Remote scuba-diving spots in Belize

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 30-November 5, 1997
Remote scuba-diving spots in Belize
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Remote scuba-diving spots in Belize
Question: I remember reading once in the Destinations section of Outside about scuba diving on a remote caye in Belize. While Belize has become a very popular dive spot, as I recall this seemed to be a more remote and rustic locale. In fact if I remember correctly, this small dive resort occupied the entire cay. A group of about 10 of us are planning a diving trip to Belize in February or March; can you refresh my memory on this dive spot?

Don Bidler Jr.
New York, NY

Adventure Adviser: You have a good memory. The article I think you're referring to is from November 1990. It highlighted Ambergris Caye in Belize as a diving destination with a superior balance between preserving the astonishing underwater endowments and making good dive shops, boats, and certification programs available.

This combination is very difficult to find in a lot of third-world environments where the diving is still pristine. For example, Cuba is becoming one of the hottest dive spots in the Western Hemisphere, but the tourism infrastructure there is still greatly lacking in American-style amenities and dive instruction.

At the time of the 1990 article, there were plans to complete a decompression center staffed by a full-time doctor and a conservation program to protect reefs and fish. Unfortunately, you probably won't find the Belize of 1990 when you travel there in 1998.

According to an article in the 1996-1997 Outside Winter Travel Guide, there is a new lodge being constructed every month on Ambergris Caye, which makes it the fastest-growing area in the country. But the development can't be all bad when it allows for "roomy beachfront cabanas strewn along a powdery stretch of shore."

To find this atmosphere, call the Lighthouse Reef Resort (800-423-3114) the only lodge on the Lighthouse Reef atoll, known for its walls, wrecks, and the Blue Hole.

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