Belize Barrier Reef

barrier-reef-of-belize

When you hear the word barrier reef  it tends to conjure up images of  Australia.  But did you know that there is a pristine barrier reef just off the coast of Belize?

This reef is 185 meandering miles (298 km) of unspoiled beauty. It varies from 8 to 16 miles (13-26 km) from the mainland, but is less than one mile (1.6 km) offshore from Ambergris Caye.  It lies just east of the caye and runs the entire 25 mile length of the island.  It’s the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world. 

Once you’re inside the reef the water is shallow and has a blue tinge. The section of the reef off Amerbergris Caye is an almost so!id wall of magnificent coral formation broken only by narrow channels called “quebradas”.  If you love to scuba dive or snorkel, this is heaven – you can  watch unending variety, shapes and colours of tropical coral decorated with amazing underwater life. 

The best dive sites are easily accessible: Lighthouse Reef, Turneffe Islands, as well as many excellent sites right off Ambergris Caye. And combined with excellent weather conditions and clear warm water this island is one of the most popular destinations in Belize.

FACTS:

How to get there:

Getting to San Pedro is easy as key lime pie, but it does require at least one stop along the way. There is no international air service direct to San Pedro’s little 3,000 foot airstrip. Continental, American and TACA fly nonstop into the International Airport at Ladyville just north of Belize City from four U.S. gateways:

Charlotte, North Carolina via US Airways
Houston, Texas – via Continental Airlines or TACA Airlines
Los Angeles / Long Beach, New Orleans, and San Francisco / Oakland – via TACA Airlines
Miami, Florida – via American Airlines or TACA Airline

Where to Stay:

One exquisite find on Ambergris Caye is La Perla Del Caribe, a collection of privately owned villas right on the beach.

belize villa 2

 

Each villa is distinctively designed with a Mediterranean-style architectural motif that is unique in Belize. You can laze at the pool, stroll on the white sand beach and enjoy spectacular sunsets. Or if you want to be active, the concierge can arrange for you to go on exciting adventure excursions into the rain forest where you will see incredible wildlife and have a change to visit the ruins of the Mayan civilization.

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