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Punta Gorda Travel Guide

Scuba Diving

This far south the reef has pretty much broken up, but individual cayes have their own small reef systems. The best of the bunch is at the Sapodilla Cayes, seven cayes with great wall dives. Lime Caye here has camping, and Hunting Caye has a lighthouse. The only drawback is that because they're 40 miles (64 km) off the coast, a day's dive trip costs around BZ$300 per person or more, depending on how many people go. The Snake Cayes, with several notable dive sites, are closer in, about 18 miles (30 km) northeast of Punta Gorda. The four Snakes—East, West, South, and Middle—are so named because of boa constrictors that once lived there.

Reef Conservation International. Reef Conservation International operates marine conservation trips in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. You can stay there, at the ReefCI based on Tom Owens Caye, in basic accommodations—there's internet but no hot water. You'll get plenty of snorkeling and diving, but you can also assist marine biologists and other Reef CI staff in monitoring and preserving the reef. Four-night packages including diving, dive equipment, lodging, and meals start at BZ$2,390 per person, not including air fare to Belize or transfers to PG. Tom Owens Caye, Sapodilla Cayes, Punta Gorda. 629/4266. www.reefci.com.

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