Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Belize’s Barrier Reef, an Ultimate Diver’s Mecca


Belize Barrier Reef-Placencia
Belize’s amazing Barrier Reef is any avid diver’ or snorkeler’s aquatic playground that provides the ultimate experience. Divers from all over the world are discovering Belize’s exotic marine life and pristine waters and attest to the barrier reef being a colossal aquarium of exotic critters, graceful invertebrates, and colorful sea life. Spanning most of Belize’s coastline with 185 miles, this reef is the longest in the Western Hemisphere.

Belize has a remarkably high concentration of marine life. Schools of exotic fish, colorful coral gardens, grottos and walls lined with sponges appearing to have internal bioluminescence, caverns decorated with stalactites and ocean critters are ever present. More than 50 species of corals and 400 species of fish call these waters home including the horse-eye jack, barracuda, yellowtail snapper, pompano and goliath grouper often seen cruising the reef.

Belize Barrier Reef- Sea Turtle
With spectacular strings of unspoiled islands atop sparkling clear waters and three atolls, Belize is a mecca for divers and a water-borne Garden of Eden for water sports enthusiasts.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve, an offshore caye, is an excellent diving area easily accessed from San Pedro and Caye Caulker – two formerly sleepy fishing villages offshore and now popular tourist destinations and hub for divers. Inside the reef, coral rises to the surface in a long snaking ridge. Outside, the reef gently slopes down to some 40 feet, revealing many shallow water corals and a plethora of gorgonians. The sloping ledge is deeply cut with cracks and crevices winding to the reef’s outer edge where a great wall drops to the depths of the sea.

At Turneffe Islands, Lighthouse Reef and Glover’s Reef, the atolls provide scenic underwater topography and offer excellent variety of diving options. 


Belize Barrier Reef- Conch on Sea-floor
A truly fascinating phenomenon at Lighthouse Reef is the iconic Blue Hole. A titanic cave, once dry as demonstrated by the presence of stalactites, has been submerged since the end of the last Ice Age. A portion of its ceiling collapsed at some point in time, creating a blue hole more than 400 feet deep and nearly 1,000 feet across. At 100 feet, the wall gives way to a deep undercut. At a depth of 130 feet, the softly lit cavern’s 25 feet and upside-down monoliths hang from the ceiling. The sight of stalactites, silhouetted against the blue glow of the filtered light coming from beyond the ledge, is no ordinary experience. Some are so large that five divers side by side would not be enough to encompass them.

For all these reasons, Belize is the ultimate archipelago of natural and unspoiled beauty like a shining gem in the sun and mecca for divers from all over the world. But don’t take our word for it, be on the inside of Belize’s underwater paradise!