As a fellow Diving Squad diver, probably floating at the top of your dive bucket list is the world-renowned Blue Hole in Belize – as well it should be. Famous French marine biologist, Jacques Cousteau, must have named the Blue Hole one of his top 10 favorite dive sites on the entire planet for good reason, oui?
But Belize is so much more than a must-see, gorgeous blue hole – it’s a diver’s marine playground of expansive reefs, shark dives, coral atolls and wondrous cayes.
With such an amazing diversity of dive sites and with over 400 islands, your best bet to get the most out of all the diving treasures Belize has to offer is to book a Belize liveaboard.
There’s no better way to pack in as many dives as possible than to sleep, wake up and have all your gear waiting for you – and just dive right into that clear blue water!
If you’re looking for your Diving Squad team to give you all you need to know about Belize liveaboards for your Belize diving holidays – liveaboard options, favorite dive sites, weather and diving conditions – then you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve organized our best Belize liveaboard information for you – the handy quick-look guide below for those who want the abridged version, and detailed Belize liveaboard reviews for those interested in more detail.
Keep reading on for more, like the best time to dive in this Central American paradise.
Ok, squad mates, let’s get this briefing started…
|Best For||Liveaboard||Daily Cost (Euros)||Max Guest Capacity||Itinerary Length (Nights)||No. Of Logged Dives Required||Months of Operation||Destinations||Check Best Price|
|Overall & for Advanced Divers||Liveaboard Name||€€||18||8 Days, 7 nights||0||All Year||Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef||GET BEST PRICE|
|Overall & Luxury||Liveaboard Name||€€||20||8 Days, 7 Nights||0||All Year||Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef||GET BEST PRICE|
You probably noticed that we gave two liveaboard boats – the Bahamas Aggressor III and the Bahamas Aggressor IV – the Best Overall Belize liveaboards review in the above quick-look guide.
At first glance, the two options may look exactly the same. And, in fact, they are the same in terms of cost, basic features and diving destinations.
But there are a couple of differences in two main areas that we want to point out that may affect your preference – the cabins and the dive deck.
They are the reason we also put one in the best for advanced divers liveaboard category and the other in the best luxury liveaboard category. Let’s take a deeper dive into both and break it down further:
The Bahamas Agressor III has everything a diving-focused liveaboard guest could want. Its main highlight is the huge dive deck (larger than the one on the Aggressor IV), fully equipped with personal bins, rinse tanks, nitrox fills, E-6 photo lab and a three-level camera table. With five dives a day, including a night dive, this ample dive deck gets put to good use!
Get spoiled with the clear waters, color-popping reef life and diverse variety of marine creatures you’ll encounter at Belize’s favorite dive sites, like the famous Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef, the one-of-a-kind Aquarium and majestic atoll, Half Moon Caye.
These popular dive sites are teeming with endless hard and soft coral, deepwater gorgonian, reef sharks, turtles, rays, and a countless variety of reef fish.
Above water, divers have all the comforts of the Aggressor III Belize liveaboard to delight in, like the entertainment system in its roomy salon and bar service.
Or they can relax on the chaise lounges and soak in the hot tub found on the sun deck. After enjoying the delicious Western and local dishes prepared by the trained onboard chef, a good lounging session might be in order.
The Belize Aggressor III’s cabins include plenty of comfortable private amenities like en-suite bathroom and showers, TV and DVD player and individually-controlled air conditioning.
The beds in the deluxe staterooms are bunk-style with a double bed in the lower bunk and single bed in the upper bunk. The exception is the one master stateroom that has a double bed.
This Bahamas liveaboard checks off all the boxes of our must-have diving needs and comforts. For advanced divers who would prefer smaller bunk-style cabins in exchange for a larger dive deck, then the Bahamas Aggressor III liveaboard is the right choice.
The Bahamas Aggressor IV gets our best luxury liveaboard review because of its extra touches of elegance without the luxury cost. The Aggressor IV is overall roomier than the Aggressor III with bigger inside dining area and more spacious cabins. The beds in each state room are either side-by-side twins, king or queen beds – not bunk-style.
The dive deck of the IV liveaboard is smaller than the III, but still fully equipped with every diver’s need. This shaded dive deck has the same amenities with rinse tanks, personal bins, nitrox fills, and camera station.
The Bahamas Aggressor IV guests also have the option of spending leisure time in the air-conditioned indoor salon with audio and video entertainment, or up on the sun deck to enjoy the bar service and comfortable chaise lounges.
The chef prepares Western and local dishes with plenty of local fruit and seafood that guests can savor in its ample indoor dining area complete with picture windows looking out onto Belize’s clear blue waters.
And let’s not forget the diving itself. The Aggressor IV cruises divers to all of the same diving site highlights year round like Blue Hole, Aquarium, Quebrada, Painted Wall and more.
Five dives per day, with a night dive, give onboard divers the best Belize scuba diving offerings with guaranteed sightings of amazing marine life and underwater treasures – just a partial possible list includes dolphins, rays, sharks, and a rainbow-variety of reef fish and corals.
At 250€ per night, the Bahamas Aggressor fleet delivers on every front to meet all liveaboard guests’ needs and desires. Whether you choose to go for a more spacious dive deck, or more spacious cabins, we believe either liveaboard will give you a Belize liveaboard experience of a lifetime. You can’t go wrong!
Belize Diving Season –Belize’s subtropical climate allows for excellent diving throughout the year, which is probably why Belize liveaboards operate all year round. However, there are some differences at certain times of the year: Find out more.
Weather in Belize – Warm to hot best describes year-round weather in Belize. Summer air temperatures can range anywhere from 24 to 29°C. Winter is a little bit cooler, though still warm, with lows hitting 21°C and highs reaching 27°C.
Belize Diving Conditions –Consistently pleasant, warm water in a variety of dive site choices make Belize’s diving conditions excellent for all level of diver, from beginner to advanced.
Water temperatures vary slightly between seasons with an average 30°C in the summer and 26°C in the winter. Most divers dive comfortably with a 3mm shortie or long wetsuit.
Water Visibility in Belize –Diving in Belize is partially so popular because divers can count on consistently awesome water visibility. The yearly average is about 24 meters, but it’s not uncommon to find over 30 meters of visibility.
National Park Fees in Belize – Be aware that there is a $40 per person fee to dive the Blue Hole.
There is also an additional $110 per person port fee that is not included in the liveaboard cost.
SPLASH! It’s important to remember that scuba diving is an extreme sport. Accidents can happen. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble.
What’s more, because diving can take you all around the world, it’s absolutely essential you make sure you are properly covered by the best scuba diving insurance before leaving your home country.
We recommend going with Dive Assure. Why?
Ok Squad! Here’s the deal. Scuba Diving requires a ton of gear. This should come as no real surprise, considering that the very nature of this sport is to breathe underwater – the exact opposite of what us humans are evolved to do!
When you go on your liveaboard adventure, you have two options on the gear front:
Below is a full listing and description of the entire inventory required to scuba dive. Let’s jump right in:
BCD – A BCD is the jacket divers wear to maintain optimum buoyancy, which they can adjust by operating the inflate and deflate buttons. This makes sure they neither sink to the bottom nor rise to the top of the water! As well as this, the BCD holds the divers regulator(s), dive gauge and air tank.
Regulator / Octopus – The regulator reduces pressurised breathing oxygen to ambient pressure and delivers it to the diver through a mouth piece. Remember, you need two – one for you and a spare for a buddy in case of emergencies!
Scuba Weight Belt – A diving weight belt assists with maintaining optimum buoyancy, by stopping divers from floating to the top of the water. How much weight you take will depend on your build, weight and diving ability.
Dive Gauge – Essential for keeping track of your air consumption and the depth at which you are diving. The best ones also feature compasses and can read the water temperature (useful for bragging rights when you go on extremely cold dives!).
Ultimate Combo Package – Whew! That’s a lot of gear we’ve covered. If you don’t yet have any scuba gear and want to bulk buy at great quality and value, this is the number one scuba starter pack out there.
Whether you decide to rent scuba gear or buy your own, there are some essential items that won’t be provided for you. You would not want to go on your liveaboard adventure without:
Diving Camera – Any normal camera will break if taken diving – even if it’s waterproof it won’t be able to withstand high depth pressure and the focus will not be designed for underwater photography. To share your diving adventures with the world, make sure you have a proper scuba diving camera.
Full Face Snorkel Mask – In between dives, you’ll get countless snorkelling opportunities on your liveaboard trip. For snorkelling, it’s much better to utilise a full face snorkel mask for maximum comfort and 180 viewing! The best ones have an attachment mount for GoPros.
Reusable Water Bottle – Having a durable, reusable and recyclable water bottle that’ll keep liquids cold is essential for both eco awareness and hydration = scuba success! We love the TankH2O – It is all of those things and looks like a scuba tank!
After trying and testing an ocean of backpacks, we’ve come to the coralusion that the Dometool Waterproof Dry Backpack is the number one backpack for divers! Why? Well:
Belize’s subtropical climate allows for excellent diving throughout the year, which is probably why Belize liveaboards operate all year round. There are some differences at certain times of the year – let’s break it down here:
August – October: This period is considered the wet season, and the low season, in Belize. But rain, though frequent, doesn’t last long and usually only slightly affects the diving. Surface conditions are best at this time which means that all dive sites have full accessibility to liveaboards and divers. For divers who prefer a less crowded environment, you should consider booking a Belize liveaboard during this time.
November – March: Belize’s dry season with warm temperatures, though moderately cooler than the wet season. Visibility is superb, though possible choppy conditions on the surface may cut off accessibility to some dive sites.
April – June: Still the dry season and also known as the high season in Belize. Many divers believe this to be the best time for diving – which translates into more human bodies in the water sharing dive site space. Something you’ll want to consider based on your wants and needs.
Of all of Belize’s diving destinations, Lighthouse Reef is considered world-class by even the most traveled divers. It’s packed with awe-inspiring shallow reefs, steep walls, blue holes, and drift diving to please every level of diver.
Large pelagics, turtles, schools of reef fish are just a sampling of the large marine diversity that you’ll find here. There are a great variety of dive sites on this atoll, but the following include some top highlights:
Angel Fish Wall:
As you would expect from its name, at this Caribbean site you’ll see clear waters bursting with angelfish, including grey angelfish and royal angelfish, surrounded by colorful reef. Reef sharks and eagle rays are also known to patrol the area. With calm water, average visibility of 20 meters and little current, Angel Fish Wall is an excellent dive for all diving experience levels, from beginner to professional.
This easy dive site is a divers’ favorite because, as its name suggests, it’s like being dropped into a vibrant aquarium surrounded by marine life of all varieties and colors. It has a massive drop-off with a sheer wall decorated with elephant ear sponges, azure vase sponge, yellow tube sponge, and more.
Feast your eyes on its treasury of deepwater gorgonian, known to be one of the best worldwide. Explore the corners of the reef to spot horse-eyed jacks, black groupers, sea turtles and reef sharks. From its start at just 9 meters, the Aquarium is sure to treat any diver with all of its underwater delights.
Great Blue Hole:
One of the most famous dive sites, if not the most famous, in the world. Not only is this underwater treasure trove the largest sinkhole on planet Earth with measurements of 125 meters deep and 300 meters across, it’s also a part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest reef and UNESCO World Heritage site.
Divers from all over the world swarm here to marvel at the vast hole’s crystal blue waters and fascinating collection of stalagmites and stalactites that formed when the Blue Hole existed as a chain of caverns above ground. The crystal-clear azure waters boast large populations of sharks, like hammerheads, bull sharks, lemons sharks and black tip sharks.
Until about six meters, divers can explore the coral-covered shelf wall that gradually leads to a dark blue abyss. During the descent, sharks line the scenery until about 30 meters, when the caverns and stalactites begin to appear.
With a depth of 125 meters, there’s clearly a long way down to go, but this mysterious void dazzles divers at all depths. Due to its challenging diving conditions, only more advanced divers are allowed to explore Belize’s blue wonder.
Located right near the Aquarium dive site, this vertical wall dive begins at around seven meters and drops to over 21 meters. Light bulb tunicates cover the rope sponges and coral trees that hang over many parts of the wall and reveal its many brilliant inhabitants – queen triggerfish, parrotfish, and black durgeon, just to name a few.
Located on the other side of the Aquarium, you’ll find the Silver Caves dive site. This marine creature-abundant grotto is a swim through that sits at a depth of 6 to 21 meters. It’s teeming with creole wrasses, horse-eyed jacks and rockfish, with occasional appearances by barracudas.
The Spanish word for “gorge,” Quebrada is so named because of the sheer wall that is formed by a cut in the long reef. The cut creates a current that drags in extra plankton which then attracts a rich variety of feeding marine creatures, creating one of the area’s most diverse dive sites. Among its population are triggerfish, snappers, groupers, lobsters, moray eels, turtles and dolphins.
Half Moon Caye:
This small island at the south of Lighthouse Atoll, and Central America’s first marine protected area, is a definite highlight of Belize’s offerings.
Liveaboard guests get a chance to use their land legs with a tour of the island, including a stroll along Half Moon Caye’s beach to visit the bird sanctuary for some unique avian sightings. The docks of the island also harbor friendly nurse sharks, with which guests can snorkel and mingle.
A favorite dive sight destination here is Half Moon Caye Wall. A sandy slope on the beach leads to a drop off at 13 meters – here the area is surrounded by a reef wall lined with covert tunnels that slope down to over 30 meters of open sea.
Neon-colored sponges, huge barrel sponges and purple sea fans accent the scenery, along with a variety of groupers lingering over brightly-colored sponges and brain coral. Sharks, turtles and eagle rays roam nearby, just beyond the wall, for an added treat.
ATTENTION! Diving Squad Member – Do you love a great book? Yarp!? We already know you love diving…
Dive Atlas of the World, offers a beautifully photographed and professionally detailed tour of the worlds best dive sites, including both classics and new discoveries.
This stunningly presented book covers everything from Wrecks to Reefs, Muck Dives to Macro Photography, Blue Holes to Epic Walls and adrenaline soaked Drift Dives.
Get inspired, learn something brand new and prepare for your next diving adventure.
This is hands down the most informative, stunningly presented and all encompassing scuba diving book known to Diving Squad.
Turneffe, the largest of Belize’s three atolls, boasts several impressive dive sites included on the Belize Aggressor fleet’s itinerary. Black Beauty features long masses of coral with sandy bottoms and is best known for its eagle ray and turtle sighting possibilities.
If you want to add the white-spotted toadfish to your logbook, then you won’t to miss Turneffe’s dive site, Grand Bogue, home to this elusive sea creature.
For more advanced divers comfortable with possible strong currents, Elbow offers one of the best likelihoods of observing big pelagics like hammerhead sharks, reef sharks and eagle rays.
Some 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year, devastating the marine ecosystem by killing countless fish, seabirds, turtles, marine mammals and other creatures.
How to Give Up Plastic is the definitive guide to learning what you can do in your home, commune and workplace to start bringing about the end of our plastic dependent age.
It covers everything from easy wins such as using a reusable keep cup for your morning coffee, to lesser-known hacks like fixing a filter to your washing machine to catch some of the microfibres released from your clothes (microfibres are responsible for up to 30% of plastic in the ocean).
This is an essential overview of why we should all be working together no matter where we are in the world to reduce the amount of plastic being produce. Diving Squad is thoroughly committed to ending plastic pollution and marine conservation.
That’s it, squad mates! Consider yourself fully trained to tackle the planning of your Belize liveaboard diving holiday adventure.
You’ve been briefed on the details of Belize’s liveaboard diving boats, including what you get for your money on board and the famous dive destinations you can expect to explore. You have all the necessary information to decide when it suits you best to book your trip and the conditions you’ll likely encounter.
We’ve also equipped you with specifics on top diving destinations in Belize and all the unforgettable marine life sightings that go with them.
We think you’ll agree that for being Central America’s second smallest country, Belize packs in an impressively large treasury of diving gems. Your friendly Diving Squad’s advice to you now is to book one of those fantastic Bahamas liveaboards we’ve mentioned, get suited up and dive in for some treasure hunting!
To Diving Squad, the grizzly stats above are appalling, tragic and completely UNACCEPTABLE. That’s why we are working hard towards combating plastic pollution in the ocean.
How do we do this? Through spreading awareness, providing informative guides on eco friendly diving and donating 10% of all profits that we make towards combating plastic pollution in the Ocean.
So, how does Diving Squad make money? Through You! Every time you click on one of our painstakingly, yet lovingly researched liveaboard, gear or insurance links and spend money – we earn a % commission thanks to affiliate partnerships.
We then donate 10% of this towards Marine Conservation Schemes that target plastic pollution.
What does this mean? It means that if you book a Liveaboard through a Diving Squad link – some of that money goes directly towards Marine Conservation. Buy a piece of Gear through a Diving Squad link?
Nice! You’ve just contributed money towards Marine Conservation. Booked yourself Diving Insurance through Diving Squad? Go, go Marine Conservation!
So help us…help you…help the Ocean. Together, we can do this.
To which Marine Conservation charity do we donate, you might ask? Our squad is already hard at work selecting the ideal candidate. The winner will be announced at the end of 2019. Have a suggestion? We’d love to hear… If we pick your suggestion, there just might be something in it for you…
Contact us at: Alex Hatton: [email protected] (Grand Admiral at Diving Squad).