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Adventures / Adventure School

Dive the Belize Barrier Reef

Stay on a private island, discover the beauty of the Caribbean and help protect one of the world’s most important biospheres

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Trip Ref #9408

Adventures / Adventure School

Dive the Belize Barrier Reef

Stay on a private island, discover the beauty of the Caribbean and help protect one of the world’s most important biospheres

DURATION
4 nights
LOCATION
Belize
ANNUAL LEAVE
3 days off work
SEASON
Feb—Dec
GROUP SIZE
Up to 18 people
MEETING POINT
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, Belize
ACCOMMODATION
Guesthouse
DIFFICULTY
Easy

All you need is a moderate level of fitness, a love for marine wildlife and a good attitude!

Stay on a tranquil, private island in the heart of the Caribbean, just 1½ acres across and clock up a dozen dives in five days – including at least one night dive

Spear invasive lionfish, participate in essential marine conservation and support the work of a non-profit organisation that's committed to protecting the barrier reef

Featured in the best Citizen Science Holidays in the Metro

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking diving instructors

Accommodation

4 nights on a private island

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

Boat to and from the island

Equipment

All your scuba equipment

Not Included

Travel to and from the start point

Some equipment

Personal expenses

Travel insurance

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Hokey Pokey Water Taxi Dock, Placencia

09:30 on Day 1

Ends

Hokey Pokey Water Taxi Dock, Placencia

11:00-13:00 on Day 5

Transfers

You should fly into Placencia Airport (PLJ) on either a Saturday or Sunday. Please note that there are no direct flights between Placencia and the UK.

From Belize International Airport (BZE), fly down on a ‘hopper’ plane to Placencia with Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. The flight takes about 45 minutes and will range anywhere from $230-260 USD round-trip and is an exciting ride. Tropic Air and Maya Island Air provide 7-9 daily flights on the weekends to/from Belize International Airport and Placencia; the first flight staring at 7:00 am and the last flight around 5:00 pm.

Hop in a cab (10mins) from the airport to the Water Taxi Dock and your host will meet you there.

Due to the arrival and departure times, you should book accommodation on the mainland for the weekends on either end of the trip.

Your host will take you to the Water Taxi Dock between 11am-1pm on Friday to fly back to the mainland. You should schedule your departure out of Placencia, Belize, on either on a Saturday or Sunday. Book any connecting flight which suits you from Placencia to Belize International Airport.

Travel options

While there are no direct flights between Placencia and the UK, regular hopper planes from Tropic Air or Maya Island Air run from Belize International Airport (BZE) and take around 45 minutes.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

The food is one of the best parts of the trip thanks to the island’s incredible resident chef. All dietary requirements can be catered for, just give your hosts a heads up when booking so that they can prepare for your arrival.

What is the accommodation like?

Tom Owens Caye

You’ll stay in a basic guesthouse that has a hostel-feel in an unparalleled location. Some rooms have their own bathroom, while others share and while there is no hot water, every room comes with beautiful views of the ocean, the sound of lapping waves and fans for when the sea breeze doesn’t cut it.

Day 1

The Island

Make your way to the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi Dock in Placencia and then head over to Tom Owens Caye, a private island located in Belize’s Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve Park. Learn more about the vital conservation work that you’ll be a part of in and then fill up the day kayaking, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, fishing or playing volleyball and badminton on the beach.

Day 2

Surveys and BBQ’s

Become part of an ongoing marine survey (more than just identifying fish) and learn about the unique local ecology around you. After a hard days diving, unwind in a hammock, listen to the sound of the waves and tuck into some freshly caught food.

Day 3

Coral and invertebrate conservation

Spend the day investigating all things coral. Once you’re below the surface, you’ll help identify any occurrence of coral reef bleaching – a huge threat to this protected biosphere and lend a hand with the lobster and Queen Conch surveys. Back on dry land, channel your inner cast-away with some more hammock time and then sit down for another delicious meal by the water.

Day 4

Commercial Species Investigation

Broaden your survey-scope to include all the sea’s critters that call the reef home. You’ll also participate in a reef survey, including whale shark monitoring, bio-diversity dives and reef health investigation. Relax, unwind and enjoy your last night on the island.

Day 5

Final dive and then back to the mainland

Wake up early and catch a last dive before heading to the boat and back to Placencia. If you have time, explore some more of Belize or return to the airport in time for your flight home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What's included?

  • All dive equipment (BCD’s, tanks, regulators, weights)

What do I need to bring?

  • Mask and snorkel
  • Fins
  • Booties
  • Wetsuit
  • Torch for nightdive
  • Swimwear
  • Clothes for evenings to relax in
  • Suncream/sunhat etc (make sure you look at the FAQ on sunscreen - only Reef Safe sunscreen is permitted)

This marine conservation volunteer trips is for both non-experienced and experienced divers. Not certified? No worries, many of our volunteers come to the island to learn to dive. Everyone contributes regardless of their background or experience. The research methodologies we teach are very simple and you will learn all you need to know in our training sessions prior to each dive. You will be spearing the invasive lionfish and participating in our other conservation dives and making a difference!

Nope! You can learn from scratch, build on your current qualifications or just spend the week soaking up the sun – it’s up to you! your host certifies divers so you can explore a whole new world whilst also doing your part to protect it. Just ask when booking about the options for getting your PADI Open Water Certification or any additional qualifications you may want.

There are some incredible day trips that run from Placencia on the weekends, inlcuding to the ancient ruins at Tikal, jungls and nature expeditions, spelunking, repelling, ziplining, cave and river tubing, cultural tours - there's literally something for everyone. Lots of tours also depart from Placencia and your host recommends Roam Belize or Placencia Tourz. Please contact them direct for information and pricing.

Of course! People often stay from between 1- 8 weeks and you can extend your trip simply by selecting "additional week" within Activities in Optional Extras when booking.

IMPORTANT: The diving week is Monday to Friday, so if you do want to dive for additional weeks, you will still need to leave the island every weekend.

It's totally up to you. Some people want to get involved as much as possible, others want to combine conservation dives with relaxation and some fun dives, while others just want to relax in a hammock with a good book. The choice is yours!

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

In a word: beautiful. In numbers, averages of 84F/ 29C all-year-round. The island is located in the Tropics so don’t be surprised if it rains and bring a couple of jumpers just in case.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

For current advice about travelling in Belize, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

It's important that you only bring reef-safe sunscreen onto the island. Over the past three years, around one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs have died off and there is a growing awareness that sunscreen is playing a role in this. On average 14,000 tons of sunscreen slide off of humans and onto the world’s coral reefs each year, exposing vital underwater ecosystems to potentially fatal chemicals.

Here is a list of recommended Reef-Safe Sunscreens on the Market

  • Badger SPF 30 Unscented Sunscreen Cream
  • Stream2Sea SPF 30
  • Mineral Sunblock Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen
  • All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Lotion
  • Coral Safe All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen
  • Sun Bum Reef Friendly Ingredients Sunscreen
  • Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion
  • Raw Elements SPF 30 Certified Natural Sunscreen
  • Tropical Sands Biodegradable Mineral Sunscreen
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25% deposit to secure your spot

Spread the cost with as many payments as you need.

Flexible Date Changes

Change your trip date up to 60 days before departure: small fees may apply.

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