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Cave Diving in Belize

People come from all over the world to scuba dive and snorkel in the crystal clear Caribbean waters of Belize. But some experienced divers who want a more challenging experience come to Belize in order to participate in cave diving or exploring submerged caves.

Only recommended for the very experienced divers, cave diving has always attracted adventure travelers. According to Ben Popik, a native of Brooklyn who moved to Belize eight years ago, cave diving offers thrills that can be found in no other sport. To enter some of Belize’s most popular diving caves, divers must negotiate narrow tunnels that go down more than 75 feet before opening up into spectacular underwater caverns that have only just begun to be explored and charted.

Belize’s geology is responsible for the abundant presence of caves across its territory. Much of Belize is built upon a layer of limestone, which is semi-porous to water, which eventually causes many caves to flood. The ancient Maya, which once dominated Belize, used caves and caverns both as natural cisterns to store freshwater as well as for religious ceremonies and believed that caves were gateways to the underworld of the gods.

Perhaps Belize’s most famous underwater cave is known variously as the Great Blue Hole and the Belize Blue Hole. Almost perfectly circular in diameter, the Great Blue Hole is now located inside Lighthouse Reef, a few miles offshore from Ambergris Caye and Belize City. Made famous by legendary French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau, who declared the Belize Blue Hole to be amongst his top 10 favorite dive spots in the world, the deep sapphire waters lie above a vast sunken cave network complete with enormous stalactites and stalagmites.

It should be noted that cave diving is a risky endeavor. Normal diving poses its own risks, but negotiating narrow passageways filled with sharp rocks and formations makes the experience even more dangerous. But experienced divers who follow standard safety protocols find that diving sites like the Great Blue Hole to be worth the risk. According to local dive experts in Belize, most diving accidents are caused by divers with insufficient training or divers who ignore the safety limits.

No matter what your experience level at scuba diving, Adventures in Belize offers organized trips to all of the best dive sites in Belize. Adventures in Belize also offers snorkeling trips and other exciting activities on the reef.