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Jul 17, 2023

Belize Dive Haven – A Magical Underwater Experience

Over the weekend, members of the media were invited to a familiarization trip at Belize Dive Haven. Although the trip was only for an overnight, we got a behind the scenes look at how many international tourists travel to Belize and spend a pretty penny to experience the underwater wonders that the country has to offer. Belize Dive Haven is extending these offerings with domestic packages for Belizeans. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Rodney Waight

Rodney Waight, Dive Leader

“We see corals, we see lobsters, we see fishes – it is beautiful down there. We have dolphins, we have eagle rays, spotted eagle rays. These are the ones that look just like manta rays and they are actually family. Here in Belize we have reef sharks which are like the size of myself and maybe even bigger. We have nurse sharks which is like little puppy dogs and these grow up to about fifteen feet.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

You don’t often hear of many Belizeans engaging in diving, but annually, thousands of international tourists travel to Belize for a unique underwater experience at Belize’s atolls, including the Blue Hole and more.


Rodney Waight

“We have a lot of people coming in to learn how to scuba dive. Actually the numbers after COVID for learning to scuba dive have increased because people are getting out. Diving is a therapeutic activity and it is something that people just want to zen out – it is peaceful, it is not noisey and so people just love this type of ambience that they get in diving. We are currently on Turneffe Atoll and Turneffe Atoll is thirty miles long and ten miles wide. It has a windward side and a leeward side, so to say twenty-two different sites would be a little bit of sites because it is an encrusting reef that is circular. All the areas on the reef crest one can dive and even snorkel and it extends all the way from north to south.”


It was an adventure, as a group of media personnel travelled approximately thirty-two nautical miles from Belize City to the Turneffe Atoll. We later docked at Belize Dive Haven – a resort that caters to diving enthusiasts. It can be accessed by an eighty-minute boat ride or a chartered fifteen-minute flight to the island.


Shawn Waight

Shawn Waight, Reservations Manager, Belize Dive Haven

“Belize Dive Haven has been under construction for about fifteen years; it recently opened in 2018. We mostly cater toward divers and snorkelers because we are in the Turneffe area. So Turneffe offers one of the most phenomenal diving in the entire country of Belize. Other than snorkelling and diving, we do have different packages such as romance packages, spa packages, relaxation packages and even fishing.”


The all-inclusive resort provides divers and visitors alike with all the amenities of a luxury resort. Speciality drinks, including the Blue Haven and the Tropical Sunrise, are among the favourite cocktails made by bartender Sebastian. Frozen or on the rocks, these cocktails feature Belizean and imported rums. The property boasts four dining areas with Belizean and international cuisines on the menu.


Shawn Waight

“Our capacity is about one hundred and thirty people. We do have different amenities. We have two large pools, once being two hundred and sixty feet which is the largest pool in the northern hemisphere. We also have another pool that is two hundred feet as well. We do have volleyball courts, we have ballrooms, we have different stuff for conferences and different dining areas that can be used for wedding venues or whatever you guys have. Specifically we can cater that to big businesses that want to do a staff retreat or want to come do some team building activities or maybe just come and treat their staff to something good that we want to go ahead and cater to as well. Turneffe is one of the major nesting grounds for the North American crocodiles so we do have crocodiles over at the back. They are a protected species so they are protected in this reserve so we do have a lot. We have six resident crocodiles and then we also find little babies and their eggs here and there.”


The resort also offers birding for non-divers, or you can grab one of the many kayaks and go for a paddle. In some areas of the property, you can walk out to the reef to snorkel at your leisure.  But what does a typical day of diving look like? Preparation begins as early as six-thirty in the morning and depending on sea and wind conditions, expeditions are out soon thereafter – with an adequate amount of tour guides per group.  Dive leader Rodney Waight says that you don’t have to be a swimmer to dive – all you got to do is breathe.


Rodney Waight

“Swimming you may need to know a little bit, however, diving involves a lot of breathing. You have a mask, you have a fin, you have a regulator that you put in your mouth and this is something that they teach you how to do this. Even if you are doing a discover scuba diving, which is not a certified diving, it is an introduction to diving, they teach you how to use the diving apparatus. And once you learn how to breathe and how to sink and come up in the water, you get a big of experience on how to do this and enjoy the underwater world. We have a lot of people that fear the water, but because Belize has such awesome dive masters, dive instructors and we have a passion for what we do, we transfer this fear into an excitement. People want to know what’s going on down there.”


Reservations Manager Shawn Waight says that the property will soon rebrand to provide a beach resort experience.


Shawn Waight

“We do have a long white sand beach that is beautiful, it is very pristine as well, so that is what we are getting into. We also want to offer different activities other than just diving. Diving, snorkelling, fishing, relaxation, spa, wedding packages and if you want to learn how to scuba dive, we are able to go ahead and teach you guys here too.”


Attractive rates are available for Belizeans to visit this all-inclusive resort. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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