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Belize Barrier Reef

Listed under Coral Reefs in Belize.

  • Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
  • Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
  • Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
  • Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
  • Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
  • Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
Photo of Belize Barrier Reef
Photo by flickr user World Resources Institute Staf
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Belize has a variety of reef ecosystems off it’s shores, the largest of which is the Belize Barrier Reef, the earths second largest barrier reef system. The variety of reef and lagoon environment makes Belize home to a huge diversity of coral and marine life, with an estimated 300 different species of fish and 65 types of coral, with new smaller species and molluscs being discovered each year. Reefs also attract other marine animals, like turtles, manatees and seabirds. Coral thrives here getting plenty of sunshine and fed from the multiple tributaries and currents that fill the waters with nutrients. On your way into Belize by air you can see the surf break against the thin yellow line of reef from the Yucatan Peninsula to Sapodilla Cayes, running almost the entire length of the island. Inside the barrier the water is shallow and looks bright azure from the air, while on the far side of the reef the water is deeper and darker blue. The reef’s corals come in a variety of shades and shapes, ranging from the delicate almost veinlike to the solid lumps and from greens to reds to yellows to browns. In the evenings there is more action amongst the coral as the polyps feed, poking their soft parts out of their calcium carbonate shells. Without the reef the sandy beaches of Belize would be eroded away in no time and the whole ecosystem is intertwined precariously with mangroves, sea fields and coastline. Even the health of the coral itself is held in a precarious balance. Enjoy the spectacular show the reef and it’s inhabitants put on but be careful not to cause damage, some sections of the reef have already been damaged or bleached.

Written by  Becky White.

Other expert and press reviews

“Belize Barrier Reef System”

The coastal area of Belize is an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. The system’s seven sites illustra… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

When you walk or dive in the barrier, the water is shallow and sapphire. However, as you move away from the barrier, it’s deep and dark shades of blue can be observed. I had great adventure during my venture.

Great Post. World’s second largest barrier reef, Belize Barrier Reef, position in the Northern Hemisphere, is a diving hub for all levels of divers. This reef conserves over 300 species of fishes and 66 kinds of coral, with many new species being found every year.

1 Reply

Sounds beautiful, great review!

when was the barrier reef Belize discovered

when the barrier reef in Belize discovered

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