Ambergris Caye Scuba Diving
Ambergris Caye is the most popular dive location in Belize. It's about an hour and half ferry ride from the coast and it's location puts divers within 15-20 minutes of a multitude of dive sites. While in Ambergris Caye I stayed at the Sunbreeze Resort. It was little more expensive than some other places, but it was great and it was physically connected to the dive shop I used which was called Aqua Dives Belize (note that in 2013 it appears this dive shop has closed)
One divemaster, Roy, that ended up being on most of my dives was particularly good — he even made sure to get be a larger than normal tank as I was having issues conserving my air. The dive shop also has an experienced photographer that comes along on the dives. He sells electronic copies of the photos from the dive shop for something like a dollar per file — a good deal considering you get to select the best shots from hundreds.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
For my first post-certification dive, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve was a perfect spot. The dive is relatively shallow and there's plenty to see — particularly sting rays and nurse sharks.
Mayan Princess Canyon
Dive #2 since being certified. I have to admit than I wasn't as observant of my surroundings as I should've been. Too much to worry about with breathing and buoyancy. Regardless, I do remember seeing a couple of eels, a few lobsters, and nurse sharks.
Visibility is average at about 45 feet for this dive. Regardless, this dive is notable for a swim through and the school of dolphins that passed through the site. Dolphins are pretty rare in this area and it's great fun sharing the siting as a new diver with experienced divers who haven't seen dolphins in a years.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve (Night Dive)
Believe it or not, a night dive was my fourth dive after being certified. I'm sure that would my diving instructor a heart attack, but they're a little more laid back in Belize 🙂 All went well with this dive and there was a lot to see including an octopus, stingrays, and eels. The toughest part of this dive was the current that was heading out to see — this made it difficult for a new diver like me to maintain a good position.
Similar to other dives — nurse sharks are abundant in Belize.
There was a swim-through on this dive.
The coral on this dive was particularly beautiful. Not sure if the sun was brighter or water clarity was better, but more color was coming through than normal.
Some dive shops will setting up shark feedings. At this site we happened upon one such feeding. There were nurse sharks and sting rays galore. And with the feeding centered in an open area of sand I was able to settle on the bottom and watch the show!