Diving off Hopkins is very good to terrific. The Barrier Reef is closer here—about 10 miles (17 km) from shore—than it is farther south. Diving also is fairly costly here. Half-day, two-tank dive trips to the South Water Caye Marine Reserve are around BZ$200–BZ$280, not including regulator, BCD, wet suit, and other equipment rental, which can add BZ$50. Dive shops with fast boats can also take you all the way to the atolls—Turneffe, Glover's, and even Lighthouse. These atoll trips generally start early in the morning, at 6 or 7 am, and last all day. Costs for three-tank atoll dives are around BZ$380–BZ$400 for Glover's and Turneffe, and BZ$580 for Lighthouse and the Blue Hole. In late spring, when whale sharks typically show up, local dive shops offer dives to see the Belizean behemoths at Gladden Spit Marine Reserve for around BZ$400. Marine park fees (sometimes included in dive trip charges) are BZ$10 each for South Water and Glover's marine reserves, and BZ$20 for Gladden Spit.
Hamanasi. One of the best diving operations in Southern Belize is at Hamanasi. They have three large, well-equipped dive boats, including a 45-ft. boat with three 200-horsepower outboard engines. Hopkins, Stann Creek. 533/7073. www.hamanasi.com.