Located in the north of the country and just a kilometre from the barrier reef, Ambergris Caye is one of Belize’s top tourist spots.
One of the largest and most developed of the country’s many cayes, its no cars policy ensures that life remains decidedly relaxed, with bikes and golf carts the preferred forms of transport. Being so close to the barrier reef, there are plenty of vibrant dive sites close by with colourful fish, exceptional visibility and encounters with turtles, eagle rays and sharks.
Both divers and snorkellers will enjoy the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Established in 1987, this small marine reserve consists of coral reef, seagrass beds, mangroves and ‘Shark Ray Alley’, a shallow cut in the reef where nurse sharks and southern stingrays are daily visitors. This site was known by the Mayans as an exceptional fishing spot and has retained its Mayan name.
About 80 kilometres away is the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef. Originally a cathedral-like cave, where the roof fell in some 10,000 years ago, as the land receded into the sea. Almost a perfectly circular hole, it is 300 metres in diameter, and 130 metres deep; at 40 metres one can see stalagmites and stalactites, remnants from when the cave was above water, and swim through the maze of quartz and limestone, while the marine-life swims below. As this is a deep dive it is only suitable for experienced divers.
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