Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Belize in Top 10 Caribbean Snorkeling Parks

MSNBC has listed Belize under their TOP 10 Caribbean Snorkeling Parks with, not only one but, two fascinating locations. Glover's Reef and The Isles of Sapodilla have made their Top 10 List.

Glover’s Reef is one of the Caribbean’s rare atolls, lying some 30 miles off the Belize coast and forming a large, protected link in the vast Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (locally called the Belize Barrier Reef). Created in 1993 and named a World Heritage Site in 2000, the reserve encompasses the entire atoll, down to the 100-fathom line, with no-take areas where grouper spawn, and zones that allow sustainable indigenous fishing or snorkeling and diving. Inside the atoll’s 80-square-mile lagoon, 700 coral patch reefs provide endless snorkeling and common sightings of turtles, sharks and rays.

At the southern end of Belize, 40 miles offshore from Punta Gorda, the 14 sandy isles of Sapodilla make up the elbow of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef as it bends toward Honduras. . Endangered hawksbill sea turtles nest on Hunting Caye, and it’s common to see turtles as well as nurse sharks, rays and all the ornamental reef fish. Accommodations in Punta Gorda, such as the Coral House Inn (coralhouseinn.net), can arrange local guides for the trip out to the cayes.

Other snorkeling parks include: Bonaire National Marine Park, Little Cayman - Bloody Bay Marine Park, Venezuela - Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Dominica - Soufriere/Scott’s Head Marine Reserve, St. Vincent + the Grenadines - Tobago Cays Marine Park, St. Lucia - Soufriere Marine Management Area, Bahamas - Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and in Mexico - Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve. Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27892516/

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