Dive Sites at Ambergris CayePDFPrintE-mail

Hugh Parkey's Belize Dive Connection are located minutes from The Belize Barrier Reef, right on the beach of The Sun Breeze Hotel. Typically, our departures are 9:00am for two tanks and 2:00pm for one tank. We split divers into small groups and our experienced guides endeavor to show you a variety of different dive sites during your stay. There are over 60 dive sites along Ambergris Caye Barrier Reef. Below are a few of the popular and most frequently requested by our guests.

ESMERALDA

Located just a few minutes from our dock, is Esmeralda Canyons. This dive site offers a large abundance of fish life including a resident Moray, turtles, rays, nurse sharks as well as lots of tropical fish.  It is a site where you can almost be guaranteed plenty of activity. The corals are abundant and generally the visibility is very good. Average depth of this site is 50-75ft and suitable for all levels of diver.  Esmeralda is considered one of the best dives on Ambergris Caye.

M&M CAVERNS, North Ambergris Caye

Located north of San Pedro town lies M & M Caverns The underwater topography is deep spur and groove formations formed by the wave action over thousands of years. It is literally riddled with swim through and tunnels. As you descend down to 90ft you see a small entrance going up through the reef as you enter you see a small light at the end of the tunnel about 40ft away, it is an awesome feeling as you swim literally through the reef to come out at 60ft then enter another, a totally different dive that’s always a hit with our visiting divers. 

HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE, THE CUT, South Ambergris

Another great site, this is a cut that allows passage through the Belize barrier reef to the open sea. Starting at 8ft and sloping down to a maximum of 25ft, this is an underwater wonderland with literally thousands of fish, including huge groupers and the biggest snappers you have ever seen.
As you enter the cut there are a variety of small caves which hide huge Moray Eels over 6ft in length. Because this park is in a protected area the animal life is abundant. At the buoy, which marks the maximum you may enter into the channel, there is a small swim through cave which usually has a giant Dog Snapper lurking in the back part of the swim, though he casually watches as you swim through. A very scary looking fellow showing his big teeth, but the slightest movement toward him and he’s off.
This site is used as our primary night dive spot. At night it is totally different: lobsters, giant spider crabs, Stingrays, and on many occasions the odd lemon Shark has passed through. All in all this is one of the best sites for marine life found anywhere in the Caribbean.

 

SHARK RAY ALLEY HOL CHAN

This is not a Dive Site but I thought I would include it as it is unique and usually included following a dive at Hol Chan Cut, this is where you can snorkel with the sharks and rays.
This is an unbelievable snorkel site similar to Caymans Stingray City except we have in addition to the resident Stingrays, 15 to 20 Nurse Sharks which means double the action. Located south of Hol-Chan Marine reserve, in only 8ft of water, this spectacular site is the only site in the world where you can interact with both Stingrays and Nurse Sharks.

So unique is this site it attracted the attention of Jean Michel Cousteau and Skindiver magazine, who have featured it on the cover page of Skindiver in 2 issues. 

EAGLE RAY CANYONS, HOL CHAN

This site although not new has recently become known for regular sightings of spotted Eagle Rays. In addition to the Eagle Rays, lots of coral formations, spur and groove formation and the usual congregation of juveniles. This is a Marine Reserve so nothing may be touched or taken, we ask that you are careful with your fins and avoid accidentally touching the reef. If you feel you would like to improve your buoyancy, we will be happy to assist you. 

CYPRUS GARDENS South Ambergris Caye

This is an excellent site for all types of coral species, such as huge Pillar Corals, Elkhorn, Staghorn corals and very abundant with small reef fish and critters. Located in 50ft of water, this has long been one of my favorite sites for the sheer quality of the coral formations and the superb Macro photo opportunities. This site focuses on smaller marine life associated with coral reef and is sure to be a hit with visiting divers not to be missed. 

TUFFY

Locally known as "Tuffy Rocks" and located adjacent to Tackle Box above. Excellent visibility. Great snorkeling here. You can almost always see all species of fish including jacks, groupers, snappers, parrot fish, angel fish, barracuda, eels, spider crabs, lobsters, and nurse sharks. 

TACKLEBOX CANYONS

Tackle Box is located just 5 minutes from shore and is located directly in front of the Tackle box bar. This site is an excellent marine life dive with lots of Groupers, Nurse Sharks and lots of fish. Corals are healthy and this site also offers nice canyons and tunnels. Average depth is 60-80ft. 

VICTORIA CANYONS

75 - 110 canyons over grown with corals. Only about 7 minutes by boat to great tunnel diving inside the great canyon formations. Excellent visibility. Plenty of fish, including jacks, groupers, snappers, parrot fish, angel fish, barracuda, eels, spider crabs, lobster, and nurse sharks. Grouper, Turtles, Morays and shoals of every variety. Cement crucifix statue at 65 feet. 

LOVE TUNNELS North Ambergris Caye

This site is located north of San Pedro and the site got its name as a couple got married in the mouth of this huge tunnel. At a depth of 60ft you swim through the tunnel that comes out on the edge of the drop off at approx. 90ft, due to the unseen approach we have spotted many large pelagic cruising the drop-off, as we exit the tunnel.
As we swim along the drop off you see many varieties of hard and soft corals and the usual juveniles and groupers that are abundant in these waters.

At all times you can see the surface as we swim through the caverns and it is quite safe for all levels of experience, as we near the end of our dive we enter another small cavern that takes us to our exit point, a real exciting dive that’s a favorite with our visitors. 

CYPRESS TUNNELS
Cypress is a spur-and-groove reef with deep and narrow canyons running perpendicular to the reef line. Coral spurs crest at 50-70 ft whereas the sand-floored cuts fall off rapidly to depths of 100 fl. The mooring line attaches to coral at 48 ft. You enter the water near the midpoint of the coral spurs. Here, the reef takes on a rugged relief. South of the mooring pin, vertical spurs rise 14 ft above the brilliant white sand floor of the adjacent channel.

Burgeoning coral growth on the spurs mushrooms next to the mooring pin to form undercuts. Just a little bit farther seaward, the pronounced lateral coral accretion of two ridges has created a low swim-through, which is straight and floored by coarse rippled sand. Like so many other places along the barrier, there is a dazzling variety of shapes and colors present. Striking iridescent vase sponges, red boring sponges, orange crinoids, green cornflake algae and a wide variety of tropical fish accent the reef with color.



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