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Acropora photographed in Belize

Belize, May 2023 Trip Report

Belize 2023

This was my third trip to Belize in eight months and with every trip, it just seems to get better and better on almost every level. Turneffe Island Resort had the chance to make some upgrades that look fantastic, including a huge clubhouse, and a new beach bar-b-cue that we were able to break in! But it was the reefs that stole the show of course.

There were moments during our snorkeling where the health and abundance of coral in the given view made me wonder if this is what most reefs in the area looked like in the height of coral prosperity in the Caribbean. And though we have less available today, the reefs of Belize, particularly in and around Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef, still have some of the magic left. Huge stands of elkhorn and staghorn coral were encountered on nearly every snorkel, and along with the colorful parrotfishes, angelfishes, and butterflyfishes, we had the chance to see several sharks and rays as well as a few sea turtle sightings near Blue Hole.

Speaking of the world famous Great Blue Hole, we had a great snorkel session along the inner rim where we were practically escorted around the edge by queen angelfish and a pair of midnight parrotfish. After our snorkel, we visited Halfmoon Cay for the chance to see local frigatebird and red-footed booby nesting sites.

We also visited a new snorkeling site for me, and it will now absolutely be a part of our itinerary! The extensive, shallow coral garden not only possessed a great variety of coral, but because part of it was exposed at low tide, we had the chance to look for small invertebrates amongst the nooks and crannies of the reef. Flamingo tongue cowries and lettuce sea slugs were easily seen by everyone.

What started out in 2016 as a chance to explore a bit of the Caribbean has turned into an annual event, and we will visit the remarkable reefs of Belize in 2024! In the meantime, please check out our gallery below!