Scuba Diving in Belize
The first trip I took after becoming scuba certified was to Belize. And I have to say that it was awesome!
My trip was 2 weeks long with the first week being dedicated to diving off of Ambergris Caye. I stayed at the Sun Breeze hotel which had it's own dive operation (or at least it had partnered with one) at the edge of the hotel proper. This was quite convenient. I just had to step out of my room, walk a bit across some sand to the dock, and off I went to dive the blue waters of Belize. Although not dive related I'd also add that the Sun Breeze hotel is home to one of the better restaurants on Ambergris Caye although it's a little expense.
The dives were often deep, going beyond the "max" 60 feet talked about during training. I even went on a night dive which might not seem odd at first until you realize that I had done less than 5 dives by that point. I've talked to divers since then who have been diving for years and have yet to do a night dive. The night dive was fairly shallow though so in terms of real danger I don't think there was that much. The real challenge was controlling my position without having the normal visual cues while also being new to the whole breathing underwater thing.
And because diving isn't complicated enough, I thought I'd make things even more interesting by trying to take pictures underwater! I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with my own handiwork. None of these are going to win awards, but for a new diver with a new camera I don't think I did all that bad.
My one complaint about the diving is that the dive shops are set up to run two dives in the morning and maybe a night dive if there is enough interest. That leaves much of the afternoon dive-free and I didn't get certified to sit on a beach. Oh well.
Also, there's the option to dive the Blue Hole. From what I've heard, the dive is all about going deep and there's actually very little to see when it comes to marine life. In addition, the depth means the dive itself is pretty short. But the worst part of all is the 2.5 to 3 hour boat ride one way. It's an all day affair and, as a new diver, too risky so I didn't do it. Many others did though. Recently I was talking to a diver who said you can also get to the Blue Hole from Roatan in Honduras.
I also did some diving from Belize City. This involved more hassle than I expected, but eventually I found a dive shop willing to take me on a couple of dives. I learned after booking that the only reason the dives were possible was that a boat was taking resort personnel out to the island already and so taking me out wouldn't cost them any more. Otherwise, I would've been twiddling my thumbs in Belize City.