Famous for its Great Blue Hole and stunning diving conditions, Belize offers liveaboard diving with turtles, dolphin pods and whale sharks.
Belize is in the heart of the Caribbean between Mexico and Guatemala. The coast has spectacular waters for diving, including the second biggest barrier reef in the world and the famous blue hole. Most liveaboard diving in Belize is in the area to the East of Belize City where Lighthouse Reef, The Blue Hole and Turneffe Atoll can be found. These sites are several hours from the coast and because there are so many dive sites to see, liveaboard itineraries are usually around 7-10 days.
The Belize Aggressor III is a very luxurious diving boat with a hotel feel. Cabins are all ensuite and there is a wet bar and a hot tub on the sun deck to enjoy the sunset from. The Belize Aggressor IV is the largest boat designed for liveaboard diving, in the Caribbean. Her size means not only is Belize Aggressor IV spacious but pleasingly stable during transit. Both boats put a high emphasis on service with every detail taken care of, from chef cooked meals to warm towels after every dive.
Diving in Belize is a perfect harmony of atolls and barrier reefs, full of macro opportunities and bigger pelagic life as well. The inside of atolls like Turneffe and Lighthouse Reef are perfect nurseries for breeding fish and nesting turtles, which means huge shoals of snappers and even groupers spawning. The lagoons also host pods of dolphins and manatees in shallower areas and Caribbean reef sharks can be seen on the reefs. It is also possible to see bigger sharks, especially at Lighthouse reef, where during the season whale sharks can be seen cruising by.
Macro-life is not in short supply either, cracks and crevices are all over the reefs. These make perfect hiding places for spiny and slipper lobsters as well as cleverly camouflaged octopus poking their heads out too. For the more eagle eyed diver, Turneffe reef is also home to an endemic species, the whitespotted toadfish.
One of the main reasons to dive in Belize, aside from the marine life, is the conditions. There is some current around Turneffe and Lighthouse atolls but on many dive sites it is very mild.
BEST TIME TO GO
March to December
The best time to dive in Belize is from March to December.
During this period the weather is dry and the visibility and surface conditions are at their best. Visibility in Belize is excellent, from 65-130 ft. (20-40 m). It is worth noting that during plankton blooms in the summer visibility will be reduced but rarely below 65 ft. (20 m). Temperature doesn’t vary too much over the course of the year, in the winter months it can drop to around 79° F (26° C) and rise to 86° F (30° C) in the summer.
The diving season in Belize for whale sharks is late spring, early summer, between April and June. By June the chances of seeing whale sharks are greater in the southern region. Summer plankton blooms also attract mantas from August until the end of November.
Most liveaboards depart from Belize City which has an international airport. The Belize City Airport takes flights from the USA and you can connect from further afield. It is only a 30-minute drive from the airport to the Radisson Ft. George Harbour and most dive operators will pick you up from the airport and take you to the yacht.