Belize Diving On the Edge of Paradise

Belize Diving

Adventure on the Edge of Paradise

Belize diving offers a pristine and untouched reef system that is teeming with an abundance of marine life. Two of the most popular dive destinations in Belize are Ambergris Cay and The Blue Hole. These two dive spots draw thousands of divers every year.

Manta Resort Belize

But Belize has a well kept secret. Manta Resort Belize is a small palm-covered island on Glover's Atoll. Far away from the crowds of Ambergris Cay and The Blue Hole, Manta Resort has some of the most spectacular world-class diving in the Caribbean.

Protected Marine Environment

One of the things that makes the diving so great here is the area's protected status. Glover's Atoll is a UN World Heritage Site and part of the Belizean National Park.

Another thing that makes Belize diving at Manta Resort so pristine is the location. Glover's Atoll is 20 miles outside the Belize Barrier Reef. This is the second largest barrier reef in the world and is about 80 square miles and sits on the edge of the Continental Shelve.

The reef is home to over 500 different species of marine life including everything from five different types of butterfly fish to whale sharks.

Manta Resort Belize is located on the southern tip of Glover's Atoll and is part of the federally protected reserve. That puts this 12 acre island about 30 miles from the mainland and a three hour boat ride from Belize City.

The Resort

When I stepped off the Pelagic (the resorts fifty foot dive boat) I knew I had arrived at a special place. This small scluded island was just like the picture I had in my mind of a Caribbean dive destination. White sandy beaches with colorful cabanas (12 in total ) scattered among the swaying palm tress overlooking the reef.

Located In Mants Resort's lagoon was the Cantina. The Cantina is the general meeting place and the focal point built on the end of the pier. This is where we ate, met for our dive briefings and hung out in the evening to talk about the days diving.

I could never understand why there were always nurse sharks swimming under the Cantina until I saw the chief tossing them scraps from the kitchen.

Here there are no crowds of divers or cattle car dive boats. With only 12 cabans the resort only takes small groups of divers for a week at a time. The dive groups are six to eight divers per boat. The time we where there we never had to share a dive site with another group.

Manta Resort Belize Dive Boat

The Diving

Manta Resort offers some of the very best of Belize diving. There is a 2000 ft wall just a short boat ride form the resort.

The marine life on the wall is truly amazing. On almost every dive we saw groupers, morays, queen trigger fish, parrot fish and butterfly fish.

Dancing Dolphins Many people diving Belize frequently see large manta rays while diving. Unfortunately we did not see any. But several times we where lucky and spotted some dolphins. Almost everyday they would show up and follow us out to the dive site. On one trip we where able to get in the water and swim with them before they disappeared.

Despite not seeing any manta rays, we saw plenty of eagle rays, southern sting rays, turtles nurse and reef sharks. On two dives we had a great hammerhead shark come very close to the dive group to check us out. Now that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

The corals we saw on the wall where magnificent. Hard and soft corals of every kind and color covered the wall as far as you could see.

The underwater terrain along the top of the wall was full of swim throughs and deep coral canyons that ended at the edge of the wall.

Some of the sites we dove where Restriction Ridge, Hold in the Wall, Grouper Gulch and Barrel Head.

We did three dives a day over six days. Two of these dives where night dives.

Great Hammerhead Shark

Belize Diving Essential Information

Belize is located in Central America on the Western Caribbean Sea. It is about a two hour flight from Miami, Houston or New Orleans.

If you are diving at Manta Resort you will board Pelagic, their 50 ft custom built, twin engine motor yacht. The trip takes about three hours.

Diving in Belize takes place year-round. Best to keep your eyes open for hurricane season which starts around September.

The water temperature in Belize averages between 77-82 F (25-28 C). The underwater visibility gets up to 150-200 ft (48-66 meters).

As always when traveling abroad to dive, make sure you have all required travel documents. Remember to take your c-card and log book.

As we boarded the Pelagic for the trip back to Belize City, I knew this was a dive vacation I would not soon forget. There is nothing better than spectacular diving on a relaxed tropical resort. It doesn't get much better than this.

For anyone planning a Belize dive vacation this are has a lot to offer with classic reef and wall dives, magnificent spur and grove reef formations and some notable seasonal gatherings of some big marine animals.

Manta Resort Belize is a dive destination you do not want to miss.

Green Turtle

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