Under the Sea
Under the Sea
Under the Sea: The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, also known as The Great Mayan Reef, is the second largest barrier reef in the world and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Belize is home to the largest stretch of the Mesoamerican Reef (80%) consisting of three of the four offshore atolls, hundreds of sand cays, mangrove forests, estuaries, and coastal lagoons. With all this natural beauty and abundant marine life, the Belize Barrier Reef has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a scuba diver’s paradise. In this eight day package, divers will have access to dive sites from end to end of Belize’s Barrier Reef by first diving from Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye, and then from a southern island located off the famous Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Stay at two well known PADI certified dive resorts and experience some of the best diving in the world while enjoying white sand beaches, delicious food, numerous amenities, and friendly Belizean hospitality!
Destinations: Ambergris Caye, Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Duration: 8 days
*Price Range: $$$
*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare). Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.
$$$: At or under $1,200 per person
$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person
$$$: $1,800+ per person
Fly into Belize Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE). After passing through immigration and collecting your luggage, head to the domestic terminal for your 30-minute flight to Ambergris Caye. Once you’ve arrived to San Pedro, step outside the domestic airport to be greeted by an employee from Ramon’s Village who will assist you with your luggage and bring you to the resort. Check into your room and tour the resort with a cold smoothie in hand (rum option). Walk along the white sand beach and over to the 400-foot long dock. Peek inside Belize’s oldest and most respected dive shop to say hello to your dive master(s) for the next few days. Ramon’s Village is within close proximity to the Barrier Reef, presenting divers with 30-40 named sites within a 5-15 minute boat ride from the dock. Daily dive trips depart Ramon’s Village at 9:00am, 11:30am and 2:00pm to nearby sites along Ambergris Caye with four boats accommodating groups from 8 to 24 divers. Tonight, enjoy dinner on site at Pineapples on the Beach Restaurant.
After an early continental breakfast on the dock, gear up and aboard the boat for your first day of diving! Choose between local dive sites for a shorter (and less expensive) boat run or make a 2 hour run out to Turneffe Atoll to dive the Turneffe Elbow, rated #1 as a World Class Dive Site. If you head out to Turneffe Atoll, you’ll do three dives and enjoy lunch aboard the boat. Some of the Turneffe Atoll’s sites include Billy Bob’s Wall, Sayonara, the Playground, and the Front Porch (all wall dives). If you choose to stay local, you’ll be able to return to the resort for lunch between dives. Local dives allow both novice and experienced divers a diverse range of nearby options and a variety of combination possibilities. Local sites include: Ramon’s Canyons, Hol Chan Cut, Hol Chan night dive, Tackle Box Canyon, Cypress Tunnels M&M Caves, The Pillar Corals, and Paradise Canyons.
After another continental breakfast on the dock, you’ll take a 2.5 hour boat ride out to the famous Great Blue Hole. The Great Blue Hole is the most easily recognized and most photographed dive site in the world! The Resort’s host himself, Mr. Ramon Nunez, native to San Pedro and born in a skiff on the way to the Belize City hospital, was asked to guide Jacque Cousteau’s team on a historical exploration of the newly discovered Blue Hole back in 1971! Now, it’s your turn to dive into the majestic 1,000 feet across cave! There is only a 8-10 minute bottom time due to the depth and slow ascent back up to the wall, making it a 20-25 minute dive. Your second dive is a Multi Level Dive to one of the best dive sites in Belize and a National World Heritage Monument , Half Moon Caye (maximum depth 60 feet with 45 minutes of bottom time). Afterwards, enjoy lunch ashore on Half Moon Caye where you can also learn about the Red-Footed Booby, the only place in the world where these birds are found. Your third and final dive for the day is at The Aquarium near Long Caye (maximum depth 50 feet with 40 minutes of bottom time). Return to Ramon’s Village by mid-to-late afternoon in time freshen up and enjoy happy hour cocktails. Walk, bike road, or take a golf cart into San Pedro for dinner this evening.
Sleep in today and enjoy a delicious breakfast at Pineapples on the Beach. Enjoy a lazy morning by the pool, along the beach, or splurge on a spa treatment. If you’d like to head back out on the water, snorkel Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley before your midday flight down to Placencia. Arrive to Placencia in the early afternoon where you’ll be greeted by an employee from Ray Caye who will help you with your luggage. A short boat ride (1 hour) will take you to Ray Caye Island Resort located off The Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Check into your room and take a stroll around the 7-acre island. Enjoy a happy hour drink at the Lionfish Bar & Grille and cool off in the pool.
After an island breakfast, you’ll boat out to some of the closer dive sites such as North Wall, White Hole, and Turtle Canyons or (with a group of 6 or more) to one of the further dive sites, including Long Coco Split, The Wreck, Coral Garden, Laughing Bird Caye, and Pompion Wall. Return to Ray Caye in the early-to-mid afternoon to enjoy the island – snorkel gear, kayaks, pedal boats, paddle boards, and Hobie Cats are all available for guests to use. In addition, the water around the island is thriving with bait fish, making it the perfect opportunity for anglers to fish for their Grand Slam right from Ray Caye! After a delicious and fresh dinner, enjoy a night shore dive or a night snorkel right off the resort’s pier in search of fish, rays, squid, turtles and various marine life attracted by the pier’s lights.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit Belize between April and June, then it’s almost a given you’ll be heading out to Gladden Spit in search of Whale Shark. These gentle giants travel to the Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve to feed on the spawn of Mutton and Cuberra snapper as well as mate. It’s the perfect opportunity for divers to get up close to these majestic creatures while seeing thousands of other reef fish (best time to see Whale Sharks are 4-5 days after the full moon). For those divers visiting outside of Whale Shark season, enjoy the rare opportunity to go spearfishing for the invasive lionfish. It’s a win-win for everyone as you’ll be eliminating this hazardous fish from the reef while also feeding the resort! Return to Ray Caye for another afternoon playing in the water or relaxing by the pool.
Enjoy your last full day in paradise! Splurge on a massage either in your room or over the water on a private dock. Swing from a shaded hammock under palm trees with warm Caribbean breezes as you sip on a frozen beverage from the bar. Close down the Lionfish Bar and Grille this evening as you celebrate a successful dive trip to Belize!
Enjoy an hour’s boat ride back to Placencia and then hop on a 30-minute domestic flight back to Belize City for your international flight home.
- Learn about Mr. Ramon Nunez’s historical exploration dive in 1971 with Jacque Cousteau to the Great Blue Hole and then dive the Blue Hole for yourself
- Over 40 named dive sites within a 5 to 15 minute boat ride of Ramon’s Village
- Dive the famous Turneffe Atoll from Ramon’s Village
- From Hatchet Caye, dive alongside Whale Sharks at Gladden Spit (April – June)
- Go spearfishing for lionfish and bring them back for lunch or dinner at Hatchet Caye
Best for: Family, Couple, Group, Nature/Marine Lover, Barefoot Luxury
Bucket list experiences: snorkel (Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley), dive (Ramon’s Canyons, Hol Chan Cut, Hol Chan night dive, Tackle Box Canyon, Cypress Tunnels M&M Caves, The Pillar Corals, Paradise Canyons, Turneffe Elbow, Billy Bob’s Wall, Sayonara, The Playground, The Front Porch, Half Moon Caye, The Aquarium near Long Caye, The Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Atoll, North Wall, White Hole, Turtle Canyons, Gladden Spit), spearfishing, whale sharks, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, beach
Accommodations & Location:
- Ramon’s Village Resort, Ambergris Caye
- Hatchet Caye Resort, Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support. We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!