Showing posts with label Diving in Belize. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diving in Belize. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

7 Going on 8: Wonders of the World “The Great Blue Hole”

Vote for the Great Blue Hole as the 8th Wonder of the World

History has it that the seven wonders of the ancient world were chosen by the Greek historian, Herodotus some 2000 years ago and consisted of man’s greatest creation. In 1997 CNN listed their seven natural wonders of the world, which included aquatic, geological, and astrophysical sites. Then followed the seven wonders of the modern world that was announced in 2007 including manmade structures around the world. Recently, it was announced by that an eight wonder would be added to the seven wonders of the modern world. On the list of nominees for the eight wonder of the modern world is no other thanBelize’s Great Blue Hole, a diving mecca.

The Great Blue Hole is located only 65 nautical miles northeast of Placencia and easily accessible by boat. According to the Biography Channel, Jacques Cousteau, the most famous undersea explorer of the 20th Century, visited Belize’s Great Blue Hole aboard the Calypso. He was determined to explore the bottomless pit of the Blue Hole, and the magic of the undersea world! According to Jacques Cousteau the Great Blue Hole is one of the top-ten scuba diving sites in the world.  We think it is number one!

The Great Blue Hole is extraordinary and truly a natural creation. This natural creation is said to have formed after the collapse of an underground cavern and cave system. It is a large strikingly circular sinkhole 1000 feet in diameter and over 400 feet deep. Diving the Great Blue Hole is anything but ordinary. The beauty is stunning as huge stalactites can be found at depths starting around 100 feet hanging from the ceiling of caves.

So why is it that Belize’s Great Blue Hole is not the 8th Wonder of the World?

The Blue Hole is not only the most amazing natural creation; it is also part of Belize’s Great Barrier Reef System, the largest Barrier Reef of the Western Hemisphere. In order to protect this natural beauty and to preserve the experience given to each diver that attempts to explore the Great Blue Hole, it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So be a part of naming Belize’s Great Blue Hole the 8th Wonder of the World and visit to vote every day!

Interested in diving the Great Blue Hole? Contact Patty at   to learn more.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Scuba Diving Magazine Recognizes Splash Dive Center as Sea Hero of the Month

In its June 2012 publication, Scuba Diving magazine featured Splash Dive Center as a Sea Hero recognizing the many efforts that the dive center has contributed to community building and awareness of the marine environment.

Since 2005, Splash Dive Center has organized and led the Splash Kids Club which has engaged, over the years, about 70 young persons in the protection of Belize’s irreplaceable marine resources.  These youths have benefited from free Open Water Diver certification and continuing education.  Several have achieved Divemaster status, which as the first professional scuba diving level, puts them on the path to a career in diving and tourism.  All become committed to the vital importance of the marine environment and its relevance to the community’s tourism, economy and sustainability.

As an environmentally responsible player in the conservation of Belize’s natural and invaluable assets, Splash Dive Center organizes an annual cleanup and education day at Laughing Bird National Park, a world heritage site.  Each year on Earth Day, children from the communities on the Placencia Peninsula participate in a cleanup of the Park, supported by many local businesses, the Southern Environmental Association and the schools.  A highlight of the cleanup day is the presentations on environmental issues by members of the Splash Kids Club.  Children to children presentations are very effective ways to educate our future citizens on the sensitivity and importance of the environment to the way we interact with Mother Nature.

Not only is Splash Dive Center enhancing positive youth development and environmental awareness but also playing an active role in environmental protection as member of the Placencia Mooring Masters.   Through its membership, Splash Dive Center is the proud sponsor of two mooring buoys installations to protect the reef at popular dive sites - Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Silk Cayes.

Splash Dive Center recognizes and accepts its shared responsibility of preserving the environmental integrity of Belize’s priceless marine resources and even more so in the advent of the challenges of climate change.   A leader by example, Splash stands tall in supporting community initiatives that promotes marine education, appreciation and protection.  For all these responses to sustainability in tourism, Splash Dive Center was humbled and honored to be featured as Scuba Diving magazine as Sea Hero of the Month. 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Pack Your Shorts, Sun Shades and a Camera for the Warm Winter!

Warm coats and heaters are never an option in Belize.  In fact, all you need in this sub-tropical paradise is a pair of shorts, t-shirts, a pair of sandals, sun shades, sun block and a cold beer.  Belize is the place where coconut palms and white sand beaches were born: where mother nature smiles happily after seeing her glorious creation of exquisite oceans, barrier reefs, atolls and rich rainforest. Belize is the place where the great Maya Civilization built their magnificent pyramids and where the Clovis Culture roamed more than 12,000 years ago according to archeologists.

Not far from the equator, the Caribbean jewel enjoys summer year round. As the t-shirt reads, “No Shirt – no problem; no shoes - no problem,” is quite fitting.  Belize is the place where the human spirit reaches new dimensions. This is the place where the concept of love and romance were invented. With only 320 000 souls wandering this 8 800 square miles of tropical wonders, everyone can find their personal piece of paradise.  A multitude of colorful birds call Belize their home and schools of whale sharks travel half way around the world to feed here.  Noah’s Ark must have landed in Belize after the great flood explaining the great diversity in wildlife. Here, flowering flora pushes new frontiers in botanical evolution. A splash of Central American, a splash of the Caribbean, and a sprinkle of neither, the flavors of Belize is elusive and yet lures cultures from every corner of the world to call their home.

Warm winters are a promise in sub-tropical Belize. Flat fishing, dipping into a jungle waterfall pool, snorkeling or diving, BBQ on a private island, exploring mysterious temples and caves, zip-lining across dense rainforest canopies or just   Sipping a glass of wine on a secluded beach are best during Belizean winters. Choose your adventure.  There are enough adventures to fill an entire month’s itinerary.  No need to quiver in the cold of the north or stay indoors when you can be having fun in the sun of the south. Belize welcomes you.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Making Earth Day a Reality in Placencia!

Southern Environmental Association (SEA) and Splash Dive Center observed Earth Day, under the theme, Mobilize the Earth: Living Green, at Laughing Bird Caye National Park on April 29, 2012.  More than 120 students from the community schools in Placencia and the surrounding area, friends of Splash volunteers and event organizers visited the World Heritage site for their seventh annual Earth Day Clean Up.

After the warm welcome and brief orientation on house rules, the elated volunteers got busy with their yearly tradition of garbage collection on the picturesque island. Students, teachers, organizers and friends of Splash Dive Center meticulously combed the 1.4 mile long island for garbage while taking in all the sun and sand on the coconut dotted caye.

After garbage collection, earth day observers gathered under the large palapa for cool refreshments, fruits, and a delicious plate of Rice & Beans made available through the kind sponsorship of the local businesses and community. Fellow student peers delivered vibrant presentations on the fascinating history of Laughing Bird Caye, the ecological importance and the social and economic impact this has on the sustainability of Belize’s tourism.

An active day of environmental awareness would not be complete without a delightful swim in the clear waters of the island. Students enjoyed the last segment of day splashing and playing in the magnificent sea.

SEA and Splash Dive Center thanks all those in the community who generously supported the Earth Day Clean Up initiative in making it another year’s successful event.

Efforts like these provides a good opportunity to educate the future of this community on the ecological and economic importance of maintaining and protecting Belize’s natural heritage while actively experiencing the charm of the natural jewel.

Splash Dive Center and SEA continues to encourage the community to consider the expansion of this sort of first-hand experience of healthy reefs clean up campaigns to other needed areas. Essentially, Splash Dive Center supports the belief that Earth Day may be observed every day in both small and large ways.

“Living Green,” has never been more important but Earth Day provides an opportunity to take a moment and appreciate its growing importance in sustainability.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Belize's Best Whale Shark Diving!!

In Belize’s extraordinarily clear waters of the reef lives an amazing world of colorful limestone corals and incredible variety of fish and sea mammals.  Coral cleaning Rainbow Parrotfish; bashful and brightly colored angel fish; territorial barracuda; lazy nurse sharks; inquisitive Nassau grouper; school of blue stripped grunt; and the ever graceful stingrays, eagle rays and manta rays are often seen. Bottle nosed dolphins, manatee, and sea turtles can also be seen by divers and snorkelers.  The resplendent underwater scenery attracts divers from around the globe to enjoy the multicolor scenery. Consider the following and you’ll understand why Belize is one of the most popular dive destinations – The Belize Barrier Reef, three magnificent atolls, 70 types of hard corals, nearly 500 species of fish and the celebrated Blue Hole.

In terms of diversity, diving far exceeds most destinations. Divers encounter marine life of all shapes, sizes and species.  Subterranean gardens, coral jungles, and encounters with dolphins, morays, turtles, graceful eagle rays and migrating whale sharks, make dive trips irresistible.  Southern Belize harbors whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, during their migrations in the off-shore area often spotted in the Gladden Spit from March to June.  During these months the gentle giants of the ocean migrate to these corners of the world less than one hour boat ride from Placencia to feed on the spawn during full moon especially from mutton, cubera and dog snappers.

The reef parallels the coast for approximately 185 miles. Like an underwater range of mountains, some peaks rise to the surface.  This uneven range is blessed with almost every type of coral known. Hugging the eastern shore of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, the reef then snakes its way down through open water past Dangriga, Hopkins, Placencia, and north of Punta Gorda. Because of its size, the Belize BarrierReef Reserve System has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site. Lighthouse Reef Atoll encircles the celebrated Blue Hole, a 1,000-foot circular sinkhole 410 feet deep.  Explorer Jacques Cousteau called it “one of the four must-dive locations on this blue planet.”  All three atolls – Turneffe Islands, Lighthouse Reef, and Glover’s Reef – harbor more than 100 great dive and snorkeling sites.

In the shallows between mainland and the reef, boats reach hundreds of dive sites in a short time, including tiny islands. Coral patterns and patches decorate the sand like gardens in a yard. Outside the ridge, the reef slopes and reveals shallow corals and gorgonians.

Scuba divers need certification, but no such requirement applies to snorkelers, who can jump right in and witness the spectacle.  Protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve, between Ambergris and Caye Caulker, makes a popular spot both for snorkeling and for learning how to dive.  Beginners enjoy South Water Caye and Glover’s Reef Atoll because they offer beautiful sea life with minimal currents.

Scout as many dive and snorkel sites as possible, because no two are alike.  Vibrant fish and fragile coral still thrive at these sites because visitors help to protect them.  It is critical not to touch, bump, or kick sand on the reefs, because doing so could destroy them.  Call Splash Dive Center today and book your favorite whale shark tour or any combination of dive package available.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

You Better Belize it! Paradise Is Here

Just 22 miles off the coast of Placencia, in the Central part of Belize’s Barrier Reef, lay three tiny picturesque islands – Silk Cayes with white sand beach, swaying coconut trees and crystal clear emerald seas.  These Silk Cayes, also known as Queen Cayes, are the perfect postcard images that lure thousands of visitors each year for stunning snorkeling and sunning.

Silk Cayes, along with the Gladden Spit, was declared as a Marine Reserve in May 2000. Since 2003, this reserve has been established as a no take zone, a conch restoration zone, a whale shark and reef – fish spawning conservation zone and a general use zone.

Whalesharks, in the nearby Gladden Spit coming to feed on the spawning eggs between March and June, are seen in the large numbers. The reserve undoubtedly contains some of the healthiest parts of the reef due to its relative elevation and superior water quality. This reserve falls under the auspices of the Government’s Fisheries Department but managed by a community based organization – Southern Environmental Association (SEA).

With all these regulations and smart reef management practices, it is easy to see why the zone continues to enjoy abundant diversity of reef fish species. So whether you come to this postcard island to soak all the fun in the sun, B-B-Q on the beach, explore the marvel under the great reef,  watch the stunning whale sharks, or explore Belize’s vibrant culture, you will  experience a unique Paradise – Belizean style!

For a totally enhanced experience, Splash Dive Center offers guests upon request at this Island Snorkeling tour an exhilarating performance by Garifuna Dancers with heart-pounding drum rhythm while enjoying their exquisite BBQ. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Maya 2012: The Apocalypse or the New Era of higher Consciousness and Unity?

We are now only a couple weeks away from the year 2012, the year that some claim will bring about drastic changes in our way of life. Dire changes, some believe, will be in the form of an apocalypse while others believe will usher in a new era in our evolutionary human development in which we achieve higher levels of self awareness and overall spirituality.  While no one really knows what happens next, we do know definitively that the acclaimed doomsday of December 21, 2012 marks the end of a cyclical long count period (every 5,125 years) in the Mayan Calendar and initiates a new one – the summer solstice. Despite the controversy of the prophecies, Belizeans can be proud of the rich cultural heritage that the Mayas have contributed to Belize’s history and the Mundo Maya. Belize is indeed proud of being the heartland of the astoundingly advanced Mayan civilization.

Mayan sites excavations and continuous discoveries are showing that Lamanai, the last site to be occupied by the Mayas, has been occupied for more than 3000 years from 1500 B.C to the late 18th century. Even today when archeologists rewrite Mayan history with each new discovery, never cease to be increasingly impressed with their depth of sophistication and breadth of knowledge. A few eminent examples are: the mayas were among the first to use the concept of zero; their calculation of the moon cycle with astounding precision centuries before our scientists; their development and use of medicinal plants laid the foundation of pharmacology today. In about 500 A.D, it is believed that more than one million Mayas inhabited Belize. More than 35 significant sites across the country have been uncovered while much more is still believed to lie beneath the earth in the dense topography of Belize’s rainforest. Significant sites of tremendous historical importance include Altun Ha (Stone Water), Cerros (Hills), Xunantunich (Maiden of the Rock), Cahal Pech (Place of Ticks), Nim Li Punit (Big Hat), Lubaantun (Place of the Fallen Stones), Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulcher) and Caracol (Snail) – the supreme Mayan City of the Classic Period with a population of two thirds the entire current population of all Belize. The Mayas are truly an advanced society and Belize proudly distinguishes itself as the epicenter of this advanced culture that continues to intrigue scientists and even spiritual seekers with their sense of mysticism and spirituality.
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Culturally speaking, the Mayas believed that time, as well as he universe, is circular and cyclical. They also believe that cosmic configurations can reveal the most profound levels of our consciousness as humans and that the universe is alive and sacred confirmed through the varied and diverse manifestations of four key elements - the earth, water, sun and air. They believed that all people, animals, and elements on earth are closely related and united in one entity that allows each component to be, live, share, communicate and interact with each other as living entities both creators and re-creators of life. Some Mayan belief claims that human beings, along with planet earth, are now vulnerable due to the many ecologically unsustainable alterations to the planet that threatens the delicate balance of nature that sustains life. It is this negligence and failure of humans to recognize their interconnectivity with all else on earth and to maintain their supportive role in relation to mother earth that will unleash the apocalypse. This, some believe, will be towards the detriment of the human race.
Conversely, some believe that the prophecies of Maya 2012 are more in relation to another evolutionary process in our human development and social transformations where by the mind will become awakened and realize the purpose of our existence and hence the purpose of life. In responding to some prediction that 2012 signals the end of the world, Mayan Ambassador Cirilio Perez Oxlaj recently shared the following interview:

What do you expect to happen on December 2012?

It is the belief of the Mayan people that we will be entering a period associated with a change of sun (summer solstice), not in 2012 but in 40 to 50 years. During this time, there will be an end to diseases, plagues, droughts, tornados and devastating hurricanes that are now occurring.

Why do you think that the end of humankind has been associated with this date?

This will not be the end of the world but merely a change of sun. Neither is this serious since it has occurred before. Of greater concern is the contamination of the environment, nuclear bombs, the movement of petroleum, mineral exploitation, the use of plastic material and other substances that are harmful to the environment.

Altun Ha
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What is your evaluation of the significant campaigns launched on this topic?

These campaigns have largely commercialized the concept of Maya 2012. They are derailing the Mayan calendar because nothing will happen on December 2012.

What does this new cycle means for you?

We welcome the New Year, so that we start to significant and meaningful change. There will no longer be discrimination, prejudice or racism among one another.

This interview with the great Mayan leader provides insight that 2012 is more about hope, world peace and unity. It is an opportunity for deeper reflection and the consideration of future direction. Maya 2012 provides a timeless warning from the ancient past that today we should also be better stewards of the environment which we as humans are privileged to enjoy.  In celebration of Mayan heritage, Belize has a full year’s program highlighting Mayan Culture that includes, lectures, festivals, ceremonies, a collection of commemorative stamps of each site and a wide range of Maya 2012 packages. A special highlight, between December 21 and 23 (2012), is the participation of more than two hundred and fifty spiritual leaders of the Mopan, Q’eqchi and Yucatec Maya in an ancient ceremony to welcome the new calendar. In commemorating Maya 2012 and the envisioned new beginning, Splash Dive Center joins other service providers with special 2012 packages for those wishing to experience and immerse themselves in the ancient past of the Mystical Maya.

As the Maya 2012 year evolves stay tune for more Maya 2012 insights to come and for more from Splash Dive Shop who will be offering special Maya 2012 Tours this coming year. Splash Dive Shop has also launch their new Maya 2012 Logo which will be use during next year. Where will you be when the world starts anew? For more information contact us by Clicking Here.

Splash Dive Shop
c/o Patricia Ramirez
Placencia Village, Stann Creek District, Belize, Central America
Phone: 501-523-3058, 501-523-3080 or 620-6649