The Turneffe Atoll is a perfect place for beginner, intermediate and advanced scuba divers. All sides of the atoll have amazing dive sites. The south side of the atoll offers the most accessible and the most popular dive locations. The dive site known as The Elbow is the most well known site and is known for sweeping current and schools of fish over the deep reef. The wall plunges over 3,000 feet into the abyss, offering spectacular drift dives and crevasses to explore along the ledge. The southern side has many scattered reefs and notoriously steep walls. This side is for more advanced scuba divers due to depth, strong currents, and drop-offs. Two other dive sites near The Elbow are Myrtle's Turtles and Billy Bob's. Myrtles' Turtles features a wall of coral and sea turtles especially in the springtime. The dive site known as Billy Bobs features swim-throughs, canyons, and large grouper.
The eastern side of the atoll gradually shelves to about 60 feet before meeting the steep wall. This side of the atoll is protected by 35 miles of reef to explore. The upper east side of the atoll offers many dive sites not too far offshore from the resort Turneffe Flats. The three dives sites: Barracuda Beach, Lindsey’s Back Porch and Wishbone are popular for spotting Loggerhead sea turtles, barracudas, lobster and Whitespotted toadfish. These three dives and many others in the area make easy day dives close to the resort.
Abundant mangroves, providing protection from the waves, allow more fragile huge soft corals and sea feathers to thrive protect the west side of Turneffe Atoll. This side offers a calm sanctuary for life; the bottom sits at only 30-35 feet. The reef is further offshore from the cayes of this side of the atoll compared to the east side. The west side is ideal for beginners or divers looking to explore and photograph in the shallows. Your air can last a long time in this shallow peaceful setting. Along the northern reef of the west side you will find the dive site descriptively called, Hole in the Wall. Midway down the west coast there is Snake Point and Lobster Bay among many others. The southern coast of the west side offers dive sites such as Anchor Creek and West Point Wall. The visibility of the water between the cayes of the west side and the reef offshore is often 100 feet.
Turneffe Atoll is the most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Caribbean. It is common to spot eagle rays, sharks, turtles, dolphins, moray eels, occasionally a whale shark, large schools of Horse eye jack, and dog snapper.
Nested within the atoll, known as Lighthouse Reef, is the great Blue Hole. Just 13 miles east off Turneffe Atoll is where scuba diver's flock to explore the popular and well-photographed Blue Hole. This underwater sinkhole has stalactites and stalagmites from thousands of years ago when there was air inside the cenote rather than water. This nearly perfect circular hole is in shallow waters then it plunges into a dark blue color where the water is 480 feet (145 meters) deep. From rim to rim, the Blue Hole is about a quarter of a mile wide. Once you dive down about 110 feet the steep wall widens, allowing divers to explore and hover under the limestone formations that once hung from the caves walls. A daylong dive excursion to the Blue Hole often includes the nearby Half Moon Caye Natural Monument and the Red Footed Boobie Bird Sanctuary. The Blue Hole's steep walls are famous for the encounters with Hammerhead sharks and black grouper among many other fish and invertebrates.