Marine conservation in Belize

“Learn how to dive in the warmth of the Caribbean, not in a chlorinated swimming pool. No experience needed. Come on, dive in, the water's lovely. Ideal for volunteers interested in marine conservation.”


All diving, accommodation, meals and diving equipment included | Private ‘castaway' island | Training for survey methodologies | Fantastic diving on the 2nd biggest barrier reef in the world | Swim with whale sharks and dolphins | Year round tropical temperatures | Pre-breakfast and night dives |

Description of Marine conservation in Belize

This five day tailor made marine conservation holiday in Belize is open to all volunteers interested in diving and caring for the environment.

As a diving experience, alone, this trip excels. And when combined with hands-on tasks and the chance to help with marine conservation projects, it makes for an extremely worthwhile introduction to the incredible biodiversity of the Caribbean.

Set against a backdrop of a private 'castaway' island, adjacent to the Belize Barrier Reef, you'll discover every opportunity to swim, snorkel and dive within a truly breathtaking marine environment.

From swimming alongside whale sharks to hunting invasive lion fish with a spear, this is your chance to encounter something completely different within a fun and friendly environment. Protecting the Belize Barrier Reef is an essential part of this five day volunteering adventure and you'll be invited to join an actual marine conservation team as they undertake ad-hoc and ongoing tasks.

Absolutely no experience is needed to sign up. This is the ideal way to learn new skills and make a real difference both above and below the warm waves of the Caribbean. Belize is one of the best places on the planet to learn how to dive in the ocean, not in a swimming pool. Our PADI courses include PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue and Dive Master.

We empower you to take an active role in directly protecting and conserving our oceans that we love via our marine conservation projects and environmental education and awareness program. You will learn about the invasive lionfish species that is destroying our native coral reefs and participate in our conservation dives to spearfish and remove this incredibly destructive invasive species. You will also learn all about coral reefs, tropical fish, sharks, manatees, dolphins and many other species from tiny invertebrates to the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. You will participate in our marine conservation identification dives to discover the wonders of the marine world. We also cover many more topics from ocean acidification, climate change, to global warming and you will discover things you can do to combat these issues. Join us and make a difference!

Each week/day will differ but you will be helping and participating in the following areas:
• Invasive Lionfish: Spearfish to remove this destructive invasive species that is destroying native coral reef ecosystems.
• Marine Conservation Education: Learn about coral reefs and marine animals and discover how we can protect our oceans and reefs.
• Whale Shark Monitoring (if spotted): Dive with the largest fish in the ocean and record sightings to improve conservation efforts.
• Biodiversity Identification Dives: Identification dives (fish, sea turtles, sharks, invertebrates, coral) to increase one’s knowledge and understanding of reef ecosystems.
• Beach Clean-ups: Weekly beach and island trash/plastic removal on islands of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Depending on the season and length of stay you might not take part in all of these activities above but it is a good bet that you will experience most of them. Please get in touch for more information and to find out more about what this all-inclusive volunteer placement involves.

PADI Dive Courses Offered on the Island

We have many dive courses available to help you develop your scuba and marine conservation skills while on the island volunteering with us. Below is the price our program charges for each PADI certification course and how long it will take you to complete the certification course on the island. Please note the Open, Advanced, Rescue, and Dive Master certifications require the PADI e-Learning prior to arrival.

• PADI Open Water Certification – $150 USD (3 days)
• PADI Advanced Open Water Certification – $200 USD (1 week)
• PADI Rescue Diver Certification – $250 USD (1 week)
• PADI Dive Master Certification – $400 USD (4 week minimum stay)
• PADI Specialty Course: Invasive Lionfish – $100 USD (3 days)
• PADI Specialty Course: Coral Reef Conservation – $100 USD (3 days)
• PADI Specialty Course: Fish Identification – $100 USD (3 days)
• PADI Specialty Course: Deep Diver – $100 USD (3 days)
• PADI Specialty Course: Emergency First Response – $100 USD (2 days)

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

Departures on weekends but transfers can be made on other days at an extra cost
Holiday type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We are a not for profit marine conservation company that focus on conserving the environment by using recreational divers to sustain the organisation. The vision is to help conserve the environment whilst offering the ‘holiday diver’ a chance to put something back into the environment and at the same time obtaining a well earned break.

We are working alongside the Belizean Department of Fisheries and local NGO’s to monitor and maintain the marine environment of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Southern Belize. Work includes the surveying and monitoring of commercial species such as lobster and conch, surveying and helping to protect the spawning fish aggregations, water quality testing, turtle conservation, MBRS surveys and Reef Check surveys for long term global studies and analysis. We are active members of PADI Project AWARE Coral Wacth and Whale Shark programmes and also work with Belizean based Ecomar to help remove the invasive non-native lionfish from Belizean waters.

We bring tourists to our area who spend money in restaurants, local stores and with tour guides. All of our supplies are bought locally from the market and general stores.

We also spend money with local businesses such as the mechanic who maintains our boat. It is important to us our guests integrate into the local community. We employ Belizean people and we run a training program for local youths where we give young people the chance to become Dive Masters and thus obtain well paid jobs in the touristy resorts such as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

17 Reviews of Marine conservation in Belize

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2020 by

This trip was unforgettable. The dive sites are all unique and beautiful for different reasons. The variety of wildlife you'll see under the water and from the island made this trip memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Jul 2019 by

I loved the beach clean up on a nearby island. Really great, especially for younger divers. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2019 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was diving in a downpour. It wasn't scary, just interesting. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 May 2018 by

All of it was pretty amazing. I didn't realize how small the island was and I loved it. Being able to dive 3 times a day and get to know the local marine life, while learning about it was my favourite. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Jun 2018 by

Being on the tropical island, 28miles from the land, with only 25 people, immersed I nature and conservation project. Didn't miss civilization at all. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Apr 2014 by

The diving was fabulous. The instructors are brilliant, very patient and informative! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Apr 2014 by

The most memorable part was diving with like minded staff and guests who love and appreciate the ocean and contributing to research and conservation...Excellent opportunity and experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2012 by

Tom Owens Caye was a magic location for a chilled week diving in Belize. Polly, Patty and the team were generous hosts. The food was delicious with the lionfish and banana pancakes particular highlights! Diving was excellent. Still feeling good about the lobster survey! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jan 2012 by

Excellent diving with a lot of attention for safety. Fantastic reef diving. Great care and knowledge of reef. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Mar 2012 by

Difficult to figure out which was the most exciting part since I thought the whole holiday was a new and exciting learning experience for me. Learning how to scuba dive and diving in a beautiful area with eagle and sting rays was definitely at the top and watching the dolphins play with our boat...... Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2012 by

Seeing a five foot barracuda while snorkelling was the most memorable part of the holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2011 by

Belize for me was opening up new horizons. Both as a traveller as well as a diver I enjoined it tremendously. I felt welcome and a great click with the dive team and considered them as friends by the time I left. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2011 by

One evening we noticed the 'string of pearls' phenomenon in the water by the dock and it was amazing to snorkel in that. It was like the night sky had fallen into the sea. It was such a romantic location, it was there that my partner decided to propose to me. It really was an unforgettable holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Apr 2011 by

A real experience and trip of a lifetime. We met friends for life and experienced thing we may never get opportunity to experience again. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2011 by

It was an unforgettable experience which I can't recommend highly enough. The sort of people we met were like minded and everyone got along brilliantly. I'd definitely recommend going for two weeks (or more!) if you can. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2011 by

The most exciting part of the holiday was diving...Great, I will go back. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2011 by

I'm still very new to diving so everything I got to see underwater was new and exciting. It really helped that Polly really knows her stuff and was able to guide us on very nice dives...This is one of the best vacations I've been on and I would not hesitate to go diving with this company again or recommend it to a friend. Read full review

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