The island of Ambergris hosts many dive sites along its eastern coastline. Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Ambergis Caye's southern coast is the most popular diving and snorkeling zone of the island. The protected park is in a natural cut in the reef, where the bottom is at just 20-35 feet deep. The park is not only protected ecologically but also from the currents that run off the reef walls. Just off the beach near the Marco Gonzales site area, there is a small 12-foot deep blue hole that snorkelers and scuba divers can explore. There is abundant coral and life in this little treasure hole and a tank of air can give you over an hour to really explore and let the life come out. This is a great dive for beginners.
Hol Chan is home to the famous site known as Shark Ray Alley. While not a scuba diving site, it is a famous attraction to snorkel and swim with abundant stingrays and Nurse sharks. The dive sites within Hol Chan Marine Reserve offer a mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced dives- perfect for families. The strong currents are lessened by following close along the steep walls, the pay off for swimming the swift waters is the abundant thriving coral and sea fans you can see as you drift along. It is common to sight huge Nassau groupers, Mutton snappers, barracudas, and jack schools in the waters of Hol Chan.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve has one artificial reef on a small tugboat known as Amigo's Wreck. Purposely sunk in 1996, the wreck dive attracts Nurse sharks and Black groupers and many small reef fish. For night dives near Hol Chan, Tuffy Canyon is popular as you descend just outside the reef's border. Several San Pedro dive shops offer this dive.
There are many established dive sites off the reef-rimmed east coast of Ambergris Caye. Hol Chan is just one dive area found near the south of the island. The reef's visibility ranges from 60 to up to 100 feet of clear water. Many of the dive sites along the reef are within 30-100 feet of water. North of Hol Chan about mid-coast along Ambergris is the dive site known as Punta Arena Caverns, and just north of there, the popular Mexican Rocks. There are many canyons, tunnels and caverns in this area of interest to advanced scuba divers. Along the very northern tip of Ambergris, there are several canyons that experienced scuba divers frequently visit such as Francos Canyon and Rocky Point Canyon.