Trips for Divers
Oakland, CA 94602
510-638-3448 / 800-345-7159
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Liveabords and Resorts
'Belize Aggressor III'
Peter Hughes 'Sun Dancer II'
The largest of all the cayes, Ambergris Caye is renowned for its beaches and proximity to the coral reef. San Pedro, the caye's hub, offers any variety of accommodations, restaurants, bars and nightlife. For a change of pace and scenery, the bay side of the caye is a great place to get acquainted with Belizean bird life.
Aqua Marina Suites ☺
Sun Breeze Beach Hotel ☺
Victoria House Resort
Banana Bank Lodge – rainforest & ruins ☺
Chaa Creek – rainforest & ruins ☺
Lamanai Outpost Lodge - rainforest & ruins
Turneffe Atoll: the largest of three atolls found in Belize, is 30 miles long. The water dept measures between 55 and 65 feet.
Glover's Reef; most south of the three, is often overlooked. It has a diameter of some 40 miles with over 700 shallow patch reefs in its interior.
Lighthouse Reef; the farthest from the mainland but unlike Glover's Reef gets plenty of visitors. Depth near the reef is around 9 feet. The great Blue Hole at the center of Lighthouse Reef is described as one of the best dive sites on Earth and a must for all advanced divers. It has a dept of 480 feet with stalagtites at 130 feet.
Blackbird Caye Resort - Turneffe Atoll ☺
Isla Marisol - Glovers Atoll ☺
St. George Lodge - St. George Cay ☺
Turneffe Island Lodge ◊
Legends: ☺kids friendly (kids program or kids rates available); ✩ wheelchair accessible; ◊ internet access (◊◊ free)
The world’s second largest barrier reef begins off the coast of Belize. Turneffe Ialand, Lighthouse Reef, site of the famous “Blue Hole” and St. George’s Reef are some of the islands straddling the reef. Ambergris Caye is at the north end above the reef. Jacques Cousteau fell in love with this area with its great diversity and warm waters. After diving, explore the jungle and travel to the Mayan ruins on mainland.
Geography and Nature
The plains of northern Belize were once the ocean floor. The land is covered with a thin layer of soil that supports scrub vegetation and dense hardwood tropical forest. The low-lying coastal area supports mangrove marshes, home to birds and wildlife, and forms a natural protection against coastline erosion.
After the coastal Belize City which sits a few feet above sea level, the sandy soil of large savannas extends 30 miles westward. The land rises slowly into the plateaus, valleys, and peaks of the Mountain Pine Ridge at 1,500 feet and continues to the Maya Mountains that stand at 3,680 feet above sea level. The mountains are surrounded by rugged karst limestone hills dotted with the largest cave system in Central America. Rainfall from the highlands and underwater springs flow into the Mopan River on the east side of the mountains and the Macal River on the west side of the mountains. The two rivers converge just outside of San Ignacio Town to form the headwaters of the Belize River that flows east to the Caribbean Sea. Long before the highway systems were developed, this river system was used as the primary communication system and trading route for upriver settlements and for exporting Belize’s first industry: logwood and mahogany.
The geography of Southern Belize differs considerably from the other regions of the country. Its watershed to the southeast from the Maya Mountains creates numerous short rivers that rush through slopes combed with overhanging ledges and caves, housing hundreds of Maya artifacts. The rivers, carrying sand, clay, and silt, have enriched the coastal belt over the years, making the area ideal for the agricultural production of citrus and bananas. With an average annual rainfall of 170 inches, Southern Belize boasts a true tropical rainforest rich with ferns, palms, lianas, and tropical hardwoods.
The Barrier Reef, at 185 miles long, is the longest in the western hemisphere. Off the Belize Barrier Reef are three of the four Caribbean atolls and hundreds of offshore cayes, pronounced “keys”. The cayes are islands that are either coral sand-covered or mangrove-entangled and are mostly located between the mainland and the Barrier Reef with a few almost on top of the reef crest. Outside the Barrier Reef are the ringed island formations of Belize’s atolls with shallow, mangrove-lined lagoons inside. This combined system of reef, cayes, and atolls form Belize’s marine environment which is consistently cited by visitors as a primary reason for visiting Belize.
Belize has an annual mean temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (or 26 degrees Celsius). The average humidity of 85 percent is nicely tempered by the prevailing winds from the Caribbean Sea.
Variations in elevation and geology are accompanied by some differences in temperature, rainfall, plant and animal life, however summer high temperatures rarely exceed 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and “local - winter" lows are seldom below 60 degrees Fahrenheit--even at night. These lower temperatures are experienced between October and January with the passage of an occasional 'norther.' After a day in the sun, many visitors find a light cotton shirt a comfortable wardrobe addition in the evenings.
Seawater temperature varies between 75 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit (24-28 degrees Celsius.)
Rainfall: Annual rainfall ranges from 50 inches in the north to 170 inches in the south. The seasons can best be classified as:
the “dry” season between February and May and
the “rainy” or "green season" which brings scattered showers between June and November.
Visitors to Belize must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 3 months after the date of arrival and a return ticket with sufficient funds to cover their stay. If you have fallen in love with our country and would like to stay longer, you can request a one-month extension from the Immigration and Nationality Department.
All tourists and non-Belizean nationalities are required to pay an exit fee of U.S. $39.25 (payable in U.S. dollars only) when leaving Belize.
How to get there
Several International airlines have daily flights to Belize and all land at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in Ladyville, 10 miles from Belize City.
American Airlines from Dallas and Miami
Continental Airlines from Houston and New York
US Airways from Charlotte
Delta Air Lines from Atlanta
Grupo TACA from Los Angeles and Central America
Although most of the electricity is provided by Diesel/Generator Sets, the power is stable at 110 Volts A.C., which is the same voltage as in the United States.
The Belize Dollar (BZ$) has a fixed rate of exchange of BZ $2 to US $1. Most hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tour operators will accept U.S. currency, traveler's checks, or credit cards. When using your credit cards in Belize, most establishments will add a 5% service charge to your bill.
Malaria risk area in Belize: All, except no risk in Belize City. Visit CDC for more information.