Visitors to Belize consistently rate marine attractions as the primary reason for visiting. Belize is blessed with rich diversity in its marine habitats, resulting in UNESCO awarding World Heritage Status to the Belize Barrier Reef. The marine attractions are as varied as the natural formations that make up this 185-mile coastal wonder. Explore the barrier reef, atolls, and over 400 islands, white sand beaches, fringing and patch reefs, over 100 species of coral, hundreds of species of fish and an abundant variety of marine life. To ensure the survival of these delicate ecosystems, miles of the Belize Barrier Reef have been designated as marine reserves.
With underwater visibility routinely extending to 200 feet, divers of all ages and abilities find their way to Belize. Divers are eager to explore the spur and groove coral formations and sheer walls along the length of the reef. Get certified before you visit, or introductory courses are available with qualified dive instructors in any of Belize’s coastal or island locations. Popular dive sites include the atolls, the world-famous Blue Hole, Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, and seasonal whale shark encounters at Gladden spit.
Float atop the warm, clear turquoise waters with a mask and snorkel provides an exciting glimpse into Belize’s underwater glories and is a “must see” even for the first-time snorkeler. Knowledgable local guides will help you explore the kaleidoscope of color found in hard and soft corals, vibrant sponges and over 500 species of fish. Swim with the gentle rays and docile nurse sharks in waist deep water of enjoy the view from 20ft above on the water’s surface.
No matter what your level of expertise or interest is, Belize has world-class fishing from Bacalar Chico in the north to Punta Icacos Lagoon in the south. The reef flats and grass beds around mangrove islands and coastal lagoons throughout the country provide the opportunity for fly fishing’s “Grand Slam” – tarpon permit and bone fish. The many river mouths are home to snook, tarpon, and jacks. Near the Barrier Reef spend a day or hour bottom-fishing for grouper, barracuda or snapper. And for the adventurous, troll offshore for big game fish including marlin, sailfish, bonito, and kingfish. To protect our delicate ecosystem, Belize practices “catch and release” sportfishing.
Greet the sun with a short early morning kayak or choose a week-long kayak adventure between islands. Inside the shallow fore reef, be on the lookout for fish, rays and dolphin or explore the intricate mangrove ecosystem for resident and migratory birds in the branches and the delicate seahorse in the root systems.
The constant trade winds and wide expanse of calm waters inside the barrier reef and along the coast make it an ideal background for sports such as wind surfing, kite surfing/boarding and parasailing.
Sailing inside the protected length of Belize’s Barrier Reef allows visitors to explore the islands and snorkel among the patch reefs. Whether on a private vessel making port, or looking for a bare boat charter, Belize has dependable facilities and numerous professional operators ready to meet your cruising needs.
Questions about reef and beach activities? Call us toll free at 877-709-8708. We’d love to help you plan your Belize Adventure Vacation.