St. Georges Caye Resort Belize - Diving, Fishing, Spa Resort

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Good Advice on "Reef-Safe" Sunscreens

Dive_Snork Coral reef near St. George's Caye

Chances are you've heard about "reef-safe sunscreens" and the importance of using sunblock that doesn't contain harmful chemicals.

But which chemicals are harmful?  What does that even mean?

In May of this year, Hawaii passed a bill that prevents the sale of sunscreen containing UV-filtering ingredients, like oxybenzone (the most common compound found in nearly 3,500 sunscreens worldwide), octinoxate (even more toxic that oxybenzone, but usually found in lower concentrations), and octocrylene.  These are the dangerous chemicals have been linked to coral bleaching.

A good rule of thumb:  the simpler the formula, the better.  A great alternative to using sunscreen when diving or snorkeling is to wear a long-sleeved sun shirt or rash guard with a UPF (UV-protective fabric) of 50-plus.  It should have a crew neck and ideally will have a thumbhole to hold the sleeve over the top portion of your hands.  More coverage, less sunblock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of the Belize Barrier Reef

WHAT DOES OXYBENZONE DO TO THE REEF?

According to Craig  Downs, Ph.D., a forensic ecotoxicologist in Virginia and Executive Director of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, oxybenzone can damage coral DNA and might lead to what Downs calls "reef zombies" or corals and other reef organisms that look "healthy, but are actually sterile and dead - so they cannot reproduce."  Such UV-absorbing compounds can also contribute to coral bleaching, which occurs when the life-sustaining algae that normally lives on coral vanishes, due to changes in ocean temps, stress or pollution.  With these chemicals in the sea water, viruses can thrive, putting corals at risk of catching an infection and possibly lead to bleaching and death.

So, with information in hand, we'd like to give our some advise on buying a reef-safe sunscreen before you visit us at St. George's.  We care about your skin as well as our reef - so here's how you can help protect both!

1.  Find a sunscreen that does not have oxybenzone and octinoxiate listed in the ingredients

2.  Look for a mineral based sunscreen with the ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (mineral based sunscreens sit at the top of the skin and block the UV rays and are less likely to wear off)

3.  Ingredients that are "non-nano" (particles are below 100 nanometers so they cannot be ingested by corals)

4.  Reef-safe labels (be sure to double check the ingredients!)

Just in case you didn't have time to go shopping, or forgot your reef-safe sunscreen at home, we have them available in our gift shop!

You can learn more about shopping for reef-safe sunscreens online, but here's a great article for reference by Travel and Leisure Magazine.  Of course, you can always call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us with any questions you have!

 

 

 

 
 
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Favorite Underwater Sights Diving Near St. George's Caye

BlueHoleArea-39 The beautiful coral near the Blue Hole & Lighthouse Reef
We regularly get questions from scuba divers as they prepare for their trip to Belize.
 
What is it like diving the reef in Belize? Which fish and animals am I most likely to see?
 
Snapper:  So here is a list of our favorite underwater sights on the reef near St. George's Caye.  From our island, it's only a 5-15 minute boat ride to a variety of pristine dive sites.  We are the only dive resort in the area, so there are no other boats or divers - it's like having the reef all to yourself!  Many of the fish and creatures that divers encounter can also be seen on our private guided snorkel trips over the coral reef. 

WHAT YOU'LL SEE DIVING IN BELIZE

Snapper:  many varieties, including:  Gray, Dog, Mahogany, and Yellowtail

Parrotfish:  Stoplight (pictured below), Rainbow and Queen

Grouper:  Nassau and Black 

Angel fish:  Gray, French and Queen

Needlefish

Puffer fishe

Green moray eel and Spotted moray eel

Nurse sharks

On the Belize reef you will also see Barracuda, Snook, Squirrelfish, Wrasse, Horse-eye jacks, Belize permit, Tarpon, Bonefish, Fairy Basslet, Spotted eagle ray, and Stingrays.  (We also have a beautiful, but invasive species named the Lion fish.  We removed over 1,000 from the reef in October 2016 during our Lion Fish Dive Tournament).

 

Pictured above: Resort Manager Barry spears a lionfish on a dive near St. George's Caye

Our warm Caribbean waters also have Squid, Conch, Octopus (more often seen on Night Dives!), Dolphins, and the ever-popular Green sea turtles and Hawksbill turtles (so cute!!). 

Pictured above: Snorkel guide and sea turtle near Hol Chan Marine Reserve

In the waters of Belize, you can also see a variety of Jellyfish, Blue Tang, Lobster (if you enjoy eating lobster, the season is mid-June to mid-February), and a variety of coral:  Stag Horn coral, Brain coral, Elk Horn coral, plus many more. 

Want to know more?  Here's a fantastic website with "dive reports" on the fish species seen while diving in Belize.

Have questions about diving in Belize?

Contact us by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (800-813-8498) and we're happy to share more details on dive vacations in Belize and will help you plan the perfect trip!

 

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Online Gift Registry Now Available: Guests Can Buy You Amazing Belize Experiences as Wedding Gifts!

St.GeorgesCaye couple on overwater cabanas dock Your honeymoon in paradise just got even better

Your wedding guests would love to help you experience your dream honeymoon in Belize! We're excited to announce we now have an online registry where you can create your own personalized honeymoon gift registry. Not only can guests contribute gifts towards your private Overwater or Oceanfront Thatch Cabana on the beach, they can also purchase special experiences you select such as spa treatments, breakfast in bed, mainland jungle tours, scuba diving, snorkeling, and a private happy hour for two at the sandbar near the reef. 

Check out our new Gift Registry in the Romance & Honeymoons Packages section of our website, or by going directly here: https://belizeislandparadise.celebrationwishes.com/ Simply click "How It Works" in the upper right corner to get started! Online instructions are provided as you go, so it's easy to browse and select the items and experiences you want to add to your registry. 

Using our Gift Registry system, you can also create a free personalized wedding website and send announcements to all of your friends and family! Now your wedding guests can help give you the experience of a lifetime and, more importantly, you'll be on your way to creating your first memories as a married couple with an amazing honeymoon in Belize.

What are you waiting for? You can start creating your dream Wedding Gift Registry online right now! Or feel free to contact Lisa today for more information on honeymoon, anniversary, and other romantic Belize vacation packages at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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St. George's in The Hall of Fame from TripAdvisor - Again!

Jump off the dock at St Georges Caye Belize Celebrate with us!

Yay! Thanks to your Image result for five star graphic goldguest reviews the team at St. George's just earned another Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor -- AND receiving this Certificate for the last five years gets us in the Hall of Fame!

We are beyond thrilled and so proud of our team. Read our announcement from last year: We're Blushing! 2017 Experts' Choice Award and Best of Belize.

On behalf of our team, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! This means the world to us -- we live for your Image result for five star graphic goldreviews.  2018 is off to a great start in continuing our unmatched level of service.  In fact, we have some surprises up our sleeve for you.  Come visit us again soon!

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Belize Listed Top Underrated Tourist Destination by the Daily Telegraph

Aerial View Our beautiful remote island getaway

Have you seen the news? In an article published in the Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, Belize was ranked among 15 of the most underrated travel destinations in the world! What wonderful news for our beautiful country. We hope this encourages more people to visit our little slice of paradise in the Caribbean with beautiful beaches, an abundance of history and culture, and amazing dive spots like the Great Blue Hole and Belize Reef.

The author of the article writes, "One joy of traveling here is how empty Belize seems. While neighboring Mexico and Guatemala are famously populous and exuberant, here the roads are quiet, the beaches are relaxed and the archeological sites are often blissfully free of crowds."

Can you imagine a vacation with little to no people? That's exactly what you'll experience here at St. George's in Belize!

Best Things To Do in Belize

Based on years of introducing guests to this amazing travel destination, the team at St. George's has a list of our favorite activities, besides the awesome diving and snorkeling on the nearby reef. We can introduce you to these spots with our in-house tour guide on small, private tours. See everything you want, ask all the questions, take all the pictures! 

  • Cave tubing and jungle zip-lining
  • Lamanai Maya ruins
  • St. Herman's Cave and Blue Hole National Park
  • Belize Cultural Adventure
  • Day trip to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye

Our island's close location the the mainland means you have easy access to jungle adventures to see Maya ruins and you won't waste precious time traveling back and forth. We're the perfect island location if you want privacy and seclusion, but also be close to all the adventures and fun of Belize!

For more details on Belize Tours and Adventures, check out our activities page at www.belizeislandparadise.com/activities/belize-adventures

 

 

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What is a Resort Dive?

StGeorgesCayeUW-207 Learn to Dive on the Belize Reef

Learning to scuba dive is an amazing experience, but not everyone is ready to jump in for the full open-water scuba certification course. That's where the resort dive comes in!

A resort dive is a safe and excellent introduction to scuba diving that requires no previous diving experience. The half-day course is very popular because it lets you experience the underwater world without having to invest a lot of time.  The open-water certifications require classroom time, an exam and take 4-5 days to complete.

The experience and cost for a resort dive can be credited towards further training if you later decide to get SCUBA certified (usually for a period of six months).

 

What's Included in a Resort Dive?

Resort courses are a half-day and may include your dive equipment such as BCD (buoyancy control device), regulator, gauges, tanks, and weights. During the course you receive basic training from a Certified Dive Instructor (CDI) on safety and equipment, followed by a dive in open-water to a maximum depth of 30 feet. After completing the course, you are free to dive as many times as you like as long as it is with a CDI and the depth is no deeper than 30 feet. Most dive centers in tourist locations offer this introductory half-day course. SSI calls the course "Try Scuba" NAUI calls it "Try Scuba/Passport Diving" and PADI calls it "Discover Scuba."

Our resort has a SSI-Certified Dive Center and we offer "Try Scuba" to our guests.  In fact, you can complete the introductory session with our CDI for FREE in the pool!  Afterward, if you like it, we will take you out to the reef for your official resort dive.  The dive sites are only 5-10 minutes away by boat. 

Learn more about diving with us. 

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12 Things To Do in Belize When Not Diving

Belize-Cave-Tubing-1 Cave Tubing on a jungle river
 

Belize has become a popular tourist destination for many reasons:  the fabulous weather, friendly people and the fantastic variety of activities on land and in the water - especially the scuba diving and snorkeling.

As a scuba diver, you are no doubt considering Belize because of the second longest barrier reef and bucket-list dive sites like Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Caye, Great Blue Hole, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The diving here is out of this world! We know you won't be disappointed. 

But even the most avid diver needs surface time. So, what else is there to do in Belize?  We've compiled a list for you!

12 Things To Do in Belize When Not Diving 

  1. Visit Maya ruins such as Xunantunich, Caracol, Altun Ha, Cahal Pech, and Lamanai. Tikal is just over the border in Guatemala and also accessible as a day trip. 

  2. Relax with a hot stone massage. 

  3. Whiz through the jungle canopy on a zip-line tour.

  4. Take a guided fishing trip for the "big three" of tarpon, permit, and bonefish. If you prefer to reef fish, you are likely to catch snapper, grouper, barracuda, and more.

  5. Kayak through the mangroves and along the reef.

  6. Try the standup paddleboarding on the calm waters around the mangroves and cayes.

  7. Go cave tubing on a jungle river with headlamp and helmet. 

  8. Take a helicopter or plane ride over the iconic Great Blue Hole.

  9. Visit beach bars and go shopping in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (La Isla Bonita). You can also try parasailing or sky diving while in San Pedro!

  10. Buy gorgeous handmade arts and crafts from locals.

  11. Drink tropical cocktails and Belikin beers on the beach.

  12. Watch the sunset from a swimming pool (you have the perfect location at St. George's!)

 

Many of these recommended activities can be done here, or on one of the private guided tours we offer from St. George's Caye Resort. If you want more jungle time, we also have jungle-beach combo packages where you spend three or four nights on the mainland of Belize, then you come to our island paradise for the remainder of your trip.  We are less than a mile from the reef for diving, diving, and more diving. 

Want more recommendations?  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We're happy to help you plan the perfect trip to Belize!

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