Marine Conservation and Scuba Diving in Belize
73% Rating
(7 Reviews)

Marine Conservation and Scuba Diving in Belize

Nestled in Central America on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize lies at the centre of the Mesoamerican "biodiversity hotspot." Pristine subtropical forests provide a refuge for wildlife and conceal ancient Mayan ruins whilst the warm clear waters of the Caribbean lap sandy Cayes offering access to the world’s second longest barrier reef and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; renowned for its spectacular snorkelling and diving.

Through marine SCUBA and snorkel surveys you will survey coral, benthic and fish species using a number of common methodologies currently used in Belize plus taking part in simple community level assessments of these environments. Diving under the supervision of a professional dive officer, you will become confident and comfortable underwater. Your results will determine the sheer biodiversity of these waters and help formulate long term, sustainable management plans to protect this sensational island.

By the end of your project you will be capable of identifying a wide range of colourful and patterned reef organisms, as well as being an experienced and competent diver. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this marine environment.

The project isn’t just about work though – our camp in Belize is also lots of fun and a beautiful place to spend your time, and the island that we work on is exclusive to Frontier marine volunteers.

To get more information on the Belize Marine Conservation and Diving placement, and to apply, visit our website and use the orange “Apply Now” button. A volunteer adviser will then call you back to answer any questions.

View all of our marine conservation projects here.

Highlights
  • PADI dive training and qualifications available
  • Opportunity to dive in some of the world's best dive sites (e.g. Blue Hole, Turneffe Atoll, Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef, and many more)
  • Take part in a long term marine monitoring and conservation project
Locations
North America » Belize » Caye Caulker
North America » Belize
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Cultural Exploration
Internships
Post-College
Post-High School
Scuba Diving Instruction
Study Abroad
Volunteer Abroad
Wilderness
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Summer
Winter
Year Round
Accommodation
Lodge
Inclusions
Accommodation
Activities
Airport Transfers
Equipment
Meals
Park Fees
Exclusions
Airfare
Travel Insurance
Visa
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
16
Application Fee
$0.00
Deposit
$300.00
Starting Price
$1,745.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
WHAT'S INCLUDED
Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Food
Accommodation
Internal ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
Local orientation
Project training
Project equipment & materials
FREE use of Frontier dive kit including Regs, tanks, BCDs, weights, compressor
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Housing
    49%
  • Support
    79%
  • Fun
    73%
  • Value
    80%
  • Safety
    83%

Program Reviews (7)

Default avatar
Maren
Female
20 years old
Mysen

Do not travel with Frontier

1/10

-I was the only one on this project most of the time I was there. I was placed in a local family´s house instead on the beach camp as I was promised.

-I had to buy my own food, even though this should be included.

-Did three dives in three weeks, even though this was a marine conservation programme. The camp manager spent most of his time with his girlfriend, so I did basically nothing. Started volunteering at a dog shelter just to do something.

-I did not get any support from Frontier after the trip, not even an excuse.

Default avatar
Francisco
Male
24 years old
Portugal

Goods and bads

9/10

I was in Belize, Caye Caulker for whole month (August) with Frontier. First I have to say I loved my time there, that the lovely and extremely competent Frontier coordinators and the people who we were working there made the trip worthwhile, (the best trip of my life actually) including the people from the Fisheries Department, FAMRACC (who were both incridible) and Frenchies diving center although I had some horrible first days at camp because of the sandflies (that kind of ruined a bit the experience beacause they sting you all day) they dont let you sleep well and there is no other way besides not being at camp that can save you from them at it seems like a problem that Frontier doesnt look worried in adressing. Secondly i want to talk about the Frotier people from London HQ, that unlike the Frontier coordinators in Belize, were incompetent, they didnt know how to explain anything. They wouldnt let me talk to the coordinators in Belize unless I had payed for the volunteering, actually, they almost didnt know any relevant information or whatsoever about the project and also to top it all they, told me to book a hotel on the last day that wasn t at all necessary.
Overall I would recommend volunteering in Marine Conservation in Belize for sure but I wouldn t recommend Frontier to anybody who is thinking in doing volunteering, there are for sure better volunteering agencies or just talk directly with the organizations in the country you what to do the volunteering in.

Response from Frontier

Hi Francisco

It is fantastic that you had such an enjoyable and worthwhile placement at our Belize Marine Conservation project. We are certainly proud of the progress our staff and volunteers such as yourself have been making so far. We are sorry that you feel that certain aspects of the trip did not meet your expectations. Frontier aims to provide comprehensive and friendly pre-departure support to all our volunteers. We do our utmost to ensure that volunteers choose the most suitable project for their interests and strive to assist them in all aspects of their preparations. As is customary with our high level of service, we discussed the project details and conditions extensively with you and your family prior to signing up, both over the phone and through our website, and assisted in every way possible, and to the best of our knowledge, with questions concerning flights, medical forms and your online area. I hope you overall enjoyed your time with us, which it certainly sounds like you have, and we wish you the best in the future.

Regards, the Frontier team.

Default avatar
Kayla
Female
24 years old
Auburn, California
California State University- Monterey Bay

Introduction to the Life of a Marine Biologist and Island Life

8/10

This marine conservation project was the first volunteering abroad program that I have ever participated in. It offered me a taste if what it is like to work in the marine biology field and gave me a taste of island life.
I had expected to be doing surveys multiple times a week in order to really contribute to the conservation efforts here in Belize. However, during the month that I was volunteering I was only able to submit five surveys to the conservation project. I do not think I made the difference that I had intended to make when signing up for this project, but I was able to practice a variety of surveys including; fish, conch, benthic, and coral surveys.
While gaining survey experience on this project and a peak into the life of a marine biologist, I also got to learn the pros and cons of living on a tropical island. First of all camp was right on the water making a swim easily accessible and of corse there was always plenty of sun. However, the sand flies are quite bad making camp life less enjoyable. Life on camp is very primitive with simple meals and tight living quarters. However, if you are looking for a project were you can get a first hand look at the work of a marine biologist and are prepared for some rough, but rewarding living conditions then I would recommend this project.

How can this program be improved?

I really wish this project had more of a drive to contribute to the conservation effort here in Belize. I feel like I did not do enough and really wanted to do more surveys, bech clean ups, and conservation work.

Default avatar
Ale
Female
19 years old
Caye Caulker, Belize
University of Exeter

My experience at Caye Caulker

7/10

Overall I can say that my experience as a volunteer in Belize has been a unique one. This project is just starting,something that I would have definitely liked to know beforehand, as it would have meant that I would have come with a different mindset. I'm not saying that this is something bad, it simply meant that things weren't as organised or prepared as I would of thought. However, we took this as an opportunity to contribute towards the development of the project,and I will leave with the great satisfaction of knowing that we have made a difference and an impact for this project, and I leave with the hope that in the future Belize shall become one of Frontier's best and most popular projects, because it has the potential to do so.
At the moment the living conditions are very harsh, especially because of the sand flies and mosquitoes...they just don't stop! But despite how challenging life at camp can be, eventually you end up getting used to it (you even learn to tolerate the sandflies!). Because of all that I think I have mostly benefited at the personal level as this experience makes you grow up a lot as a person plus I've also learned new skills like driving a boat (kind of), skinning a coconut, IDying the wildlife you find in the sea, doing surveys and mastering your diving skills.
All and all, I don't regret at all my decision of coming here as I think it has definitely been worthwhile in terms of personal growth. I will leave with amazing memories from the locals and the various trips I made during my stay (Blue Hole, Mayan Ruins and Cave Tubing).

Default avatar
JoeLau
Male
42 years old
Belize
School of Oriental and African Studies

Two weeks in idyllic Caye Caulker

9/10

I spent an incredible two weeks with the enthusiastic young leaders of Frontier's Marine and Conservation project in Belize. Based on the sparsely inhabited northern isle of Caye Caulker, the isolated camp at the ranger station is very basic, but as back to nature as you can want short of settling under a palm tree. The project was still in start-up phase when I was there, but the team running the scheme have a clear idea on the objectives and science of the project, which has the close cooperation of Belize's Fisheries Department. I was not there long enough to really contribute to any science, but did help dry-run some of the regular tasks: training in fish, coral and habitat identification, and also participated in marine surveys. I was already PADI trained, so skipped a big part of joining a project like this in getting dive-qualified. But as I was much older than the normal target participant for a project like this, what I took away from my experience was always going to be different. And it was encouraging and inspiring watching the young people leading this scheme and I cannot speak highly of a great group of people. The people, isolation of the camp, basic living and beautiful location make up a fantastic experience for me.

How can this program be improved?

Sandflies at the camp were a constant problem; there were no good solutions while I was there, though the exposed pier provided relief most days. Mosquitoes also evident, but some camp hardships are expected.

Default avatar
Dave-O
Male
19 years old
Belize

Unbelizeable

8/10

Spending time in Caye Caulker, getting PADI certified and scuba diving has been an amazing experience. Spending time on the gorgeous reef as well as being able to identify the fish and other wildlife species has been a huge plus. The staff here has made it all worthwhile, they are very supportive and make you feel right at home. All in all this has been a fantastic experience.

Default avatar
nix2
Female
24 years old
Caye Caulker, Belize
Laurentian University

Go Slow

9/10

This is the general theme and slogan on Caye Caulker, so you can never expect to be rushed into anything. On camp, there is lots of work to be done and training is intensive. It's rewarding however at the end of a day to be able to identify more species and learn new skills. We get enough free time as well for independent review and research, which at times is also helpful to improve the project.

Diving qualifications are really fun and the local staff are well organized and accommodating. The Fisheries Deartment staff who we work with are lovely, and the project will be helping them out greatly for data acquisition.

The accommodation is basic, as you would expect for any camp. Just make sure you bring long trousers and bug spray! During time off there are hammocks to hang outside, and a daily swim I would highly recommend.

About The Provider

Thumbnail

A world of possibilities awaits you with Frontier. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white sand beaches of Fiji or discovering Madagascar on a conservation project with lemurs and chameleons.

Frontier has over 300 projects in 50 countries throughout Africa,

Read more...