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Setting & Trip Route
GLOVER'S ATOLL - ONE OF THREE CORAL ATOLLS OFFSHORE OF BELIZE, GLOVER'S REEF WAS NAMED AFTER THE ENGLISH PIRATE JOHN GLOVER WHO USED THIS REMOTE OFFSHORE RING OF ISLANDS AND CORAL REEFS AS A BASE FROM WHICH TO RAID SPANISH MERCHANT SHIPS DURING THE 17TH CENTURY.
Today, the attractions found within the atoll (20 miles long by 7 miles wide) are the incredible clarity of the water and the remarkable profusion of marine life. In 1993, the atoll was declared a marine park and to further efforts to protect this extraordinary environment, the atoll was designated as a World Heritage Site, in 1996. We travel and explore this extraordinary area from our fully-equipped basecamp by sea-kayak, paddling and sailing the shallow 82 square mile lagoon with over 700 patch reefs. The reefs of Belize have long been known as the richest and most developed in the Caribbean, and Glover's is the best in Belize!
Glover's Reef Atoll
Thirty six miles offshore lie a group of tropical islands, cradled within a turquoise lagoon and surrounded by a living coral reef.
Glover’s Reef Atoll, considered one of the richest tropical marine environments in the entire Caribbean is protected as a Marine Reserve and is a designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Atoll is 32 km long by 12 km wide, encompassing a turquoise clear shallow lagoon with an estimated 850 coral heads and pinnacles rising to the surface. On the eastern edge of the atoll, five post-card perfect sand cayes, fringed with coconut palms lie atop the reef crest. The prevailing NE Trade winds blow across hundreds of miles of open sea before reaching the atoll where the swells break and dissipate in foaming white surf. This east wall of the atoll is breached in three places by channels, allowing for a tidal flow of water into the lagoon that sustains one of the most diverse coral ecosystems in the Caribbean.
At our basecamp perched on the white sand shores of Southwest Caye - with stunning views facing east over the main reef crest and the open Caribbean Sea - we are ideally located for snorkelling, sea kayaking and kayak sailing, diving and fishing. Led by guides who are skilled naturalists, fishermen and kayakers, your experience at Glover’s is a blend of adventure, island culture, tropical vacation and learning. The remarkable abundance of life and the complex, simple beauty of this richest of tropical marine environments leaves its mark on all those who are fortunate enough to visit.
The Belize Barrier Reef
OFF THE COAST OF BELIZE LIES A BIOLOGICAL GEM AMONG THE WORLD’S TROPICAL MARINE HABITATS.
Extending north and south for one hundred and eighty miles the barrier reef offshore of Belize is considered the most diverse section of the entire Mesoamerican Reef system. The Belize Reef is unmatched for snorkelling, sea kayaking and diving with an incredible diversity of corals and an abundance of tropical fish. Our area of exploration is within the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We travel from caye to caye by sea kayak, staying at small, family-run lodges, soaking in the easy-going, friendly Belizean character and each day venturing out to explore the magic and beauty of this tropical marine wilderness.
In Belize, we find a continuous reef structure running the length of the country and paralleling the coast. From the mainland coast, the reef cannot be seen; it lies 10 to 20 miles offshore. Travelling east from the mainland, the reef first becomes visible as a line of white surf crashing over the reef crest, with blue sea to the outside marking the deeper habitat of the fore reef. Approaching closer, we first enter the reef’s lagoon; a shallow area of turquoise waters, brilliant white sand flats and waving beds of turtle grass and corals. Cuts or breaks in the outside reef are common; this is where wave action cuts out channels into the lagoon which serve as navigation routes to and from the open sea. Shielding the coast of Belize from the full force of the sea, the barrier reef is a unique example of a living community of coral animals that has profoundly changed geography. Sheltered behind this living reef, small cayes (islands) of coral-sand form and in the sheltered lagoons mangroves thrive. The mangrove’s submerged roots trap sediments, which create important habitat for juvenile fish, countless marine invertebrates and a rich array of seabirds.