With mangrove-lined lagoons, crystal clear waters, and a vast barrier reef teeming with marine life, it’s no surprise that Belize is a mecca for scuba divers.

If you’re coming to Belize to enjoy some scuba diving, here are 10 sites you simply must visit:

The Belize Blue Hole

Easily visible from outer space, the Blue Hole is probably Belize’s most famous dive site. Once only known by local fisherman, the Blue Hole came to the world’s attention in 1971 when Jacques Cousteau declared it to be one of his all-time favorite dive sites.

The Arena

Located just offshore of Sergeant’s Caye, this site is simply packed with marine life, including loggerhead turtles. It’s also possible to enjoy wall diving and night diving here.

Chasbow’s Corner

Situated on the outer reaches of the reef, this site offers spectacular wall diving. Marine life visible here include sailfish, false orcas, dolphins, and even the occasional manatee.

The Elbow

Just south of the Turneffe Atoll, there is a point where two different tidal patterns meet, bringing in hundreds of thousands of fish who like to hide in the deep canyons and spur and groove formations. When the plankton rise to the surface during the full moon, the water grows impossible thick with fish and sharks.

The Chimney

For experienced divers only, the Chimney offers deep canyons and twisting tunnels that are packed full of octupus, tarpon, eels, and grouper fish.

Southwater Caye

This national conservation area is home to some of the finest patches of coral on the reef. Divers can negotiate the twisting passages to see sharks, sea turtles, and rays.

Glover’s Reef

If anywhere could be considered an underwater garden, Glover’s Reef is it. Located on the outer edge of the reef, Glover’s Reef is home to dozens of sponges, corals, and other colorful plant life.

Gladden Spit

Few experiences can compare to diving with the whale sharks that visit this area between March and June. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world’s seas, yet feed on microscopic plankton, so they are no danger to inquisitive human divers.

Laughing Bird Caye

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to an abundance of both birds and marine life. Perfect for beginner and intermediary divers.

The Silk Cayes

This group of islands are the very epitome of a tropical paradise. Look for loggerhead turtles, curious fish, and plenty of options for enjoying wall dives.

If you’d like to go scuba diving in Belize, book your vacation with Black Orchid Resort.