers with a rich array of underwater environments ripe for discovery and rich in fish life. Just inside the reef, a string of small coastal islands known as cayes is a short boat ride away from lively spur-and-groove reefs. Offshore atolls add steep walls, schooling fish and the famous Blue Hole. On southern reefs, seasonal fish spawns draw massive whale sharks. Expansive shallows between cayes and the mainland serve as an aquatic playground for kayakers, fishermen and sailors, while the rainforests and mountains of the interior offer Mayan ruins, jungle river drifts, cave tours, off-roading, hiking and more.

Highlights

  • Best for: Divers of all ability levels
  • Best season to visit: The dry season, January to early June, offers better visibility on reefs closer to the mainland. Lighter winds in summer months make for more comfortable rides to offshore atolls. April and May offer an ideal combination of conditions
  • Weather: Belize enjoys a sub-tropical climate moderated by Caribbean sea breezes. Winter temperatures occasionally dip below 70 during northerlies, while summers may reach into the 90s, with increased humidity and rain showers after June

Things to Do

Belize Information

About Diving in Belize

There are three primary areas of diving activity in Belize. Ambergris Caye is the country's most popular destination, and home to a number of dive resorts and charter operators who access nearby sites along the barrier reef, plus all-day excursions to the offshore atolls. The atolls—Lighthouse, Glovers and Turneffe—deliver dramatic walls and lively inner reefs with consistently good conditions. South of Belize City, the Placencia area is the gateway to miles of less-visited reefs and small, uninhabited islands ringed in white sand beaches. Water temperatures range from the high 70s to mid 80s.

Diving in Belize Tips

When diving the spur and groove formations near Ambergris Cay, save some air to explore the shallow beds inside the reef for the best chance to see small invertebrates, lobsters and rays. Manatees may also make a swim by, so scan the horizon every so often. Don't be surprised if you see reef sharks gliding up from the depths when descending into the Blue Hole. They won't attack.

Best Places to Dive in Belize

At Lighthouse Reef, the Aquarium combines a dramatic wall with a large number of colorful reef fish. Depth and shadows add drama to the stalagmites and ledges of the Blue Hole. Whale sharks make seasonal appearances at Gladen Spit. At Turneffe, the Elbow is a magnificent wall that sees a number of fish spawning aggregations. The Silk Cays combine reef diving with a deserted-island interlude. Near Ambergris, the crevices and caverns of Tackle Box Canyon hide a wealth of marine life discoveries.

What to Pack for Diving in Belize

In winter months include a windbreaker on the dive boat in anticipation of cooler north winds. Bring a dive light to illuminate reclusive marine life at sites such as Silver Caves, and to experience the Blue Hole.

Specials

Dive

Turneffe Island Resort

TURNEFFE ISLAND, BELIZE - 3 FREE NIGHTS includes 7 night accommodations, 15 single tank dives including day trip to Blue Hole Half Moon Caye and 1 night dive, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily including tea, water, coffee and lemonade, snorkeling, use of non-motorized watersports, roundtrip airport transfers on Wednesdays and Saturdays, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 7/1/17-12/15/17.
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From $2,633 per person double diver

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Dive

Belize Aggressor III

LIVEABOARD - DIVE THE WORLD - 25% OFF includes 7 nights deluxe stateroom accommodations, diving as scheduled, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and beverages including alcohol. Valid for departure on 9/9/17, 9/23/17 & 12/9/17.
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From $2,171 per person double diver

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Dive

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 nights standard accommodations, 4 days of 2-tank boat dives, 1-tank night boat dive, roundtrip air transfer from Belize International to San Pedro, hotel taxes and service charges. Valid 8/1/17-10/31/17. Add $47 per person for travel 4/1/17-7/31/17 & 11/1/17-12/18/17.
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From $1,020 per person double diver

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Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

TURNEFFE ATOLL, BELIZE - 7-NIGHT PACKAGE includes 7 night accommodations, 3 boat dives daily, snorkeling, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, water, coffee and lemonade, use of non-motorized watersports, roundtrip airport transfers on Wednesdays and Saturdays, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 12/31/17.
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From $2,602 per person double diver

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Packages

Biking
Snorkeling
Paddle Sports

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

MAYA MOUNTAIN CAYO TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - BIKING, CAVE TUBING + SNORKELING PACKAGE includes 3 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, two full days guided bikeing tour on Hidden Valley Reserve, Jaguar Paw Cave Tubing including gear, canopy ziplining, 4 nights Partial Ocean View Deluxe accommodations at Sunbreeze Hotel, one full day sail & snorkel to Caye Caulker Island includig snorkel gear, park fee, lunch refreshments and 2 snorkel stops, one 2 1/2 snorkel trip to Mexivo Rocks Marine Reserve including snorkel gear, one day use of golf cart rental (7 hrs), roundtrip air transfer from Belize International to San Pedro, roundtrip airport transfers to Hidden Valley Reserve, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $2,230 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports
Ziplining
Cultural Activities
Hiking

Windy Hill Resort

MAINLAND BELIZE - ADVENTURE VACATION includes 4 nights deluxe cabin accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, full day Caracol day tour, full day cave tubing and zipline tour, full day Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave tour, roundtrip airport transfers and taxes.
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From $897 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports
Cultural Activities
Hiking

Windy Hill Resort

MAINLAND BELIZE - ULTIMATE ADVENTURE PACKAGE includes 6 nights deluxe cabin accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, full day Caracol day tour, full day Tikal tour, full day cave tubing and The Belize Zoo combo, full day Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave tour, half day river canoeing, roundtrip airport transfers and taxes.
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From $1,287 per person double occupancy

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Cultural Activities
Spa and Wellness

Windy Hill Resort

MAINLAND BELIZE - PRIVATE ROMANCE IN BELIZE PACKAGE includes 4 nights deluxe cabin accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, private Mountain Pine Ridge tou with a swim at the waterfall, private full day Tiakl tour, private horsebak riding tour to Xunatunich, and a one hour couples swedish massage, roundtrip airport transfers and taxes.
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From $1,064 per person double occupancy

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Snorkeling

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE - SNORKEL PACKAGE Includes 7 nights accommodations, 1 day trip to Caye Caulker including 2 snorkel stops with lunch, 2 days of 2 1/2 hour snorkel trips, use of snorkel equipment and park fees, roundtrip flights from Belize City to Ambergris Caye, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 5/1/17-12/18/17.
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From $1,027 per person double occupancy

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Cultural Activities
Paddle Sports
Snorkeling

Roberts Grove Beach Resort

PLACENCIA - JUNGLE + SEA PACKAGE 7 night package including 3-nights at Chaa Creek and 4-nights at Robert's Grove Beach Resort, 1 day Monkey River Tour, excursion to the Maya temples in the ancient metropolis of Tikalbreakfast, The sacred Maya Caves at Barton Creek, Guided tours of Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre Hilltop Butterfly Exhibit, Belize Zoo and the beautiful Maya pyramid of Xunantunich.lunch, Belize Zoo and the beautiful Maya pyramid of Xunantunich, dinner daily, kayaks, pedal boats, windsurfers, activities including canoeing, nature walks, swimming, Hobie Cats, gym, bicycles, taxes and service charges. Room upgrades are available.
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From $2,663 per person double occupancy

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Dive

Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 nights cabana accommodations, 6 days of 3-tank boat dives, all meals, complimentary use of kayaks, airport transfers (Wednesdays and Saturdays).
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From $3,701 per person double diver

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Snorkeling
Paddle Sports
Cultural Activities

SunBreeze Hotel

JUNGLE LODGE AND AMBERGRIS CAYE - BEST OF BELIZE ADVENTURE PACKAGE Includes 4 nights accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn including 3 meals daily, choice of 1/2 day horseback riding 1/2 day canoeing Barton Creek & Butterfly Farm tours plus full day Caracol Mayan Ruin Trip including Rio Frio Cave and Rio on Pool, 3 nights accommodations at SunBreeze Hotel including breakfast daily an choice of 1 day 2-tank boat dive plus 1 night dive or 1 full day sail snorkel, ground transportation and flights between Belize City and Ambergris Caye, hotel tax and service charges. Not included Park Entrance Fees.
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From $2,132 per person double

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Snorkeling
Cultural Activities
Ziplining

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE - ADVENTURE PACKAGE Includes 7 nights accommodations, 1 full day adventure to Ancient Mayan City of Lamanai, 1 day cave tubing and ziplining, 2.5 hour snorkel trip to Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley, air transfer from Belize City to San Pedro, hotel tax, and service charges.
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From $1,318 per person double

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Snorkeling
Paddle Sports

Turneffe Island Resort

TURNEFFE ISLAND, BELIZE - SNORKEL PACKAGE includes 7 nights accommodations in your choice of Lodge Room, Superior Room or a Private Villa including taxes, guided snorkel trips daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, complimentary activities kayaks, shore snorkeling, pool, hobie kat, paddle boards, horseshoes, and volleyball. Complimentary airport transfers on Wednesday and Saturdays.
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From $2,914 per person double diver

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Snorkeling
Offroading
Ziplining
Cultural Activities
Spa and Wellness

Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - Includes 7 nights Jungle Standard accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charge. Options to add on choice of island tour, inland excursion or spa service.
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Dive
Paddle Sports
Snorkeling
Cultural Activities
Hiking

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

DANGRIGA, BELIZE - - 7 night sdventure and dive package includes 7 nights accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, air and ground transportation from Belize International airport to resort, welcome cocktail, 5 adventure days including choice of diving, snorkeling, waterfall hike, Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve Cave and Jungle Experience, Tropical Birding, Jungle River Kayaking or Canoeing or Mayan History Tours, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,895 per person double

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SunBreeze Suites

AMBERGRIS CAYE - DIVE PACKAGE #2 Includes 7 nights accomoodations, 4 days local 2-tank boat dives + 1 tank night dive, roundtrip air transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Other packages also available.
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From $1,020 per person double diver

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SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE - DIVE PACKAGE #2 Includes 7 nights accomoodations, 4 days of 2-tank boat dives, 1 night boat dive, roundtrip air transfers, hotel tax, and service charges.
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From $1,040 per person double diver

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Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - DIVE PACKAGE Includes 7 nights accommodations, your choice of multiple room categories, taxes, breakfast daily and roundtrip airport ground transfers, 6 days 2-tank boat dives with use of tanks, weights and belt. Dive upgrades available for Blue Hole and Turneffe Elbow. Packages also available for 3 night stays and more.
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From $1,357 per person double diver

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Cultural Activities
Hiking
Snorkeling
Dive

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

MAINLAND TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - WATERFALL & SUNBREEZE PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, full day tour at Caracol Maya Site with stops at Rio Frio Cave and Rio Hon Pools, choice of Barton Creek Cave canoeing or ½ day Horseback riding, 3 nights accommodations at Sunbreeze Hotel, choice of 2 days of 2-tank local dives for certified divers or one 2 ½ hour snorkel trip and day sail and snorkel Caye Caulker for non-divers, breakfast daily, complimentary use of bikes, roundtrip airport transfers, roundtrip air transfer on Maya Island Air from Belize International to San Pedro, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,965 per person double occupancy

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Cultural Activities
Snorkeling
Spa and Wellness

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

MAINLAND TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - MOUNTAIN & REEF PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, cave tubing, romantic waterfall champagne lunch at Secret Pools & Falls or Cub’s Den, full day tour at Caracol Maya Site with stops at Rio Frio Cave and Rio Hon Pools, 2 holistic spa treatments, 3 nights Luxury Garden View Suite accommodations at Xanadu Island Resort, ½ day snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, 24 hour golf cart rental, complimentary use of bikes and kayaks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,900 per person double occupancy

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Cultural Activities
Spa and Wellness

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

MAINLAND - CAVES & WATERFALLS PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, full day tour at Caracol Maya Site with stops at Rio Frio Cave and Rio Hon Pools, ½ day guided tour of Hidden Valley’s Reserve or jungle horseback riding, private waterfall lunch, one spa treatment, 3 nights well-appointed tree house accommodations at Cave Branch Adventure Lodge, welcome bottle of wine, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, unlimited local rum drinks, juices, sodas, tea and water, choice of 3 full day tours, nighttime jungle safari or early morning bird watching tour, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $2,625 per person double occupancy

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Snorkeling

Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

SNORKEL PACKAGE includes 7 nights cabana accommodations, Snorkel package includes 2 guided Snorkel boat trips per day, all meals, airport transfers (Wednesdays and Saturdays).
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From $2,270 per person double diver

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Paddle Sports

Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

KAYAK PACKAGE includes 7 nights cabana accommodations, Kayak package includes 2 guided sea kayak trips per day, all meals, airport transfers (Wednesdays and Saturdays).
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From $2,270 per person double diver

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Dive

Turneffe Island Resort

TURNEFFE ISLAND, BELIZE - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night’s accommodations in your choice of Lodge Room, Superior Room or a Private Villa including taxes,15 single tank boat dives, Day trip to Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye (On Tuesdays), 3 meals a day including basic beverages plus daily hors d’ oeuvres. Complimentary activities kayaks, shore snorkeling, pool, hobie kat, paddle boards, horseshoes, and volleyball. Complimentary airport transfers on Wednesday and Saturdays.
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From $3,701 per person double diver

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Resorts

Paddle Sports
Cultural Activities
Hiking

Windy Hill Resort

MAINLAND BELIZE - Windy Hill Resort is located in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, the most diverse area of Belize. This beautiful resort provides all the modern conveniences in a lush tropical setting and just minutes from the archaeological sites, rivers, caves and other attractions that visitors come to see and experience in Belize. After a busy day of trekking around the Maya temples, canoeing or tubing through the caves, hiking through the rainforest, or horseback riding along jungle trails, you will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the amenities of Windy Hill.
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Dive

Blackbird Caye Dive Resort

TURNEFFE ATOLL - Located on a private island on one of Belize’s outer atolls, Blackbird Caye Eco-Dive Resort overlooks an iridescent turquoise coral lagoon, protected by the atoll’s rim reef. This long-established resort acclaimed for snorkeling and scuba diving, recently added an array of ecofriendly activities. An on-site marine biologist helps visitors understand the amazing undersea world of Belize. Nestled within 1,300 acres of island forest on a private white sand beach, the resort is comprised of 18 individual beachfront cabanas offering a personal, private and relaxing atmosphere.
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Cultural Activities
Snorkeling
Ziplining

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE - SunBreeze Hotel puts you right in the heart of Ambergris Caye and all that the island has to offer. On the southern edge of the friendly town of San Pedro, SunBreeze’s Latin-Caribbean architectural design forms a wide crescent that embraces the waterfront as well as its own private white sand beach and palm and tropical garden complete with a fresh water pool.
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Dive
Paddle Sports
Snorkeling
Cultural Activities
Hiking

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

HOPKINS - Hamanasi is a boutique hotel on the southern coast of the Belize mainland offering spacious treehouse, beachfront room and honeymoon suite accommodations with handcrafted hardwood furnishings, air conditioning and private porches. From scuba diving Belize’s Great Barrier Reef and Belize's three atolls to climbing Mayan pyramids, hiking through rainforests in search of hidden caves, to birdwatching, Hamanasi resort offers it all at one comfortable, convenient location.
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From $1,895 per person double

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Dive
Snorkeling
Cultural Activities
Paddle Sports

Roberts Grove Beach Resort

PLACENCIA - Robert’s Grove is a beautifully appointed Hacienda-style Belize beach resort nestled on 22 acres of the finest white sand beach in Placencia Belize. Its ideal location allows guests to be surrounded by Belize’s best attractions- the Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforest & Mayan Ruins. This unique position makes it easy for guests and especially families to choose from a vast array of Belize’s most sought after activities, including diving tours, fly fishing trips, and many more exciting adventures.
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Dive

Turneffe Island Resort

TURNEFFE ISLAND, BELIZE - Located 30 miles off the coast of Belize on a 14-acre private island amidst a diving paradise. 22 beachfront guest rooms with private screened-in patios. Family-style meals included, pool, kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie cats. Weekly trips to the Great Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye.
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Dive

SunBreeze Suites

AMBERGRIS CAYE Comprised of twenty comfortable one bedroom vacation suites overlooking the beautiful blue sea. Each comes with a private balconies from where you can enjoy breathtaking sunrises, refreshing cool sea-breezes and romantic moonlight nights. It is within walking distance to grocery stores, entertainment centers, local and gourmet restaurants, banks, fruit shops, cafes, and Belizean art galleries.
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From $1,092 per person double diver

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SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE - SunBreeze Hotel puts you right in the heart of Ambergris Caye and all that the island has to offer. On the southern edge of the friendly town of San Pedro, SunBreeze’s Latin-Caribbean architectural design forms a wide crescent that embraces the waterfront as well as its own private white sand beach and palm and tropical garden complete with a fresh water pool.
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Dive

Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - Take a scuba vacation to Belize and lose yourself in the island accommodations at Ramon's Village Resort, where an exotic beachside island paradise awaits you. Marvel at the stunning, authentic thatched roof cabanas, tropical lagoon-style pool, fabulous restaurant all the while being pampered by their renowned staff.
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Cultural Activities
Hiking

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

Hidden Valley Inn comprises an estate lodge and just six surrounding cottages, each with two suites, making for a highly personal and exclusive vacation experience. The lodge, once the Main House of the Hidden Valley estate, boasts several fireplace lounges, a handsome bar room that opens to the pool's stone terrace, beautifully surrounded by gardens of orchids, lilies and bromeliads. At night, enjoy the Jacuzzi under Belize's starry skies or cozy up with a book after dinner. The restaurant at Hidden Valley Inn is an epicurean delight reserved for property guests only. Candlelight dinners are best when followed by a nightcap in our cocktail lounge. And after, guests make their way back to their individual cottage where, on cooler evenings, a fire is glowing.In the morning, refreshed and ready to venture out into the broad landscape of Hidden Valley Reserve, guests meet the friendly staff to go over the day's itinerary. Staff personally see to it that visitors’ plans are met and that
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Liveaboards

Dive

Belize Aggressor IV

As the largest yacht in the Fleet, the 138-foot Belize Aggressor IV is outfitted to accommodate 20 divers cabins with direct access to the dive deck. All of this magnificent yacht’s staterooms have ensuite bath facilities; individual air-conditioning controls, flat screen LCD’s and DVD players, and most have picture window views. While not diving, guests can visit the large wet bar on the Lido Deck, relax on the big covered and uncovered sundeck or enjoy the beautiful and comfortable air-conditioned salon.
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From $2,895 per person/double diver

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Dive

Belize Aggressor III

Far from the reach of tiny day boats, the 110-foot Belize Aggressor III divers explore the pristine walls of Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Cay, Turneffe Reef and the famous Blue Hole. The yacht has nine staterooms with individual air conditioning controls, ensuite facilities and TV/DVD combos. Chef-prepared meals, snacks, soft beverages, local beer and wine, and up to 27 dives are included in your charter package. After a full day of diving, including night dives, guests can relax in the upper deck hot tub.
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From $2,895 per person/double diver

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Diving in Belize

With more than 180 miles of the barrier reef, hundreds of square miles of shallow reefs and three offshore atolls, Belize has ample diving variety. To the north, the shores of Ambergris Caye are home to a number of first-class resorts that offer easy two-tank excursions to nearby sites on the reef line. Options include large spur-and-groove formations that resemble underwater canyons, deeper drops, stand-along coral heads and one wreck. Currents are generally mild to non-existent on these sites, and variable depths accommodate both novices and divers versed in multi-level computer profiles. Nearby is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where the steep-sided walls of a cut in the reef attract large schools of fish and support lush coral growth. This is one of the few sites where currents can be strong. Also in the reserve is Shark Ray Alley. Here, stingrays and nurse sharks accustomed to receiving bait scraps from fishermen will gather when boats arrive, and divers can immerse in the swirling mass with no fears for their safety. The offshore atolls of Turneffe Island, Lighthouse Reef and Glover's Reef offer the most dramatic underwater topographies and consistently clearest waters. Steep outer walls feature tunnels, swim-throughs and large projecting coral buttresses, and hold schools of jacks, permits and spadefish. Without a doubt, the best-known dive site in all of Belize is the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef. This symmetrical, 412-foot deep hole was made famous by scuba pioneer Jacques Cousteau, who moored his Calypso in the hole's center. As divers drop deeper, the vertical walls of the hole receded, revealing huge stalactites. Recently, sharks have become more numerous at the site, adding an extra degree of adventure. Turneffe Island is the largest of the atolls, with interior shallows that shelter hundreds of small mangrove islands. These islands serve as fish nurseries and increase the area’s biodiversity. Equally diverse as the fish life is the range of dive sites, which include wrecks, novice-friendly shallow reefs and deep walls. Glover's Reef is too far from Ambergris Caye for day trips and therefore sees fewer visitors. Trips are best arranged from operations located on the cayes. Near the full moons of April to June, the spawning activities of cubera snapper and other fish attract whale sharks to Glovers Reef and to the section of the southern barrier reef known as Gladden Spit. Whale sharks are plankton eaters, and eggs released during spawning are an easy and abundant food source. The southern section of Belize's barrier reef sits farther from shore. This results in clearer waters, but also longer boat rides from shore-based resorts in areas such as Placencia. The reef becomes a more continuous ridge from Southwater Caye Marine Reserve south, and cuts in the reef become focal points for fish life. A favorite destination is Laughing Bird Caye National Park, which supports large stands of staghorn and elkhorn corals, along with thick growths of tunicates and anemones. On the sheltered inside of the reef, coral islands provide relaxing second dives.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A current passport, valid through your departure date, is required for entry into Belize. Your passport needs to have at least 1 blank page for the entry stamp. Proof of onward or return flights may be required at entry as well. No visa is required for stays less than 30 days. Upon departure from Belize, there is a departure tax of approximately $40.00 U.S. which should be included on your international ticket.

Check the entry/exit requirements here.

Immunizations

There are no required immunizations for entry into Belize, although you should check with your doctor and reference the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations.

Culture and Customs

Belize is a true melting pot of cultures, stretching back to the stone cities of the ancient Maya, and the Arawak roots of the Garfunkel dialect that are still heard through the country. British settlers arrived in the 1600s, and English remains the nation's official language. But Spanish influences are equally prevalent, and Mennonite, Creole, Lebanese, Chinese, and East Indian immigrants have all left their mark on the collective consciousness. Today, they are all just Belizeans, and everyone gets along in a society that places a high value on civility and inclusion. This is a country that doesn't need an excuse to dance and throw a party. Weekends are reason enough for celebration, and dozens of festivals, carnivals and concerts are staged throughout the year. Head up to the country into the rainforest and wooded mountains of the interior and you are in the land of Indiana Jones where thatch-roofed eco lodges serve as base camps for jungle hikes and inner tube drifts through river caves. Head offshore and island times takes over when you land on the offshore cayes. On Ambergris Caye a flipflop and tank top vibe permeates the beach town of San Pedro, where beach bikes are the preferred mode of transportation, and packed-sand streets are fronted by colorfully painted wooden shops and taverns.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Belize electricity is 110 Volt/60 cycles and uses the same plug types as the U.S., so no converters are required.

Belize has a standardized seven-digit phone numbering system and a country code of 501.

Many hotels offer WiFi. Be sure to check with your mobile provider to see if International plans are available for phone and data usage while in Belize.

Water Quality

Bottled water is recommended in Belize and readily available for purchase and also supplied by some resorts.

Language & Currency

English is the official language, but Spanish is widely spoken. Other languages spoken are Maya, Garifuna, and Creole.

The BelizeDdollar (BZD) is pegged to the US dollar at 2:1 - always verify whether you are paying U.S. or Belize Dollars. It's easy to change U.S. dollars just about anywhere.

ATMs are available in many cities and accept major cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, although cash will be dispensed in Belize Dollars.

Most businesses will accept U.S. cash without question. They usually give change in Belizean Dollars, though they may return U.S. change if you ask.

Time

Belize is on Central Standard Time, 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-6 GMT). Belize does not observe daylight saving time.

Location, Size and Population

Belize is located on the Eastern coast of Central America, along the Caribbean Coast. Its capital city is Belmopan.

Belize is bounded on the North by Mexico, South, and West by Guatemala, and the beautiful Caribbean Sea washes its 174-mile coastline to the East.

Belize has an area of 8,866 sq. miles including 266 sq. miles of islands.

The population of Belize is 367,177 (2016), while the island of Ambergris caye has an estimated 22,000, the area of Placencia approximately 1,500 and the area of Dangriga close to 10,000.