Placencia, the gateway to some of the best diving in Belize, possibly the world, provides access to an underwater paradise. A home for a variety of rays, lobster, conch, sharks, green turtles, parrotfish, blue tangs, grunts, sergeant majors, needle fish, trumpet fish, butterfly fish and coral reefs. Visibility can reach up to 200 feet in some places due to the reduced boat and diving traffic; a perfect site for a novice to experienced divers looking for a ‘one of a kind’ experience.
Belize Barrier Reef, the longest in the Western Hemisphere and the 2nd largest in the World, is composed of coral growth that is thousands of years old, including boulder corals of up to 300 years old. There are hundreds of species of stony corals and soft corals that give the reef it’s color and provide an underwater haven for the creatures that thrive there It is part of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) system, and its distance from the mainland varies from 25′ to 50′ miles which results in coral mountains and 90 – 110 foot channels. The edges of the reef provide a barrier to the deep sea waves and contains a slow southerly current moving at a ½ knot that offers safe conditions for responsible divers. The MAR system stretches over 625 miles of eastern coastline of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
Placencia is proud to be one of three pilot sites chosen in the MAR area, working with the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), supported by funding from the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in a collaborative effort known as ICRAN/MAR, working to halt and reverse the decline in health of the world’s coral reefs, specifically the Mesoamerican Reef.
Explore an underwater paradise of parrot-fish, blue tangs, grunts, sergeant majors, needle fish, trumpet fish and butterfly fish. Abrupt drops reveal sleek tarpon, a graceful ray or a mouthful of barracuda.
The magnificent Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) make an appearance during April, May, and June each year in the Placencia area during the annual snapper spawning season. These incredible black and white whale sharks, the largest shark AND the largest known fish in the world, grow up to 50 feet long and up to 15 tons in weight. They feed mostly on plankton, pelagic crustaceans, squid and tiny baitfish, as well as sardines and anchovies, just by moving through the water with mouths open wide.
Whale Shark encounters are extremely uncommon… EXCEPT in Belize! Our migrating whale sharks are highly protected by Friends of Nature, but visits from tourists are encouraged during the season. Ask our local dive shops or your resort for more information.