The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reefs in the Atlantic-Caribbean coast of Belize, located more then 300 meters offshore, in the northern Ambergris Caye and 40 kilometers in the south within the country limits.
The Belize Barrier Reef is a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef) and extends 260 kilometers from the border with Mexico (Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula) to the north, to near the Guatemalan border to the south. These reefs are Belize’s top tourist destination, popular for water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling and they are attracting almost half of the country’s visitors.
Representing one of the most endangered natural ecosystems, with its exceptional beauty and amazing biological diversity, the Reserve System that includes Belize Barrier Reef has been designated as a World Heritage Site.
This natural wonder is the home for over 500 species of fish, 45 hydroids, 65 scleraetinian corals, 350 molluscs, plus a great diversity of crustaceans, sponges and marine worms. The area also has the largest population of West Indian manatee in the world and several birds of conservation concern which are inhabiting in the cayes and atolls.