The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef in the world and contains a variety of marine life. The reef encompasses 7 different areas that are protected and each have a unique underwater environment.
Home to many different marine life forms that are endangered, from fish to turtles to crocodiles, there is much to see. Every visit gives a unique experience as there are more than 400 islands along the coast for 185 miles to explore the reef from.
Some of the life that is there today may not be around in the future to see, so this is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should enjoy at least once.
The reef itself is a living entity created by tiny coral organisms numbered in the millions that form a huge wall. These organisms eat other marine life, usually small, but stinging their prey with tentacles to catch them. Algae lives inside of the reef, which gives the coral organisms oxygen to breathe, and in turn the coral gives the algae the carbon dioxide that it needs to survive.
A unique look
The Belize Barrier Reef contains a variety of reef types throughout the different areas. The coral that makes up the reef come in different colors such as gold, green, yellow, and red. The coral organisms often grow in different shapes that give different areas of the reef a unique look, which often help name that area of the reef.
The reef is home to many species that are in danger of going extinct. Life can be seen here that will probably not be seen anywhere else in the world, such as different types of turtles and birds. The reef also supports different kinds of sponges, worms, fish, crustaceans, along with other marine life. Water is very clear and is usually very shallow so visitors can easily see the colorful wildlife that lives below the surface.
7 sites in this World Heritage
- Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve
- Blue Hole Natural Monument
- Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
- South Water Caye Marine Reserve
- Glovers Reef Marine Reserve
- Laughing Bird Caye National Park
- Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve