Sarteneja, Belize: Pre-Departure Briefing

Please click on the images and links below to download pre-departure forms and guides.

Paying your balance

You can pay your balance via cheque, bank transfer, or securely online via PayPal (please note there is a 3% PayPal charge).

For more information on the different options, please download the payment details.

If you need a PayPal invoice or have any questions at all, please contact the London office.

Pre-departure information

Download the Belize Expedition Handbook

It is very important that you read this thoroughly before you leave and print important sections.


In the pre-departure guide, we recommend a number of places you can get quotes for your flights – however, you may find it convenient to check flight prices using Longreach’s online booking tool:

Click here to search for flights! >>

Blue Ventures support the UK governments ‘Know before you go’ campaign.  This link gives up to date health and safety tips to travellers.

Dive Kit

We have prepared a Belize Dive Kit list – essential reading if you’ve never dived before and you’re feeling a bit bewildered about what kit to buy. You will need to bring the items marked ‘essential’. We have some items marked ‘recommended’ on site for you but some volunteers may like to invest in these items too.


Once you place down a deposit you will be sent an email with some links to forms to upload information that we need from you.  These links are specific to you, so please don’t lose them and don’t let any other volunteers use them.  If you have any problems filling these in, please contact our London office.

You will need to take copies of various things to site with you.  These are:

  • Your travel insurance certificate (if you decide not to buy the Blue Ventures travel insurance)
  • Your DAN membership card or copy of confirmation email
  • Your diver certification cards (where applicable)
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your medical forms


You will need valid travel insurance and Divers Alert Network (DAN) membership to cover you for your entire expedition. You can purchase travel insurance from the insurer of your choice, but it is very important that you join DAN as they are familiar with the location of our research and dive sites. Divers Alert Network is an organisation which provide emergency medical support and logistics for divers worldwide.

For DAN insurance, we require a minimum of Basic Membership (Student Membership will not cover all the diving you will be doing):

Travel Insurance

Safety is extremely important when travelling on a Blue Ventures expedition. It is therefore within our booking conditions that you have adequate insurance in place before you travel with us.


Species Identification guides

It is very important you have a copy of Paul Humann’s “Reef Fish Identification” (preferable) or Ewald Lieske’s “Coral Reef Fishes” and also have a copy of Paul Humann’s “Reef Coral Identification- Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas” – which will help you immensely in mastering your species identification. We also recommend Paul Humann’s “Reef Creature Identification”.

We have created a fish and benthic species list for Belize as well including target species so please be familiar with this before you go. You will be split into two groups; Fish and Benthic so you will either have to learn one group or the other from this document. If you have a preference do let us know in advance, otherwise it will be done at random and we will endeavour to notify you a few weeks before you go.

Marine Science Training Handbook

Download the Belize Marine Science Training Handbook

The handbook provides an important overview to the training you will be given on your expedition. We recommend reading this prior to your expedition as it will prepare you for your training on site and enable you to start work on our underwater survey programmes as soon as possible.

Fish ID Test


We have an online practice test for fish & benthic species in Belize. You can take the test at

A digital species library for the fish families and species of the Western Indian Ocean can be found  Again, this has been constructed from the valuable work done by volunteers at our Madagascar site.


In case of an emergency only, you can contact our field site in Belize by ringing:

+44 (0)7909 525 410

If normal communication are not working, a message will be relayed to the camp via satellite telephone.

Please remember to inform family and friends that to contact them from Belize is difficult and therefore they should not worry if they have not heard from you whilst you are in the field.

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