Map & Background
One of the most attractive diving destinations in the world, Belize has approximately 60 miles of coral reefs stretching along its coasts, including diverse dive sites where you can swim among atolls, coral canyons, cliffs, and caves. CORAL currently works at two sites in Belize: Placencia and San Pedro. Placencia, one of three small villages settled on a small peninsula, is approximately 37 miles south of Belize City. San Pedro is a small town on Ambergris Caye, the largest and most northern of Belize's islands, approximately 37 miles from Belize City. An area rich in history and culture, Belize was first inhabited by the Mayas around 500 A.D. Because of the spectacular setting, tranquil life, and opportunties for snorkeling, diving, whale shark viewing, fishing, and boating, Belize is now a major tourist destination (jump to map).
- Fish species: Barracuda, tarpon, jack, snook, permit, cubera snappers, groupers.
- Invertebrates: Approximately 60 coral species, lobsters, conchs, sponges.
- Other large vertebrates: Sea turtles, including Green, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead turtles, bottle-nosed dolphins, manta rays, and the ocean's largest fish, the whale shark. The endangered manatee can also be found in coastal lagoons.
- Tourism is a primary source of employment in Belize.
- Placencia boasts sixteen miles of natural sandy beach, while San Pedro is just a stone's throw from the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
- Placencia has a primary sidewalk that runs through most of the town; it is known in the Guiness Book of World Records as the smallest street in the world. San Pedro's sandy streets are navigated mostly by golf carts and scooters.