Scuba Diving in Belize

We went scuba diving in various places in Belize with the aim of seeing whale sharks in May 2016. It’s one of the best places that I’ve gone diving.

  • You can snorkel or dive with the whale sharks in Placencia, Belize but don’t get your hopes up. It’s very hit or miss.  It seems that the 2017 season is cancelled because of a lack of sightings. If you see them at the surface, you only have a few seconds with them so be prepared!
  • When they are in the area, there’s only a certain time when they are there to feed. Reserve your space well in advance.
  • Reconfirm your boats’ departure times the night before as they may change.
  • In Palacencia, we loved staying at the Dolce Cabana Waterfront Suites. It’s off of the main street, so very quiet. It has a great back deck with wonderful hammocks. The owner is amazing.
  • The Blue Hole is a great attraction.  We loved diving it, but it is a two hour, rough boat ride to get there. I’m not sure it’s worth it if you’re just snorkeling and it’s definitely not worth it if you get seasick easily. Instead, you should check out flights to view it from the sky.  I recommend Tropic Air.
  • All businesses accept dollars but list prices in Belizean dollars. The exchange rate is 2 Belizean dollars to 1 US dollar.  Bring small dollar bills to pay for things in cash.
Must Do’s:
  • Snorkel or dive around the country, Turneffe, Hol Chan and the Blue Hole are great dive spots all accessible from Ambergis Caye
  • Tour the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave
  • Rent a golf cart in San Pedro to explore Ambergris Caye
  • Eat fryjacks and try Marie Sharp’s hot sauce
Do overs:
  • Spend more time inland, particularly San Ignacio, Belize to visit Tikal in Guatemala (do either the sunset or sunrise at the ruins) and the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave
  • Make sure to leave a day at the end for some rest and relaxation
  • Stay north of the bridge in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. It’s likely cheaper to stay at a nicer resort and rent a golf cart to get down to the city center.
Itinerary and Packing List:

Download the file here.

Recommended reading: 

  • The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman’s Fight to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Bird
  • Pataki Full

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