< All Blogs

Explore Magazine - David Webb. 'Belize: Underwater Photo Essay'

David Webb joined our  Paradise Islands lodge-to-lodge sea kayak, snorkel and Stand Up Paddleboard trip on assignment for Explore Magazine .  Be sure to check out his Underwater Belize Photo Essay !   

Belize: Underwater Photo Essay
David Webb.  Jan 15, 2014

Join me on an underwater exploration of Belize’s Barrier Reef — experience some of the world’s finest snorkelling and most abundant marine life.

In this Belize Photo Essay You Will Discover:
  • Huge Variety of Fish
  • Gorgeous Coral
  • Stinging Jellyfish
  • And More!
Most of my travels take me to the tropics. And if there’s access to the ocean, you can bet I’m going snorkelling. I can spend all day finning around the underwater world — breath-holding ’till I’m blue in search of more fish, more coral, more peaceful fluidity.
Belize has the finest snorkelling I’ve experienced. Better than Thailand. Better than Bali. Better even than Aruba. Better, dare I say it, than what I’ve experienced in my beloved Hawaii. Belize is home to the world’s second-largest barrier reef (I’m sure you can guess where the largest is), which harbours staggering marine biodiversity. You’ll discover fish, like the social wrasse, found nowhere else in the world. Plus, there are plentiful parrotfish, French angelfish, queen angelfish, gruntfish, cowfish, leopard rays, eagle rays, southern stingrays, trumpetfish, needlefish, neon-speckled squid, triggerfish, octopus, seahorses, invasive lionfish… too many to list. See for yourself:

Up-close with the stinger of the sea, a jellyfish!

A school of grunt fish swim around brain coral.

The ubiquitous conch shell; commonplace in Belize.

Vast coral-scapes characterize Belize’s marine environment.

Picturesque underwater…

Snorkelling in a mangrove stand offered a unique perspective of this fragile ecosystem.

French gruntfish are one of the most abundant species.

Be careful of stingrays hiding in the sand!


Fan coral and a scattering school of gruntfish.

Our guide, Felix, pursues an invasive lionfish. (He didn’t get it.)

Underwater in the mangrove trees…
Spotting the elusive queen angelfish (bottom) in the mangroves.

Snorkelling offshore of Tobacco Caye.


Our guide, Karm, pointing out some “shy” sea life.

Looking up from beneath the mangrove trees. Mangrove conservation is an important issue in Belize.

Always remember to do the “stingray shuffle” when wading in Belize! (Southern stingray.)

…Classic Belizean snorkel-shot…

Up close with a yellow sting ray.