Marine Life In Belize

Belize is the picture of a tropical paradise, rich in wildlife and wonder. Palm trees hang over the turquoise ocean waters as if to touch the multitudes of marine life teaming just below the surface. Groupers, angelfish, sharks, manatees, turtles, rays, eels, dolphins, and other ocean creatures make their home here. Divers and snorkelers alike come from around the world to experience the marine life biodiversity that surrounds Belize Dive Haven.


While spotting marine life in Belize, you’re bound to encounter one of the many eels that call the Caribbean Ocean home. These curious-looking creatures live among rocks and coral and are known to poke their heads out at divers swimming by. There are several different species of eel that live in the water surrounding Belize Dive Haven, and they are as interesting as they are necessary to the ecosystem.


With more than 180 miles (290 kilometres) of coral and the life that it provides, the Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most sought-after dive locations in the world. Coming in second only to the Great Barrier Reef, the Belize Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the Americas, and many divers both new and experienced travel from all over the world to dive alongside the coral in the depths of the Caribbean. Giving life and sustenance to thousands of species of flora and fauna, you’re likely to find something new every time you visit the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve.


Known as The Brain Of The Sea, octopuses can be identified by their eight tentacles, large head, and ability to camouflage themselves to their surroundings. While tricky to spot, lucky divers may be able to photograph them swimming by. Many divers choose to dive in the Caribbean ocean just to see octopuses in person, experience their amazing appearance and abilities for themselves. The Caribbean Reef Octopus (the most commonly spotted in Belize) is a large, gentle creature with several predators throughout the sea, so it’s vital that divers respect them (and all sea creatures) by giving them the space they need to thrive.


There are currently eight species of sharks that you may encounter when spotting marine life in Belize. While sharks are often depicted as scary and unpredictable, this is a common misconception, and so long as divers respect sharks and give them space like any other sea creature they encounter, sharks can make great diving companions. From Reef Sharks to Lemon Sharks, to Hammerhead Sharks, there are several different species, sizes, and colours to observe, many of whom are photo-ready as they swim peacefully by divers. 


Turtles are often a fan favourite between divers and non-divers alike, and it’s not difficult to see why. Sea turtles are incredible creatures who vastly vary in size, shape, and colour between species. While diving with Marine life in Belize, you may encounter one of three species: the Green Sea Turtle, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, all of which have their own unique behaviours and abilities. Some of these turtles can grow over 300lbs in weight and 4FT (122CM) in size and enjoy floating along the bottom of the ocean.


Dolphins are one of the most universally beloved sea creatures of all marine life in Belize. Dolphins are incredibly intuitive, intelligent, and sensitive, making them great diving companions and photography subjects. The four most common dolphin species in Belize include the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Rough-Tooth Dolphin, the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin, and the Spinner Dolphin. Each species has its own unique talents and appearances, making them a joy to swim with!

underwater blue yellow queen angelfish


They’re big, beautiful and graceful fish that are popular among private salt water aquarium owners. They’re the classic coral reef fish: Angelfish. They’re also known as the “sea anemone” due to their resemblance to the sea anemone. Angelfish are the most common marine species, preferring tropical and subtropical waters. Globally, there are 74 species of Angelfish, but in the Caribbean, there are only 7 different species.

2 manatees of belize swim in blue waters side by side


The blue waters of Belize contain a diverse range of marine life, including manatees. Commonly referred to as “Sea Cows”, manatees are one of the most fascinating and unusual mammals to behold. Nearly a thousand of these round, playful creatures call the coastal waters of Belize their home. It’s worth it to take a trip to Belize just to see and swim with these sweet, slow-moving ocean mammals. When you plan your scuba vacation, refer to this guide to learn everything you need to know about manatees in Belize.


The waters of Belize are home to countless species of marine wildlife, but the most graceful species surrounding our resort are the rays. There are four unique rays in Belize, and it is common for our guests to come across one or two while you’re diving!


Often overlooked, crustaceans are fascinating little creatures that play a critical role in the health of the Belize Barrier Reef ecosystem. During your visit, you should keep an eye out for several species of both land and aquatic crustaceans in Belize.

closeup of nassau grouper fish


If you’re visiting Belize to see the incredible wildlife, you may think of dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks. Not everyone’s mind goes straight to Belize’s diverse community of Groupers, but they’re impressive nonetheless. Worldwide, there are approximately 159 unique species of Groupers, and Belize is fortunate to have several of them just off of its coast.

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