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Belize Scuba Diving

Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole

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...Good for: Large animals, small animals, reef life and health, underwater photography, wall dives...
...Not so good for: Wrecks, drift dives, non-diving activities...

Lighthouse is the most distant of the Belize atolls from shore and is quite small with a length of approximately 50 miles (80 km). For many it offers the best diving Belize has to offer with both liveaboards and resort stays possible. Many experienced divers consider these dive sites to be consistently the best in the whole Caribbean.

Being more exposed than the other Belize dive locations, there can be times when the wind picks up and makes some of the sites inaccessible but there are normally some sheltered spots to dive in the lee of the islands. At all times of the year the diving remains fairly easy, due to a lack of strong currents and the availability at all the sites of glorious shallow reef gardens atop deep walls that are suitable for more experienced scuba divers. Show more

Dive Site Descriptions

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How to Dive Lighthouse Reef

For more information on your diving options, and all the other travel information you might need to visit Lighthouse Reef at the Blue Hole in Belize, view our:

The liveaboards of Belize spend most days around Lighthouse Atoll and the Great Blue Hole on each dive trip as it forms the majority of their itineraries. The resorts on Turneffe Atoll arrange weekly daytrips out to Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole. The resorts on Ambergris Caye can also arrange these day trips on a request basis, although the journey time is quite long.


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Diving Season

There is year round diving on Lighthouse Reef as for the most part the climate is sunny and warm, with July through September being the hottest months. The wet/dry season of the mainland doesn't really apply here this far offshore and rains are less frequent than elsewhere in Belize but sporadic throughout the year.

There are easterly trade winds all year round, making the leeward west coasts of the cayes the favored dive spots. These winds are usually at their strongest in March and April. From November through February, northerly winds sometimes blow in, bringing with them cooler temperatures. At this time of year boats tend to favor the south and eastern sides of the cayes.

Visibility is generally very good and in the range of 80-130ft (25-40m). The stronger winds in March and April can stir up sediment, and the warmer summer months bring plankton and algae blooms. Visibility is reduced to 70ft (20m) at these times. Water temperatures are usually at 29°C (85°F) but fall a little to 27°C (79°F) from November through February.

Mantas occasionally come to the reef to feed on the plankton blooms from August through October. Spawning time for groupers and snappers is April through May. Sea turtles nest at Half Moon Caye between June and November, then hatch from August through January. Silversides are plentiful in March/April and again in September/October. Whale sharks migrate to southern Belize and these popular behemoths of the sea pass by Lighthouse Atoll in April/May.

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Where is Lighthouse Atoll and How Do I Get There?

Review our map below of Belize, showing the location of Lighthouse Reef. Here, you will find information on how to get to Belize.

Map of Belize (click to enlarge in a new window)

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Reef Summary

Depth: 16 - >130ft (5 - >40m)
Visibility: 65 - 130ft (20 - 40m)
Currents: None to gentle
Surface conditions: Mostly calm but can be choppy when windy
Water temperature: 77 - 84°F (25 - 29°C)
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: ~25
Distance: 50 miles (80 km) south east of Belize City
Recommended length of stay: 1 week

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Useful References


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