Information on Ambergris Caye
For scuba diving in Ambergris Caye, you just need to travel by boat for five minutes from the coast to the Belize Barrier Reef, which is located very near to this Caye.
Ambergris Caye is the biggest one of the Belize islands. It is located in the north of the country. The island is covered by mangroves and is surrounded by white sand beaches. The combination of tropical forests and savannas, lagoons and resplendent white beaches made the island a popular tourist destination.
Between the continent and the reef there are waters less deep with many islands covered by mangroves. The cays are composed by spectacular coral formations including canyons, caves and tunnels. Most of them are totally unexplored and you can go there easily by boat.
One of the most famous diving spots is the Great Blue Hole. it is located in the Lighthouse reef.
It is possible to see a variety of pelagic fish such as sharks and rays. To the east lies the “Belize Barrier Reef.” To the north, in a place called Mexico Rock, there is a beautiful reef that almost reaches the sand.
The before mentioned reef moves from north to south with 300 kilometers, it is the one that has more proportions in the Western Hemisphere, and it is a wonderful place for diving.
From the 200 existents cays in the waters of this beautiful Central American country, Ambergris Caye is the largest and the most visited for many reasons, one of them, the diving.
The reef is composed by slots, canyons and in some well-known divers’ slangs as the “straight teeth.”
To those who are not yet acquainted with a reef such as the one we are talking about, just do a simple exercise. Extend the hands straight keeping your fingers straight, it will give you the following idea: the canyons are represented by the fingers and the space between them represents the slots in the bottom of the ocean.
The canyons before mentioned are parallel to the reef crest. The deepness of these crests are between 60 and 85 feet and the deepness of the sandy seabed is around the 100 feet.
The astonished divers will never know what they are going to find, because this place has a great variety of marine life, specifically in the reef and in the near marine reserve.
Underwater life in the blue hole
Regarding to the fishes, we can say that abounds shad fish, blue tang, the trumpet fish, the queen angel, scrawled file fish, porcupine fish, and some others that we are not mentioning right now.
Likewise, it will be found as usual the French angelfish (with a truly indescribable beauty), the rainbow parrotfish and the black triggerfish.
Let us see what these waters provide us regarding to the splendid rays. Usually they are immersed in the sandy bottoms, the divers can be surprised with three species, and basically they are: the Caribbean ray, which has a large circular body.
On the other hand we have the ray from the south and the yellow ray, which is the smallest among the three of them but with great beauty and sensuality.
Likewise, is common the spotted eagle rays, which a difference of the three before mentioned it doesn’t hide in the sandy seabed, but they move around t divers appearing to fly, this is something divers love.
Normally, they are found in the edges of the reef’s canyons and in the marine reserve, which is very near as we mentioned before.
Let us refer now to the always beautiful, charming and prized marine turtles of the waters that are around the Ambergris Caye.
The most common ones are the Carey turtle, the green turtle and the loggerhead. The green turtle is characterized as a very shy one, for this reason hide itself when is near to the divers.
But the Carey turtles and the loggerhead are very sociable, friendly and curious about the divers. They don’t have no drawback to pose patiently for the underwater photographers.
Respecting to the dreaded but fascinating sharks, either experts as beginner divers can enjoy of the nurse shark, which is the most abundant in the Caribbean Sea.
But the most exciting is that in Ambergris Caye you can find all of that in big numbers and in enormous groups, so that you can enjoy a truly breathtaking underwater scenery.
History of dives in Ambergris Caye
A beautiful and traditional practice that is held in Ambergris Caye is the feeding by the divers to these splendid animals.
And contrary to what the neophytes can think, these sharks are very friendly and easy to dive and interact with.
Just be careful to not put your hand near to their mouth, so you can avoid their instincts can cause an undesirable accident.
It is clear that surprises with sharks are not don with the nurse sharks. If you decide to dive in a lucky day, then maybe you can see a spectacular hammerhead and blacktip shark.
About the corals we can enjoy the splendid beauty of more than 70 hard corals and nearly 30 soft corals.
This show of “thousand colors” are adorned sometimes by the presence of the always friendly and nice dolphins, with which you can dive in the middle of the most wonderful waters.
Respecting to the outstanding dive sites of Ambergris Caye, we have many sites located to the south of San Pedro.
Among the canyons before mentioned and the site denominated Tuffy, you can find a great variety of marine life.
In the site called “Emerald,” the nurse sharks, the black grouper and some moray eels, which live there, approach the divers to “receive with gratitude” some food brought to them.
In the Cypress tunnel, the sunlight filtering is achieved in a dark tunnel, forming a fantastic show. In Hol Chat Cut is possible to see marine turtles and the manatees, feeding on seagrass.