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Belize – an underwater paradise for diving

Diving with Splash Belize in Placencia | Collaboration

Belize is the place where every diving dream comes true. It heritages the second biggest barrier reef in the world and is home to a flourishing variety of underwater life. Nowhere else we have found a better diving or snorkeling spot yet.

Placencia is one of the diving El Dorado’s, located south of Belize City. We had two amazing days with Splash Belize, which we always have a place in our memory. Splash Belize is the biggest diving center in the area and has already been in place when Placencia was still a small harbor 20 years ago.

Day 1 – Diving and Snorkeling Trip to Silk Cayes

Silk Cayes consist of three tiny islands, which are located around an hour away from the main island. By tiny we mean that you easily walk around the island about 15 seconds. It feels like you are Robinson Crusoe in the middle of the ocean. The island is surrounded by an amazing barrier reef and is definitely one of the best snorkeling spots we have been so far in our life.

On the beach as well as in the water you can find huge, almost unreal looking shells, just casually laying around. It’s like being stranded in paradise.

All the boats stay at the island for lunch. During this time it gets pretty crowded. If you join any of the snorkeling tours, you explore the colorful reef around the island and afterwards find yourself almost alone on the beach.

The diving tour takes you the very end of the reef, where you dive along the North Wall. It’s an incredible formation covered in beautiful corals and home to a ton of colorful fish, turtles and reef and nurse sharks. Aside the wall there is a dark blue, deep abyss, which gives it even more breathtaking touch.

The second dive took us to the White Hole. A coral area, which is known for its many reef and nurse sharks. As lion fish hunting became very popular here, the sharks follow the divers insanely close, as they are waiting for you to serve them lunch and dinner. Two nurse sharks followed us, rubbing our belly and even let us say hello and stroke their backs shortly.

Day 2 – Trying to spot some whale sharks in the open water

We decided to take our chances to take a tour to see whale sharks. These wonderful creates usually come close from April to June, especially after a full moon.

Splash takes you out in the dark blue open water, where your only point of reference is your guide. We went down to 30m depth until you are just surrounded by blue water. As the ground is not visible, it feels like floating in outer space. Every encounter feels mystical and unreal in this surrounding. Just keep an eye on your dive computer or gauge and keep your diving depth under check, as it’s easy to lose track.

We swam with big snappers, since those fish are the ones whale sharks are attracted too. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spot a whale shark, but a massive turtle did us the honors and joined us floating around in the deep.

We did this particular dive end of May 2019. Just one year before, sightings were almost guaranteed. Some schools even gave you back the money, if you didn’t at least see one of the creatures. But tourism in this area increased a lot and sightings are much less reported. Reasons are unknown, could be that the whale sharks got too afraid of humans. So no guys, no need to be afraid of sharks at all – most are more afraid of you. And for sure there are much tastier dishes, than a human in a neoprene suit.

Wild animal sightings are always hard to predict, hence it is important to keep expectations under check and include this perspective. Nonetheless, it is an outstanding experience of being there and get to see what it is like to be in the open water.

Why we recommend you to choose Splash Belize

Two happy faces after having had one of the best diving experiences of our worldtrip. Belize’s underwater life really amazed us; definitely one of the most beautiful barrier reefs in the whole world. And we have seen a lot! 🙂

We have never before seen such an incredible service at a diving school like at Splash Belize. When you get there, every diver gets appointed his own dive master, which helps to gather the perfect gear for your needs. At the boat they do set up all the gear for you, rinse your masks and help to get into the water with ease. Especially helpful if you have back issues like Cory does. After diving, you get water, juice and and fresh watermelon. You enjoy a nice lunch on the boat; a vegetarian or vegan option is also available.

Splash Belize does have highly experienced, fun and energetic dive masters. You do feel incredible safe and the guides take marine protection very serious, which allows this wonderful diving experience to stay as beautiful as ever. We met a guy who has been diving here since over 20 years and he confirmed that the reef hasn’t changed a bit.

Regarding prices: don’t make the mistake and expect Belize to be as cheap as any other country in Latin America. It is the complete opposite. The uniqueness of the underwater world and the economic issues (and oh boy, there are many) have created sky-rocking prices in every aspect of the country. Nonetheless, if you are keen on seeing one of the most beautiful places to dive in the world, it is totally worth it.


The top 3 and most impressive cenotes for diving in Tulum, México

When it comes to diving, there are plenty of reasons that get you hooked. Whether it may be the super bright and plentiful colors of a reef, the vibrant underwater life or its giant creatures. Diving the cavern and cave systems of the Mayan cenotes however is something completely different.

We did our dives with The Cenote Guy. This guy was an ocean diving guide before and used to see massive pots of whale sharks all the time. Still once he experienced cenote diving, he was addicted from the start and couldn’t stop anymore. After our experiences, we totally get that and are even thinking about doing the cave diving certification ourselves.

Cenotes are massive underwater caverns and cave systems, that formed naturally within 1000s of years by acidic water washing out the limestones. During this process, not only endless underwater caves and tunnels, but also stalactites formed.

These natural phenomes together with insane lightning effects of the sun, create an unforgettable and mystical experience that no serious diver should ever miss.

Diving in cenotes also means that you will experience the Mayan underworld, the place of the dead and the gods. They were used for communicating with the underground world and doing lots of spiritual ceremonies. If you are open minded and spiritual yourself, we are pretty sure you will feel the special energy of the places. Let yourself be surprised.

So these are our top 3 cenote dives located around Tulum that we will keep in awe forever. Keep in mind, in order to do those, you need to be an advanced OWD diver.

1. Cenote Angelita

Ready for the most scary dive of your life? We hope you know what you signed up for, when you decided to do this dive. This cenote used to be, or maybe still is, the gate to the underworld in the Mayan culture. It is believed that the spirits and souls are still there.

If that is not creepy enough, the second reason this cave will get your hearts racing, is that the underworld gate is a layer of hydrogen sulphate, located in 28m of depth. This layer is often also referred to as halocline and divides the salt water from the fresh water. This creates an atmosphere that cannot be described in words.

Once passing through the 1m thick and super dense fog layer, you reach “the other side”. There is no light, no noise, only the light ray of your torch, making its way through the eternal darkness.

We are both thrill seekers and love a good adventure, but as we are also very spiritual and got sense the meaning of this place, we would have possibly freaked out, if The Cenote Guy wouldn’t have made physical contact the entire time while passing through the cloud. He made sure that we felt safe and comfortable all of the time and even calmed Cory down when she had a little panic attack before making the complete descent. Highly recommended!

Level requirement:Advanced OWD

2. Cenote The Pit

Diving The Pit feels almost like jumping straight into the fairytale Alice in Wonderland. The lightning that comes in creates a shining underwater curtain that looks out of this world. This effect is the most impressive in summer at around soon, when the sun is straight up in the sky and its sunrays reach a depth of 30 meters. The Pit also has a small hydrogen sulphate cloud that divides salt from fresh water. At around 30 meters of depth, you reach a small chamber, filled with massive stalactites, which formed over the course of 1000s of years.

Level requirement:Advanced OWD

3. Cenote Calavera – The Temple of Doom

Calavera was named the Temple of Doom, since it has similar characteristics to the Indiana Jones movies and offers and thrilling adventure all the way.

This dive has one of the best lightning effects, that’s caused by halocline. Due to different water density of fresh and salt water, the light bends differently when passing through. In that way two different watercolors are created surrounded by a thin line.

The great thing about Cenote Calavera is that you don’t necessarily need diving equipment to enjoy its beauty. Snorkeling, but especially free diving, will reward you with an amazing experience as well. The cenote also offers lots of super pretty instagrammable spots and will give you plenty of opportunities to create some epic jump pictures.

Level requirement:normal OWD


Top 10 things to do in Brazil

Dying to visit Brazil, experience some kick-ass adventures and cross visiting Rio de Janeiro off your travel bucketlist? We got you covered.

Brazil quickly made it to one of our favourite countries of South America. It is one of the few places on earth, that are super versatile and can keep up with delivering every aspect a true adventure needs. Moreover, Brazil is bigger than some other continents, making it the perfect place to explore for some weeks.

If you have followed us for longer, you know, that we have quite some high expectations of what makes a country or travel destination unique and epic. For us, that means having epic mountains to hike or climb, gorgeous beaches to relax on, windy places to go kitesurfing, the occasional daily challenges of being in a country which language and customs you don’t know, and for sure some super delicious and cheap vegan food places.

That being said: Brazil can cover it all. It can satisfy every type of traveler and adventure thirst. Whether you want to discover Brazil in a few days, week or months, you will find enough adventures to be had.

We visited Brazil for three weeks and for the most of the time we explored the country with our rental car. Read more here on how to get around and how to keep safe while having the trip of your lifetime.

1. Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has been one of the places we dreamt of visiting since we were little kids. Since at least watching Fast and Furious Five and seeing the epic scene where they fly a helicopter over the Christ Statue, we knew we had to see this epic view for ourselves.

It’s probably the most touristy city of Brazil and it has so much to offer that you should at least spend three days here. Being touristy means also that infrastructure is great, getting around is easy (just call an Uber – it’s sometimes even cheaper than going by metro) and there are epic food places.

Visit Christo Redemeer for sunset (make sure to buy tickets for that time a day in advance), climb Sugarloaf mountain (yep, you read that right – guide following soon) and drink some fresh coconuts at Copacabana or Ipanema Beach.

2. Iguazu Waterfalls

These waterfalls are a true masterpiece of nature and they totally swept us from our feet. Some people we met even told us there are much more impressive than the Niagarafalls. Even though we haven’t seen them personally yet, we are sure its true. The Iguazu waterfalls are massive and as they are accessible either from Brazil or Argentina, you get the most incredible and also lots of different views from them.

3. Lençóis Maranhenses

Lencois Maranhenses is a national park located in northeastern Brazil. It includes 70 km of coastline, and the interior is filled of rolling sand dunes. During the rainy season, the valleys in the dunes fill up with water and turn into gorgeous, crystal-clear freshwater lagoons.

Spend your day there and reconnect with your inner child. Race down the sand dunes like a crazy person and then jump into the light-blue water. Soak up the sun and enjoy your time in one of the most beautiful sand dunes we have ever seen. If you have the extra cash, take a helicopter flight to get a birds view from above. If you are on a tight backpackers budget like we, take your drone or make a friend that has one.

4. Bonito

Bonito, in Mato Grasso do Sul, is the Brazilian ecotourism capital. Its named after the Spanish world “beautiful” and that name says it all. It is true nature heaven, with clear-water rivers with a ton of colorful fishes. You can also find so many amazing waterfalls there, many where you can jump into.

5. Arrail do Cabo

Arrail do Cabo is one of the prettiest beach paradises of Brazil. It is located only three hours away from Rio de Janeiro and you can easily make your way there by taking the local bus.

6. Manaus

Manaus is the venture point if you want to do any epic adventures in the Amazonian rainforest. There are lots of lodges and tour providers, that take you on hikes through the forest, help you spot and hold tarantulas, snakes and small crocodiles or that take you piranhas fishing.

7. Jericoacoara

If you are keen on going kitesurfing or windsurfing, this is the place to go. It’s a cute little fishing village on the north-east coast of Brazil and a super idyllic place to chill out. Jericoacoara is surrounded by beautiful wide beaches and sand dunes; perfect to take a break during your surfing sessions.

8. Pedra de Gavea

Pedra de Gavea is Rio de Janeiro’s highest and most epic hike. But probably also one of the off-the-beaten path locations, that we only got to know of by a local. So extra points for that. The views from there are epic and believe us, it will get your heart racing.

9. Chapada Diamantina

Brazil’s Lost World, also called Chapada Diamantina, is located in the heart of Bahia. It’s an area full of towering rock formations, the perfect destination for any trekking lover. Imagine a landscape full of insane rock formations above the ground and a system of caves with crystal clear lakes and rivers underground. It’s probably one of the most wild eco-adventure place in whole Brazil.

10. Fernando do Noronha

This beach paradise consists of 21 islands and islets. This gorgeous archipelago was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by Unesco. To preserve the prestine nature, the number of visitors is limited. The crystal clear waters, golden beaches and pretty marine life attract people from all over the world. Some of the beaches, such as Praia dos Porcos, Praia dos Leões and Baía do Sancho, are listed as the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.