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What makes diving so interesting off Placencia in general is that it marks the change in the Barrier Reef's structure from Northern Belize to the South. North of Columbus Caye, the area behind the reef is mainly flat, with extensive grass beds and patch reefs. As you move south toward Placencia, the reef structure transforms into a region of sink holes, pinnacles and the extraordinary formations called faros such as Laughing Bird Faro.

A typical diving experience out of Placencia on Laughing Bird Faro might include a morning dive at Brian's Dropoff. This dive site, located on the windward outer flank of the faro, provides spectacular underwater scenery and the opportunity to view eagle rays and turtles. Depths range from 75 to 100 feet. Lunch can be taken on Laughing Bird Caye in the form of a picnic basket from one of the local resorts, or a beach barbeque. During an after lunch snorkel, you can explore the rich waters around the island, including the spectacular Elkhorn forest on the west side of the island. An afternoon dive can include dives on any number of patch reefs inside the lagoon such as Lobster Garden, or explore the spur and groove in front of the island.

Even if you can't dive, snorkeling can offer you more than a glimpse of the wonders of Belize marine waters. Coral gardens abound in 10 to 15 feet of water around Laughing Bird Caye, as well as many other Cayes in the area. The Silk Cayes, Scipio and Colson Cayes offer clear shallow snorkeling. Half way between Placencia and Laughing Bird Caye, lay a small trio of cayes known as Bird Cayes. Here Frigate Birds, Pelicans and Brown Boobies nest, and fuel an explosion of marine life among the mangrove roots, seagrass beds and dropoffs accessible even to a beginning snorkeler.

You can get more information on diving and snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye and the Placencia region by emailing The Inn At Robert's Grove at info@robertsgrove.com . Or you can use the online form below.

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Diving the barrier reef dropoff

Elkhorn forest in front of Laughing Bird Caye

Diving the barrier reef dropoff

Snorkeling off Laughing Bird Caye

All Photos Tony Rath Photography


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