Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most unique places you can visit in the world. Home to colorful coral, countless species of fish, reef sharks and many others. Many snorkel and dive sites are located along the reef and the many islands found near it. Belize barrier reef has faced many environmental issues,from coral reef bleaching to made issues such as; vessels running aground or anchoring on the reef.
The reef remains a big draw to people on vacation in Belize. It is known globally for fantastic snorkeling and diving. Tour operator all along the cost of offer tours the Belize barrier reef and the tropical islands it protects.
The Belize Barrier Reef you’ve probably seen on your flight, just before landing. At roughly 180 miles long, Belize barrier reef is the second largest in the world. Second behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean. The Barrier Reef stretches along the coast of Belize, making it the longest in the Caribbean Sea and the Western hemisphere. It forms a part of The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, known widely as the Great Mayan Reef and can be seen from space.
Belize Barrier Reef Threats
In 2009 the Belize barrier reef was placed on the list of World Heritage. Between 2015 and 2016 little less than a quarter of all coral offshore Belize faced bleaching. Releasing this the country took the recommended step and implementation. The reef has since made a stunning recovery and has been taken off the list.
The biggest threats the reef is facing today are the invasion of Lion-fish and man-made disasters such as vessels running aground or anchoring on the reef. Natural disasters such as hurricanes threaten the reef each year as the hurricane season begins.
Belize Barrier Reef environmental issues may reduce even more as Belize is one of the first countries to join the Global Ocean Alliance 30by30 initiative. This initiative would protect 30% of the world ocean by 2030 while helping to protect marine wildlife.
The reef is home to a couple well known Marine reserves, such as the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and Hol Chan Marine Reserve in the North access be tours from Ambergris Caye, our Caulker. The Gladden spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve are accessed from Dangriga, Hopkins and Placencia.
The barrier reef tours are offered in many of Belize vacation packages, but here at Placencia Wildside Adventures. We offer snorkeling and diving to many places on the reef in the inner lagoon of the reef. The Coral island protected by the reef has mangrove forests, perfect for the nursery of fishes who inhabits the reef.
With the combinations of Reef and Mangrove forests, snorkeling and diving is the part of Belize that is amazing. See many marine life like: sea turtles, snappers, groupers, Angelfish, manatees, shellfish, Spotted eagle rays, anemones, lobster, parrot fish, octopus, needle nose fish and other shallow water inhabitants.
Go just beyond the reef for awesome deep sea fishing in Belize. Go after Dorado, Wahoo, Marlins, Jacks and other fish that will test your strength. Fly fishing or trolling is mainly done on the shallow islands of various patch reefs that can be found around these islands.
Some of the popular destinations to visit are the Atoll (cayes) behind the reef. Tobacco, Southern water along with the two largest islands are great places. Some seaside destinations are Placencia Peninsula or Hopkins, both boasting white sandy beaches and unique cultural experiences.
Touring the Belize barrier reef cannot be done all at once. The best way to cover a large portion of the Reef is to book a Trip with Nauti by nature in Placencia. They offer a tour that starts from Belize City and follows the reef down to Placencia with stops at a couple island resort.
Don’t miss an opportunity to experience Snorkeling, Diving, Island hopping or fishing for yourself or family!