Belize is cruising eaglerays, Caribbean reef sharks, an occasional hammerhead, roaming sea turtles, gliding manta rays and even feeding whale sharks. Add to the mix pods of bottlenose dolphins that sometimes like to surprise divers, and you have an ideal scuba habitat.
Nowhere in the Caribbean can atolls be found except here off this mysterious country's east coast. Belize has four. A few islets have small resorts based on them. Divers can also explore the reefs and sea life here on live-aboards. And there's a lot to see from the famous Lighthouse Reef in the north, with its internationally known Blue Hole, to the unexplored reaches of Glover's Reef in the south, sand chutes, canyons and sheer walls.
Deep drop-offs are covered in rich sponge growth. Bright red rope sponges, soft pink vase sponges and deep purple tubes all form a kaleidoscope of form and color on the outer walls. One thing many people overlook here is macro life. But, these atolls are really rich in small creatures. Have fun looking in the sandy grass beds for a tiny sea hare that is, to date, still unnamed by science. Keep an eye out for a rare electric ray. The upper reef and shallows hold juveniles of all sorts sporting unusual patterns and camouflage. Smaller creatures, as well as the big ones, are all there for divers to seek and perhaps photograph.
Destination PrimerAverage Water Temp: 75- 80°F
What to Wear: 3 mm fullsuit
Average Viz: 100 feet
When to Go: Year-round