Belize is a place where ancient traditions and different cultures meet: descendants of Spaniards, Africans, Mayans and pirates. The country is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America. The east coast of Belize is washed by the waters of the Caribbean sea. Belize is considered one of the best places in the region for diving. People are actively engaged in diving, scuba diving, wreck diving, and snorkeling. For many divers around the world, the real underwater adventure is a diving safari around local sights.
Along the coast of Belize is the Belize Barrier Reef: the second largest coral reef system in the world. Divers will find an almost untouched colourful underwater world. It is a true paradise for exploring the beautiful depths of the sea, where Serranidae, reef sharks, flocks of exotic fish, moray eels, rays, and green sea turtles live.
If you are going to Belize for diving, you better choose one of the many islands beforehand. For example, on the island of Ambergris Caye located is one of the best diving places-- the marine reserve Hol Chan. Its territory is strictly guarded, so large fish such as Caranx, snappers, and groupers dwell there in abundance. There are also many various corals.
The reserve is a part of the Belize Barrier Reef, a pristine underwater kingdom inhabited by more than 100 species of hard and soft corals and 500 species of fish.
Dive shops are located in Belize city and scattered nearby Ambergris Caye. They offer 11-day diving safaris and diving tours. Many of them also offer training opportunities, equipment rentals, escorts, yachts and boats.
Belize is an ideal place for diving all year round. March is usually without precipitation, in April and May it becomes noticeably warmer. In May, the monsoon season begins. The air temperature ranges from +28 and to +32 °С. The water temperature fluctuates between +27 and +29 °С.
During the summer, the monsoon seasons continues. H Hurricanes and typhoons are possible. One must be cautious. The temperature ranges from +30 to +32 °C. Humidity is higher; the water temperature sits around +29°C.
The monsoon season continues till November. The air temperature ranges from +29 to +31 °C, humidity is high. The water temperature stands at +29 °C. Diving is very pleasant and comfortable.
It is a bit colder in winter, but with the end of monsoon season, the weather gets better. On average, the air temperature ranges from +21 to +27 °C. The water temperature is at comfortable +26 °C.
Popular dive sites in Belize are: Lighthouse Reef, Great Blue Hole. Notable places: Turneffe Atoll, a Unesco World Heritage Site Glover's Reef, and Tobacco Caye.
Medical service in Belize is of a fairly high level: there are seven big hospitals with modern equipment in the country. However, the cost of services is also quite high. If you are going to Belize, first check your vaccination records and get vaccinated against yellow fever, malaria, dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis, and cholera. Be sure to get a health insurance.
It is dangerous in Belize because of the high crime rate. Be vigilant regardless of the time of the day and never walk alone.
You have to follow standard safety precautions. For example, you mustn't touch unknown sea dwellers. The Carribean Sea is quite calm. There are no recorded animal attacks, though reef sharks, bull sharks, and rays can cause harm.
Tropical climate dictates the local traditional cuisine. Coconut and banana dishes are very popular in the country. Dishes from wild duck, venison, lizard, wild birds eggs and corn with legumes are also common. The local restaurants serve quiet delicious lobster and shark fried in coconut milk as well as pancakes from minced shellfish meat, roasted in coconut milk with spices. Every traveller must taste a sweet milk salad of cream and seaweed with cinnamon. In case you want an alcoholic beverage, you can try a local kind of "Guinness" as well as light and dark rum. Tap water may be unsafe, it is advisable to consume only bottled water.