Experience, enjoy and explore the Belize Barrier Reef
Belize is blessed by having more than 180 miles of beautiful coral reef along its coastline. The Belize Barrier Reef annually draws thousands of travelers who want to experience world-class sailing, fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving along the second-largest barrier reef on the planet.
Although coral reefs account for less than 1% of the ocean, they are home to a staggering 25% of all marine life. Turtles, dolphins, sharks, rays, anemones, and more than 500 species of fish shelter, feed, and make their home in the Belize Barrier Reef, a site so lovely that Charles Darwin declared it one of the most stunning sites in nature that he had ever seen.
Two centuries later, famed French diver Jacques Cousteau rated sites on the reef as among his top 10 diving sites in the world. One such site is Glover’s Reef Atoll, a truly special place that begs to be explored. Wall diving from 40-60 ft offers the chance to see all kinds of rays, turtles and rivers of wrasse swimming along its stunning coral structures.
The entirety of the Belize Barrier Reef was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Encompassing a 370 by 185 mile stretch of the Caribbean, coral atolls, islands, and reefs, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to 70 different hard coral species and 36 different soft coral species. Despite regular scientific studies, only about 10% of the species on the reef have been formally documented.
The Belize Barrier Reef is sometimes called the “rainforest of the sea” due to its ethereal beauty and abundance of marine flora and fauna. Tourism to the reef plays an important part in the Belizean economy, generating more than $100 million a year.
It’s easy to spend a few days, weeks, or even months on the Belize Reef and never run out of new things to see and do. In order to make the most of your time on the reef, it’s essential to find a good place to stay. The Belize Ocean Club Resort, located on the beautiful Maya Beach on the Placencia Peninsula, is a luxury hotel with one and two-bedroom suites right on the water and six event spaces ideal for meetings, family reunions, or weddings. The Belize Ocean Club Resort also has not one but two restaurants on site and a lovely tropical swim-up bar.
The Placencia Peninsula is a popular tourist destination because of its unique beauty, close access to the top sites on the mainland, and proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef. The Belize Ocean Club Resort can arrange for a truly unforgettable vacation on the reef, organizing scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing trips to the reef.
Belize Underwater, a local marine tour company, offers snorkeling and scuba diving and can also help get you PADI certified.
Belize Underwater is also one of few dive shops in the country that offer weekly dives to Glover’s Reef Atoll. Jacques Cousteau ranked the reef at Glover’s as one of the top ten dive sites in the world.