Night Diving at Hol Chan

Turn on the night lights!  Did you know that 80% of the marine life in the Caribbean Sea is nocturnal?  This one tank dive takes place at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and is another “Not to be missed” diving experience.  See the nocturnal marine life as you have never seen it before.

Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize’s oldest marine reserve, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for ‘little channel.”

Due to its protected status, what was once a depleted fishing area has now been allowed to re-generate, providing an unparalleled diving/snorkeling experience for visitors and an important refuge for marine life along the northern section of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Over 160 species of fish have been identified at Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley, along with nearly 40 species of corals, 5 sponges, 8 algaes, 2 seagrasses, 3 marine mammals and 3 species of sea turtle.  Here, you will feel the excitement and novelty of swimming with large numbers of nurse sharks and sting rays.

In waters as shallow as 5 feet, large schools of jacks, groupers, snappers and barracuda abound. Along each side of the cut grow healthy stands of corals and seagrass in shallow water, perfect for the beginner snorkeler. The more experienced swimmer can swim from one side of the cut to the other, experiencing shallow reef, drop offs over the steep sides of the “cut”, and seagrass and sand beds in the middle of the channel.

These creatures have a great tolerance for divers and snorkelers. The rays, which have a ‘wing-span’ of two to four feet, swim directly towards you, mouths often turned up hoping for a hand held bit to be placed near their mouths.  You will often find them circling around you, as if performing for food. The docile Nurse Sharks average four to six feet in length and can be a bit more aggressive than the sting rays.

Light Rental – $15 US

Reserve This Tour Online

5 Reviews on “Night Diving at Hol Chan”

  1. Jeff Ridenour Says:

    Hol Chan is my absolute favorite night dive. There is a lot of sea life to see and it is easily navigated due to its U-shape. The shallow water allows for a long dive. You can encounter Octopus, Tarpon, sleeping Parrotfish, Nurse sharks, Basketstars, Eels, Squid, and numerous Stingrays. If you shine your light into the sandy area in the middle of the site you will see the eyes of the stingrays shining back at you. Basketstars open up on the tops of coral heads and if you backlight them with your light you can watch them catch tiny worms and shrimp. Tarpon will follow you around and gobble up unwary fish caught in your light beam. Give the little guys a break and don’t spotlight them for too long. Be sure to also look in the seagrass beds as you return to the boat for Pipefish, Sea horses, octopus, and squid.

  2. Jeff Ridenour Says:
    Basketstar at night on Hol Chan
  3. Jeff Ridenour Says:
    Sleeping Parrotfish at night on Hol Chan
  4. Belize Dive Package, Dive Belize's Barrier Reef, Package | Ambergris Caye Resort - Banana Beach Resort Belize Says:

    […] Three days of diving (two-tank dive per day) or three days of diving and one night dive […]

  5. Jake Ehrlich Says:

    Last year I experienced my first night dive at Hol Chan. We come to Belize every year on a mission trip to Corozal and our short break time is spent at San Pedro. All week I look forward to my opportunity to dive and the night dive was the icing on the cake. The life that comes out at night is amazing and the boat ride their and back is spent watching the beautiful night sky and talking about all the awesome things we got to see. I highly suggest to his for anyone of any level.