Welcome to the Reef
Experience idyllic tropical weather and privileged proximity to the reef when you stay at Zophora. Magnificent coral walls peek through the waters just offshore, inviting you to explore this portion of the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef system in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. With international flights landing in Belize City daily, our exclusive paradise rooted at the reef is easily within reach.
Where is Zophora?
Zophora is located on 80 pristine acres encompassing the southern hook of Long Caye, the largest of 6 islands within Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Long Caye is home to only a handful of private land owners with small, self-sufficient cabins and Zophora, which means that over 90% of its 650 acres exists as protected lagoons and mangrove sanctuaries that support an astonishing array of tropical wildlife such as breeding fish, resident and migratory birds, sea turtles and iguanas.
Approximately 45 miles east of Belize City, Lighthouse Reef Atoll is the outermost atoll in Belize but is easily accessible from mainland Belize City by boat (90 minutes) or float plane (45 minutes). We will arrange for a driver to transport you from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport to the Marine Terminal where you will board your boat or plane to the island. Journey by water to pass Turneffe Atoll and catch a glimpse of leaping fish and playful dolphins en route to Zophora, or travel by plane for a breathtaking aerial view of the Great Blue Hole, Belize’s own world-famous diving destination, appearing as a perfect circle of deep blue in striking contrast to the surrounding turquoise Caribbean.
Travel to Belize
Traveling to our Belize island is easy. Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) welcomes over a dozen international flights a day, including direct flights from Houston (2.5 hours), Miami (2 hours), and Atlanta (3 hours).
Belize is the only English-speaking nation in Central or South America, but it's not just the language that makes getting around easy, it's the kindness and sincerity of the people speaking it. Belizeans are immensely proud of their country’s rich cultural heritage and abundant natural beauty, and they love to share their country with visitors. Feel free to reach out to the friendly locals for advice; you're bound to receive helpful guidance and a great story to boot.
The currency in Belize, the Belize dollar, is based on the US dollar system and has a fixed exchange rate at 2 Belize dollars to every 1 US dollar. US dollars are commonly accepted, but change is often given in Belize dollars.
For visits to Belize lasting fewer than 30 days, no visa is required. A nominal departure tax will be added to your plane, bus or boat ticket out of the country.
Whether the snow or swelter has you looking to escape, Belize is a temperate retreat — the mean temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Like most subtropical destinations, there are simply two seasons in Belize — one characterized by cloudless skies, and the other by a higher probability of storms. The once-daily rainstorms or overnight showers of Belize’s wet season (June to December) support the bright tropical plant life that makes Belize so picture-perfect, but endless sunshine and clear skies reign in the dry season from late November to May. Damaging tropical storms are not unheard of but are quite uncommon; it is typical for hurricane-bearing storms to head northwest before striking Belize, making your chances of experiencing a hurricane in Belize much lower than they are in the southeastern United States.
Between dry and rainy season, the average temperature drops only about 8 degrees, which means that a wardrobe fit for perfect summer days of adventure, relaxation and exquisite beach-side dining will suffice no matter when you travel to Belize. We recommend a light jacket for evening strolls along the beach — the ocean breeze feels pleasantly cool and refreshing after the sun sets.
Why Lighthouse Reef Atoll?
"The outer reefs are unchallenged as Belize's premier diving area..." DiveQuest.com
Lighthouse Reef Atoll is a coral wonderland 27 miles long and 8 miles wide. There's a reason the live-aboard dive boats anchor just outside this renowned Belize reef for the majority of their trip — along Lighthouse Reef are dozens of the world's most varied, colorful and thrilling dives, including the Great Blue Hole. Almost every resort in Belize touts their proximity to these dive sites — but when they say "close," they mean the boat ride takes 1-3 hours. Zophora will be only the second dive resort located within Lighthouse Reef Atoll and is the first luxury eco-resort in the area, just 15 minutes from the Great Blue Hole and within 5-10 minutes of dozens of dive sites ranging from the most famous to as-of-yet undiscovered.
To learn more about the types of dives available, as well as fishing and other activities, visit our activities page.
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