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Dive Sites Near Hatchet Caye Resort, Belize

Located 17 miles east of Placencia and just within the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Hatchet Caye is well-positioned to offer some spectacular dive vacations to our guests. We are often asked to create a visual of the sites so that divers can know beforehand where they’re going. We have obtained the following map of dive sites around Placencia and Hatchet Caye for our loyal divers:

Placencia Dive Sites

[Source: The Belize Tourism Board]

Please see descriptions of sites (highlighted in red on the map) below:

1) Long Coco Split – the slope begins at 25’ (8m) and goes down to 80’ (24m). The North-South sloping wall hides spotted morays, with eagle rays soaring just beyond. The most noted find here is the legally-protected green conchs on the top of the slope.

2) The Wreck – at 90’ (27m) lies Miss Panda, a little tug scuttled in 2002 to make a reef and dive site. Silversides hide within, while barracuda and goliath grouper hunt them.

3) Coral Garden – Known for coral diversity, this is a novice boat dive at depths of 35’ – 80’ (10m-24m). There are lots of reef fish, including wiggly little spotted drums, plus invertebrates like lobsters, cleaner shrimp, and arrow crabs.

4) Laughing Bird Caye North – the slope begins at 25’ (8m) and drops to 90’ (27m). This site stands out because of the presence of black corals plus wonderful gorgonian fans.

5) North Wall – You will find diving heaven here in one of the best dives in Belize. Highlights include almost every kind of Caribbean reef creature, plus reef sharks, and the occasional whale shark. This dive usually starts at 80’ (24m) and then steps up to 40’ (12m) at the top of the reef crest.

6) White Hole – from the surface it seems like you are looking down into a white hole, which is actually sand at 30’ (9m). There are southern stingrays, nurse sharks, and green morays in the sandy area. This local fishing spot has yellowtail, grouper, and dogtooth snappers down in the 60’ (18m) range. The bottom slopes to the drop-off at 70’ (21m), which goes into the deep.

7) Laughing Bird Caye Drop-off – the drop-off begins at 15′ (5m), and slops down to 80′ (24m). This is a common checkout dive sight for new divers. Excellent fish nursery. Accessible by boat or from shore.

8) Laughing Bird Caye South – a huge canyon here runs North to South, giving this site multi-dive potential on either side of the canyon or in-between. Depths are from 25′-80′ (8m-24m). Lobsters hide in the walls, while nurse sharks and southern stingrays lie on the sand.

9) Pompion Canyons – the canyons are actually grooves in the towers of coral. The current dictates which direction you dive, whether north to south or south to north, but either way it is interesting to search the canyons and spurs for marine life.

10) Pompion Wall – almost 2mi (3 km) beyond Pompion Caye, which is 23 miles (38 km) out from Placencia. The wall begins at 45’ (14m) and drops straight down to Davy Jones’ locker. In the 70’ (221m) range there are nooks and crannies concealing lobsters, moray eels, spider crabs, and feeding Hawksbill turtles. The top of the wall is crowded with colorful fish, while pelagics cruise by in the blue.

11) Turtle Canyons – this is a great second dive just north of North Wall. The name is taken from the hawksbill and loggerhead turtles that rest here. This is also a fish nursery, making for good photography of spotted drums, arrow crabs, and cleaner shrimp. This dive ranges from 50’-60’ (15m-18m) in depth.

12) Gladden Spit Whale Shark Dive – the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve is a spawning ground for great numbers of cubera, mutton, and dog snappers, which produce tons of spawn from the full moon to its last quarter every March, April, May, and June. This attracts whale sharks to the Gladden Spit to feed. Divers and snorkelers get a rare opportunity to swim along with the biggest fish in the world. It is bigger than any animal ever on earth, with the exception of the whales and a few dinosaurs. The wall here slopes to 160’ (46m), and then drops off into the abyss. Scuba diving is done mid-water at less than 60’ (18m) deep.

Please note that of the sites listed above, North Wall and White Hole (labeled [5] and [6] on the map, respectively) are the ones most frequented by Hatchet Caye’s dive operation. The rest of the dive sites are located farther away from the island and therefore require a minimum sign-up of 6 persons to visit. For our regular dives at North Wall and White Hole, however, we only require a minimum of 1-2 persons.  Contact us at Hatchet Caye to book your dive vacation today or to request more information about our dive sites!

 

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