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The seabed or the bottom of a lake house the unmistakeable beauty of its fauna and flora. And if there’s a place on the planet whose underwater beauty stands out from the rest, it’s Central America. Countries like Belize and Guatemala not only give you the chance to dive into the ocean depths, but also to dive in freshwater. These alternatives greatly increase the popularity of the exciting underwater world of Central America.
I invite you to plunge into an explosion of colour, among tropical fish and submerged villages. Put on your diving equipment in these situations I tell you about below.
Have you heard about the immense blue hole with turquoise edges that gives lustre to the coast of Belize? Jacques Cousteau himself praised this huge Caribbean sinkhole whose origin dates back to the Ice Age. The explorer said that this circular wonder which is 305 metres in diameter and 123 deep is one of the ten most spectacular places in the world for diving.
Diving in the Blue Hole will open the door to a fantasy world. You can enter limestone caves adorned with generously-sized stalactite columns. All this surrounded by lush vegetation and sharks such as the Caribbean reef and the blacktip shark. If you deem it risky to dive into this World Heritage Site, let yourself be surprised by the surrounding coral reefs, such as the Aquarium or Tres Cocos Cay.
Do you have more time to visit other saltwater diving areas in Central America? Take note of these places: Blowing Rock, a volcanic rock located on the wild Big Corn Island, in Nicaragua; or Portobelo, in Panama, where you’ll discover the remains of a pirate ship, as well as turtles and corals.
Have you ever tried freshwater snorkelling? Do you fancy a dive in volcanic craters? The Nicaraguan lagoons Apoyo and Xiloá give you the opportunity of practicing wall diving; although you must be careful if you’re not an expert. Of course, the most popular freshwater diving option is in Guatemala. Specifically on Lake Atitlán, where the settlement of a now sunken Mayan town was built.
The village, called Samabaj and discovered in the 1990s, is found at the south of the lake, near the Cerro de Oro volcano and at depths of 17 metres. Among these remains of the Mayan pre-classic period are stelae, stairways, altars and a ceremonial square. Do you want to be one of those divers who find artefacts in the depths of this lake formed after the crystallization of a magmatic pit? You’ll have to work really hard.
It will be easier for you to dive next to hotels overcome by the continuous floods. You may even come across petrified forests! Of course, you’ll also come across all kinds of plants, crabs and fish. In addition, every time you return to the surface to rest, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the volcanoes (San Pedro, Tolimán and the one which gives the lake its name).
If you’re passionate about diving in this kind of waters, I recommend you go to the Ayarza lagoon later. This crater lake, also in Guatemala, is located in Santa Rosa and has an area of 14 square kilometres.
Discover this and the rest of the essential spots of the underwater world in Central America. Visit our website so as not to miss out on the most spectacular saltwater or freshwater beds. Connect with nature in a different and unique way.
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