The Atolls of Belize
Belize is home to three distinct and beautiful atolls located just kilometres from the mainland. One of the many reasons that so many tourists and travellers come to visit Belize throughout the year is to experience the wonder and wildlife of its many atolls. If you’re interested in learning more about the Atolls of Belize, take a look at some of their history and what makes them so special!
Glover’s Reef is a world heritage site and marine reserve located about 45 kilometres off of the Belizean mainland. So many visitors come from all over the world to see the atolls of Belize, and Glover’s Reef is one of the most popular. Established in the 1970s by a team of renowned coral reef scientists, Glover’s Reef is named after 1750s English pirate brothers John and Roger Glover. Since its establishment in the 1970s, Glover’s reef has become a protected wildlife reserve through the Belizean government and is visited by thousands of explorers, divers, and travellers each year.
The second of three Belize Atolls is the Lighthouse Reef. This atoll is the most popular space for diving and snorkelling because it’s home to the Great Blue Hole, a massive world-renowned diving site. Lighthouse reef is also home to the Half-Moon Caye which has been a government-protected bird sanctuary since 1928, protecting the rare and beautiful blue-footed boobie bird. Since then, the entire caye has become a protected space, with visitors coming from all over the world to see the incredible wildlife and dive the Great Blue Hole.
Of the three Atolls off of the Belize mainland, Turneffe Atoll has perhaps the most interesting history. Thought to once have been a hideout for pirates in the eighteenth century, where they would ambush passing Spanish ships, the Turneffe Atoll has been protected by the Belizean government for over 40 years. With diverse wildlife and rich cultural history, the Turneffe Atoll is a great place to visit for explorers, historians, and divers alike.
Interested in visiting these beautiful Belize reefs for yourself?
Just 30 miles from Belize City, Belize Dive Haven is located in pristine Turneffe Atoll. Consisting of creeks, lagoons, mangrove islands and cays, the atoll is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 different species of stony corals as well as birds, turtles, manatees and dolphins.