Spend two weeks exploring the rich marine life of this beautiful tropical nation. Earn your PADI SCUBA certification or advance your current skills while diving in the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site. Spend your free time kayaking and paddleboarding through the clear tropical waters around our private Belize island.
Private Belize Island
Arriving into Miami, you’ll meet your ARCC leaders and fellow students, then fly together to Belize City, and onward to the small coastal village of Placencia. Here we will meet marine biologists from a local non-profit organization with a mission to protect our oceans through science, action, and advocacy. From Placencia, the group takes a short boat ride to the private island we will call home for the next week. We have the island entirely to ourselves for the next week as we delve deep into the marine conservation efforts in the area.
Caribbean Scuba Diving
The first three days will be spent practicing SCUBA skills to earn our PADI dive certification. Students who are already certified will jump directly into assisting the biologists with our spotlight project and marine research topics, with newly certified students joining them after they complete their skills tests. Together we enjoy world-class diving on some of the most unique habitats in the Caribbean.
Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site
In addition to the main project of controlling invasive lionfish populations, we’ll have the opportunity to get involved with various other ongoing projects on the island. These include measuring Caribbean Spiny Lobsters, protecting the breeding grounds of the iconic Queen Conchs, looking for migrating whale sharks, surveying the reef for areas of coral bleaching, and identifying fish and other marine life around the area.
Laughing Bird Caye National Park
After returning to the mainland, we’ll meet with a local non-profit organization that is helping lead one of the Caribbean’s most successful reef restoration projects. We’ll learn about the process of growing coral that is resistant to bleaching and disease, in an effort to save reefs from the effects of a changing climate. A visit to Laughing Bird Caye National Park allows us to see the results of the project, as we snorkel through the newly planted coral nurseries.
Having bonded as a group, we spend the last few days of our trip enjoying the tranquil atmosphere in Placencia where we’ll have a chance to enjoy authentic Belizean culture, including samples of local cuisine, shopping for handmade souvenirs, and mingling with friendly locals. We return home to share memories of the big adventures this small country has provided!