Q&A: What to Expect on Your First Belize Diving Trip
What is the scuba experience like in Belize? Today we’ll answer your questions and get you prepared for diving in the world-class sites that the Belize Barrier Reef provides.
Q: What can I expect at the diving sites near Ambergris Caye?
A: Ambergris is the largest and most popular of the offshore Cayes, with 25 miles of Belize’s spectacular barrier reef sitting less than a mile offshore. The calm waters are full of spur-and-groove reefs with deep canyons, swim throughs, and reef cuts. Visibility up to 100 feet and water temperatures that average 80 degrees Fahrenheit, contribute to the overall ideal conditions for great diving. Yhe coral reef is teeming with abundant and colorful life. Depth ranges on the barrier reef are between 50 to 200 feet of water, with dives averaging 60 feet with 45 minutes of bottom time.
Q: What is a diving excursion like?
A: There is a great range of local dive sites available, from anywhere between a five minute and a fifteen minute boat ride from the dive shop, suitable for a variety of divers. All of the dives that we do on the barrier reef are drift dives. Belize does not allow the use of anchors on the reef, so we moor up on a mooring line, where you will come to the back of the boat and get into your equipment and use the back roll entry into the water. We use a float line to the back of the boat for divers to hold on to while the rest of the group enters of the water. Once everyone is in the water, you descend and start the dive, led by a guide. Our two tank dives last between three and three and a half hours dependent on group size.
Q: Are diving sites inside the reef or outside?
A: There are diving sites both inside the reef and outside. Site inside the reef tend to be shallower, between 40-60’ and are great for beginners or if it has been a few years since your last dive, to help get you back in your diving groove. These sites are also more protected and often have great visibility due to that. The light and depth is great for macro-photography if that is something that you would like to focus on. Outside the reef the dive sites are at a greater depth, between 60-100’.
Q: Do I need a guide?
A: Yes. Belize laws require that all dives are accompanied by a licensed tour guide and dive master.
Q: What is included in scuba excursions?
A: Our dive package for divers includes mask, fins, weights, and air; divers that do not have dive gear can rent from us as well. On dive trips we serve water and fruits.
Q: What type of boat is used?
A: Our two diving boats are back roll entry and deep water exit for diving. The boats are covered with a canopy to protect divers and snorkelers from the heat of the sun. Tanks are stored at the back of all out boats; there is space under our seats to place fins, masks and other personal items. All of our diving boats are fully equipped with emergency oxygen units, cell phones for emergency communications, first aid kit, life jackets, fire extinguisher and spare equipment. Also available are rinse buckets for cameras and masks if needed. There is a dry area in the bow of the boat for items that you would not like to get wet and a supply of purified drinking water on board at all times.
- 34 ft dive speed boat powered with a 150 hp motor. Maximum divers (14).
- 26 ft. dive/snorkel speed boat powered with a 1200 hp motor. Maximum divers (6). Maximum snorkelers (15)
Q: What type of marine life can I expect to see?
A: Divers can see a great variety of soft and hard corals and many different species of swimming and crawling marine life such as the Nassau Grouper, Angel Fish, Lobster, Crabs, Morey Eels, Rays, Nurse Sharks, occasional Reef Sharks and Turtles.
Diving in Belize is made all the easier by our fantastic dive crew with Tuff E Nuff Tours, located right on our dock. Contact us today to plan your diving vacation at X’tan Ha Resort. All activities must be booked 48 hours in advance. Happy diving!