Belize Liveaboards

Big things come in small packages, and Belize definitely deserves its reputation as one of the best travel destinations. Belize is a wonderful and unique place to discover on a liveaboard safari, and is also an attractive place for land excursions. From the world-famous Great Blue Hole to Mayan ruins, Belize will make you fall in love with its natural beauty

Questions and Answers

Why go diving on liveaboard in Belize?

Belize is a small country in Central America. Few people come here so the low number of tourists is part of Belize's great charm. It is one of the best destinations in the world if you want to avoid huge crowds and long lines. Many Mayan archaeological sites are in Belize. Belize also has the Belize Barrier Reef, which is the longest in the Western hemisphere and second-largest barrier reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The obscurity of this small country brings a feeling of unspoiled beauty that tourists who come here can experience.

Belize liveaboard trips and scuba diving in general are famous for the Belize Barrier Reef, with its unsurpassed natural beauty. The reef is home to more than 600 species of subtropical fish, including the West Indian manatee, which you can see on Belize liveaboard trips. Besides manatees, you can also see majestic whale sharks, schools of hammerheads, and big groups of nurse sharks, reef sharks, and lemontip sharks. Belize is also famous for having an amazing variety of sponges.

A few words about dive sites in Belize

The main attractions for scuba divers in Belize are the cayes (pronounced “keys”), offshore atolls, and the barrier reef. The cayes are coral sand and mangrove islands located between the mainland and the barrier reef, and shelter many marine species.

Most boats in Belize follow the same routes, so you will see the most amazing spots, no matter which you choose. The main dive sites in Belize are located between the mainland and Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef Atoll. One of the must-see places here is Great Blue Hole, which is suitable and exciting for both intermediate and advanced divers. Belize liveaboards also offer such great places as the Sayonara wreck and two caves accessible by intermediate divers.

Liveaboard trips in Belize

Belize has a very small land area and consequently a short shoreline, so most of the best dive sites in Belize are located far from the shore and can only be reached by boats. Liveaboard diving is the best option for seeing world-famous locations such as Great Blue Hole, Angel Fish Wall, Silver Caves, and Eagle Ray Wall.

Belize liveaboard trips are very similar in terms of their itineraries and the main difference is length. You can choose an 8-day/7-night safari or an extended trip (11 days/10 nights). Boats offer 25 to 28 dives depending on the trip length and your personal capabilities. Itineraries will please any diver regardless of preferences. You will visit deeper dive sites such as Blue Hole, perfect spots for macro photography like Painted Wall, and also Eagle Ray Wall, which is good for wide-angle photos. Those who like cave diving will love the wonderful fauna in Silver Caves and Tarpon Caves. Wreck lovers can enjoy the amazing Sayonara wreck (15 m/49 ft deep), which is easily accessible for intermediate and advanced-level scuba divers.

How to choose an itinerary and when to go

The great thing about Belize safari boats is that you can book them year round. The average annual temperature is 29°C/84°F, which means that it is always warm and comfortable here. Even when the weather gets extremely hot, the coastal breezes can help you stay cool and relaxed. The summer season is between March and June, and this is the best time to visit Belize. Summer or the dry season is the high season for scuba divers, because of the lower rainfall and higher air and water temperatures.

The wet season in Belize starts in June and lasts through December, and is the time of heavy rains. However, if you would like to dive with less people at the dive sites, this is the time to go. If you choose the wet season, you should be ready to experience several days of rain, which in fact do not affect visibility in the offshore dive sites. One caveat is that the rainiest time is late June to early July, so try to avoid this time if you want to relax and enjoy your diving instead of staying in your cabin.

Sites visited by Belize liveaboards have up to 30 m/98 ft of visibility. However, during the season of high winds (November to February), the visibility goes down to 6-9 m/20-30 ft.

The beautiful Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Lighthouse Reef Atoll is a dive destination known around the world, but its most famous part is the Great Blue Hole. This place was originally a cave whose roof collapsed many years ago, and today it is filled with water. It is a circle that is 300 m/984 ft diameter on the surface, which then plunges vertically down to a depth of 126 m/413 ft. At a reachable depth of 40 m/131 ft, there are the world's largest underwater dripstones (mostly known as stalactites) ever found. Half Moon Caye on Lighthouse Reef is home to a huge bird colony of rare red-footed boobies. There is no better feeling than waking up on a boat to the sound of water and sight of birds.

Whale shark diving

Whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean, are a common visitor to the shores of Belize. The best time to see whale sharks here is between April and early July every year. Whale sharks are common to the Southern Barrier Reef, which is located in the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve. The deep reef has amazing corals and hundreds of fish species, including the spawn of mutton snapper and cubera snapper.  

Belize liveaboards: read before you go

Belize liveaboards are not different from any other country in terms of equipment recommendations. Bring your own scuba equipment to avoid any problems, and make sure to bring your own underwater computer, because it is a mandatory piece of equipment on all boats in Belize. If you have any trouble with your equipment on board or if it fails to perform, you may be able to rent equipment. Most boats here are equipped with special rooms for photographers so that you can check your film or fix any problems right on board in a safe place. It is also advisable to mark your personal equipment so that it won’t get mixed up with another diver’s set. You will be having 3 to 5 dives a day, and at least a 5-mm wetsuit is highly recommended.

When you go on a Belize liveaboard diving tour, you have to pay the equivalent of about $100 USD per person as a port fee. This payment can be made at the end of the tour, but make sure that you have this money. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the period of your stay. Make sure to check the visa requirements for your country before booking your tickets. You can bring up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco into the country. You can only bring up to 1 liter of wine or alcohol per person. English is the official language of the country, but Spanish and Belizean Creole are also widely used.