There’s no doubt that the lure of the sea is what draws so many to the Caribbean. We yearn to marvel at the endless spectrum of blue it offers- from the light turquoise of the shallows to the dark royal of its depths. We love the feeling of being buoyed by its salt, swayed by its waves and refreshed by its splash. The vessels, the sports, the life…here are some of the ways to enjoy one of Belize’s biggest assets:
Whether you’ve done it before or not, the wonder of seeing a whole different world under the sea never fails to amaze. In the shallow waters that surround most cayes, you are invited to swim with a school of blue tangs, follow an angel fish or hunt for lobster under the shaded crevices of its coral cave.
Although the barrier reef in Belize is the second largest in the world and runs the coast of the country, inside of it, there is coral to be found all through its waters in what is known as the ‘inner reef’. Large purple fans that seem to wave at you as you swim over top of them and orange elkhorn coral that branches out in all directions are homes to thousands of Caribbean fish. Even in spots without coral beds, with sand or grassy bottoms, when you have your mask on you can spot an eagle ray soaring, a turtle heading up for air or a nurse shark meandering along.
Most excursions from Placencia are a full day adventure, offering you at least two opportunities to snorkel- check out Seahorse Dive Shop or Go Sea Tours. You’ll be fitted for your gear before you leave- having good equipment is essential to enjoyment so take the time to find a mask that fits and fins that don’t pinch your feet. Stick close to your guide as you go! Most of the guides in Placencia grew up in the sea and their eyes are accustomed to spotting things we might not even notice. They’ll also be able to identify it for you when you come up for air.
For the more adventurous out there, scuba diving is a way to get even closer to this underwater world. If you haven’t got your open water certification when you arrived, there are several dive shops that offer the course and are qualified to train and accredit you. Our suggestion is to visit www.padi.com and take the online theory course before you arrive. Then all you have to do is your qualifying dives…and where better to do them than in a place notorious for its diving?
For those who are more advanced in their skill set, diving may very well be one of your main motivations for coming to Belize. From a wall dive at Silk Cayes while your family snorkels, to a purposeful adventure outside the reef to spot whale sharks or a three dive day to The Great Blue Hole and Lighthouse Atoll, Belize offers something for every skill level and some of the greatest diving in the world. Check out Splash Dive Center for a great experience!
You’ll notice that there is no shortage of seafood on the menus of Placencia Peninsula. What you may not know is that there are actually many different ways to acquire that seafood. From spearfishing a lionfish or a lobster, to hand line fishing off the pier or casting a fly off a caye, Belize draws in expert fisherman of all types.
Head out in a local skiff and catch bait in the lagoon. Trowel with a flashy lure in the inner reef and bring home a barracuda, a snapper or grouper for dinner. Climb aboard one of the large deep sea vessels and head outside the reef. You’ll spend the day following the birds and they’ll lead you to your prized catch of tuna or marlin.
However you choose to do it, be sure to bring only enough home to feast on! Belize has strict laws about catch and release and only fishing for what’s in season. This ensures that there always be fish left to catch! Our suggestion is that you go with a local guide like Martin Westby who has been doing it his whole life- it’ll be an authentic Belizean experience!
There’s just something about the wind rustling your hair like it rustles the jib, there’s just something about the sound of no motor roaring but still moving fast. There’s just something about sailing that makes you feel, for a minute, like everything is perfectly in place. The blue of the sky meeting the horizon in a perfect line is one of the best ways to experience
However you choose to do it, Palm Reef invites you to come Sea the best of Belize!