South Water Caye Marine Reserve, one of Belize’s World Heritage Sites is the largest marine reserve in Belize covering an area over 117,878 acres. About a 1 hour and 20 min boat ride to the northeast of Placencia, this reserve straddles the barrier reef for about a 7-mile stretch.
But most of the reserve area encompasses the inner reef area and large swaths of mangrove islands including the Coco-plum Range and the Pelican Range of cayes, all home to a mass of biodiversity. One of the dive sites named Trick Ridge, is part of a stretch of the barrier reef inside the reserve has places that feature an incredible ridge along the top of the plunging wall, with a huge, deep sand channel running parallel to the ridge. This area is attracts numerous spotted eagle rays, large southern sting rays and rough tail rays.
Schools of snapper and spade fish circle the top of the ridge, passing over a colorful perfusion of hard and soft corals, and where you can sometimes see a shimmering veil of silver sides moving in unison around protective holes in the reef wall. Both hawks bill and loggerhead turtles frequent the area, so you will almost always see one on a dive. There is a resident great hammerhead shark that shows up on the occasion, so keep your cameras ready. There are so many sites in this reserve, and along this long stretch of the barrier reef, that it definitely requires more than one visit to understand the scope of the area. For snorkeling, both outside and inside the fringe barrier reef offers excellent snorkeling.
South Water Caye is a 15-acre island that is perched directly on top of the barrier reef in the north east quadrant of the reserve. It was named so by local fishermen for the availability of fresh water to be found in shallow wells on the island. Today the caye hosts about five small hotels and guest facilities all spread out between numerous littoral growth, including coconut trees, mangroves and buttonwoods, and a breathtaking beach on the southern end coated with brilliant white sand. There are so many dive sites in this reserve, and along this long stretch of the barrier reef, that it definitely requires more than one visit to understand the scope of the area.
BELIZE SCUBA DIVING ADVENTURES
BELIZE WHALE SHARK DIVING
Here is where the massive schools of snapper stretch across the top of this deep wall occasionally spiraling up to 60 and 80 feet. This is a blue water dive with the bottom far below you and sometimes not visible at all.
Includes: Equipments, Lunch, Park Fees, Dive Master, Boat Transportation, Land Transfers & taxes
Includes: Equipments, Lunch, Park Fees, Dive Master, Boat Transportation, Land Transfers & Taxes
SAN PEDRO ONE TANK & TWO TANK DIVES
We leave at 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. The dive takes place at various sites outside the barrier reef.
Photos Credit: Coppola's Resorts & Dave Charters
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