Placencia Outer Reef Dive Trips to the Belize Barrier reef system
The Belize barrier reef is the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere (185 miles long) and offers many dive sites to explore. Gladden Spit, Silk or Queen Cayes and South Water Caye are marine reserves to protect the outer reef and cayes and are abundant with aquatic life, pristine corals and are a scuba diver and snorkelers delight and represent some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in the Caribbean. One of the Splash dive boats leaves almost everyday at 9:00 am for the 40 to 90 minute ride to adventure on the outer reef. Most trips are two tank dives with three tank dives at some of the further dive sites and these sites are great choices to include in a dive package with Splash. Lunch is Belizean style on the boat or either a Belizean picnic or barbecue on the beach depending on the destination for that days fun divers.
We dive the best scuba diving sites on the Southern Belize Barrier reef system
Our resort dive packages are designed to give you best of what Placencia and Southern Belize has to offer on your fun dives, and in comfort, with the very highest standards of comfort and service. Our guides are experts in identifying local aquatic life and will make your dive time count.
Silk or Queen Cayes, Pompion Caye and Ranguna Caye
At outer reef dive sites at Silk or Queen Cayes (Marine Reserve), the diver is likely to see hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, spotted eagle rays, southern rays, spiny lobsters, green and spotted moray eels, spider crabs, barracuda, schools of horse-eyed jacks, school master and schools of yellowtail and dogtooth snappers, several different species of groupers including huge black groupers, spotted drums, cleaner shrimp, arrow crabs, a myriad of types of reef fishes, nurse sharks and occasional hammer head sharks. Occasionally reef sharks, manta rays, and even the whale shark can be seen cruising in the open blue water. Recently, there have been sightings of lion fish which are not native to Belize. Coral formations include walls, canyons, pinnacles, spur and grove formations and overhangs with an abundance of coral and sponge types. On most dive trips, the added bonus is a post dive snorkel just inside the barrier reef where the local fisherman clean their catch – almost guaranteed to snorkel with huge turtles, southern sting rays, eagle rays, and nurse sharks. Great chance for a nose to nose photo op with the great big turtle.
Pompion’s residents include spiny lobsters, green moray eels, spider crabs, hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks, southern and yellow stingrays and lots of colorful Caribbean reef fishes. Horse eye jacks, schoolmasters and grunts can be seen in schools around huge spurs in the reef. Pelagic species such as king mackerel, wahoo and a few smaller species of tuna can be seen occasionally off in the blue water.
Boat ride times to Silk or Queen Cayes, Pompion Caye and Ranguna Caye is 1 hour. These Cayes are 20 nautical miles east of Placencia. These dives are suitable for beginner to advanced divers and represent some of the best diving on the Belize barrier reef system and from Placencia.
Lunch is barbecue or home cooked Belizean style on the beach at Silk or Queen Cayes where there are picnic and barbecue facilities as well as bathrooms.
South Water Caye
South Water Caye is another Belize Marine Reserve on the barrier reef protecting the marine and reef environments which makes for some excellent diving. Outer reef dive sites at South Water Caye include a myriad of interesting walls and canyons with spur and grove formations and very healthy corals. The outer reef walls are one of the best places to see spotted eagle rays.
There are many dive sites at South Water Caye with Rosella’s Garden, Trick Ridge, Long Reef , and the Abyss being among the most popular ones. Attractions include spotted eagle and southern stingrays and nurse sharks in the sandy bottom, spiny lobsters, huge spider crabs, spotted eels, turtles, schools of tarpons and a wide variety of smaller tropical reef fish thriving around healthy corals.
South Water Caye has unique formation of corals big barrel sponges with cleaning stations where huge barracudas and groupers visit resident cleaner shrimps. Also to be seen here are colorful tube and vase sponges that attracts many juvenile spotted drums.
These dives are suitable for beginner to advanced level scuba divers.
South Water Caye is 24 nautical miles north-east of Placencia. The boat ride takes about 1 hour and thirty minutes. Because of the time, distance and attractions, this destination is often done as a three tank dive.
The Shark Hole is a sinkhole in about 30 feet of water just inside the main barrier reef north of the Tobacco Range of islands. Shark species that have been seen includes bull sharks, lemon sharks, reef sharks and nurse sharks. Other species that can be seen here includes schools of horse-eye jacks, snappers and cobia. This dive is a good opportunity for the cavern diver adventure dive. This dive is suitable for experienced divers. Because of the distance to this dive site and other attractions in the area, this dive is usually done as part of a three tank dive.