The Hol Chan Marine Reserve, established in 1979, leads divers through a cut in the Belize Barrier Reef, resulting in colorful marine life encounters.
Traditionally, this was where fishermen cleaned their catch. Nurse sharks and rays were attracted to the area and have been coming ever since.
The most famous of Belize’s dive sites, this strange geological structure welcomes divers inside its circular depths, reaching 400 feet (124m) deep.
In addition to numerable Caribbean fish species, reef sharks and turtles, Belize’s barrier reef is home to the endemic whitespotted toadfish.
The wet season falls from August to October. These months tend to be the warmest with average temperatures around 82 or 84°F (28 or 29°C). The wet season also offers the best surface conditions, ensuring that all sites are accessible. Rainfall, while prevalent during these months, will only impact a few hours of the day. This means that most of the day will be sunny rather than rainy. More importantly, visibility may decrease due to runoff from nearby rivers.
October and November is grouper mating season. Thousands of these fish descend on the cayes to mate and give birth to their young.
August to October is considered low season for tourism and diving in Belize. However, the diving is only slightly impacted by the rain and many would argue that this is the best time to dive in Belize. You’ll find fewer crowds and the best deals during these months.
The drier of the two seasons is from November to July. These months bring slightly cooler temperatures above and below the water. However, temperatures will only drop by a couple of degrees and most divers are still comfortable in a shorty. Surface conditions can become choppy at this time, creating limited access to the more exposed sites. With that said, from November to July, you can expect little to no rain and excellent visibility.
April to June is considered the best time to dive in Belize.
These months also coincide with peak season, so you can expect more fellow visitors than during wet season.
The large creatures often spotted during dives are friendly nurse sharks, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, and green sea turtles. Nurse sharks around Ambergris Caye are known to be rather inquisitive so don’t be alarmed to see them coming up really close. Besides that, there are many lobsters, damsel fish, barracuda and trevally.
Around seagrass beds near the mangrove swamps, see queen conch, juvenile fish and also juvenile lobsters or a critically endangered manatee. Around the atolls, Nassau grouper are common and you can find some critters like nudibranch, green moray eels and lots of basslets.
For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.