10 Belize Scuba Diving Tips
Follow these 10 Belize scuba diving tips to help you prepare for the perfect dive trip. Belize is one of the world’s top scuba diving areas and the sea around Belize is home to some of the last remaining coral in the entire Western Hemisphere. Scuba enthusiasts can choose to dive from the mainland or from one of Belize’s myriad of island.
- Choose your area. The only problem with Belize is that there are too many choices for where to dive. Plancencia and St George’s Caye Resort are too of the most popular choices and are a good place to start from if you’ve never been diving in Belize before. Plancencia is on the southern end of the Belize mainland. It has three major dive attractions: the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is great for coral; the lagoon on the West is famous for manatee; and Gladden Spit is a great place to see whales and sharks at the right time of year. St. George’s Caye Resort is a great place to combine a beach holiday and a scuba trip and won’t cost you the earth. The beaches are beautiful and there is a variety of other water-centric activities, such as sea kayaking, fishing, and sailing.
- Live-Aboard. Consider a live-aboard for part of your trip. Live-aboard typically means you will live and sleep on a larger yacht, specifically equipped for diving. Instead of returning to the hotel after your dive excursions you will spend the night on the boat cruising to the next destination. Live-aboard combine accommodation, food, and diving (and maybe even romance). Typically all equipment rental is included in the costs. There are plenty of live-aboard diving operators in Belize, keeping the prices competitive.
- The Dive Season. Like most dive areas, Belize has a ‘dive season’. This is March to September. Between April and July you’ll be able to see the most sea life (like whales, manatees etc), but it will also be the most crowded time, so book in advance.
- Dive License. Make sure your dive license is up to date before you dive in Belize. If you haven’t dived for a while, there are plenty of refresher courses. If you don’t have a diver’s license, there are plenty of schools in Belize that will help you get your qualification.
- Equipment. Rent good equipment from a local dive shop. If you don’t know where to start, ask your resort or dive operator to make a recommendation.
- Don’t Dive Alone. Safety first – it is never recommended that you dive without a partner. If something happens to you, you lose your orientation or run out of air, you will be very thankful to have a trusted partner next to you.
- Plan Your Route. With your partner, plan out your dive route in Belize. Then leave the details with your hotel or a friend in case something goes wrong. This simple precaution can save your life.
- Ask the Locals. Local Belize inhabitants will know all sorts of information about the area and season that you won’t find in your guidebook. Ask a local in a bar or hotel to give you some advice on where to scuba dive
- Night Diving. Belize is a beautiful destination to try night diving. It’s usually best to do this as part of a tour group as you’ll see more and be safer.
- Underwater Camera. The beautiful array of coral and sea life that teams under the Belize sea is any photographer’s dream. Consider investing in an underwater camera to preserve your memories.