“The most remarkable reef in the West Indies” – Charles Darwin, 1842
If the remarkable Charles Darwin said it, you best believe it! The Belize Barrier reef is home to a remarkable chain of coral reefs on the coast of Belize. However, the most spectacular sight of this Heritage site lies 50 miles from coastline, southeast of Belize City.
Part of the three atolls of the Belize Barrier Reef, the Lighthouse Reef is an oasis for divers of any calibre. It is wedged in the Caribbean sea and is perhaps the most notable atoll because of the Great Blue Hole.
Referred to as a National Monument, it is a 124-metre-deep marine sinkhole. Lighter shades of blue form a ring around an alarmingly deep navy-coloured surface where the ground dips into the sinkhole. Plunge into the tropical waters and immerse yourself in wonderment as you explore nature’s inexplicable beauty.
Stalactites line the Great Blue Hole, enhanced by the rays of light penetrating the crystal clear waters. The bustling undersea life thrives in the warm waters. Exotic species of plants and animals are woven into the surroundings in rushes of bright colours. Moreover, if you are lucky enough, a hammerhead shark will glide past you.
However, the Great Blue Hole is not the only allure of the Lighthouse Reef. It is numerous other diving sites too! At the southeast corner of the Reef, the Half Moon Caye (Island) is also monumental for divers to explore. They can find themselves in the midst of underwater canyons walled with displays of vibrant sponge formations, corals and animals including sea turtles and eagle rays!
Spend a day diving and exploring the Lighthouse Reef and the area around it. There are a whole array of tour groups that organise daytrips out of Belize to the Half Moon Caye and the Great Blue Hole. One such company is the Belize Concierge which organises day diving/snorkelling trips for everyone, including kids. There are also other notable diving spots include the Long Caye Aquarium and the Silver Caves.
The Lighthouse Reef and the area surrounding it can be accessed solely though boats as it is an offshore location, away from the city. Thus, diving tour operators can be engaged from San Pedro, Hopkins and Belize City.
All in all if you are a watersports junkie or simply a person who loves basking in the magic of the sea, Lighthouse Reef is a location you should definitely check it out today!