Why Belize’s Lighthouse Reef Atoll is One of the Most Beautiful Places in the Caribbean

by Khaila Gentle
HMC aerial by Belize Audubon Society 5

There’s a reason the Caribbean is Conde Nast Traveler’s favorite place to travel right now. In addition to being at the forefront of the current tourism rebound, the Caribbean – and its many islands and coastlines – is one of the most picturesque places in the world.

From stunning blue depths to lush green peaks, there’s much to be admired in this eclectic region. That includes here in Belize, where unspoiled atolls and offshore diving havens continue to impress with their beauty. The Lighthouse Reef Atoll, found some 50 miles southeast of the country’s coast, is one of CNT’s most beautiful places in the Caribbean. Here’s why.

Unspoiled, Remote Paradise

Home of beautiful coral, pristine shallow waters, and the magnificent Great Blue Hole, the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is both a divers paradise and the perfect destination for anyone hoping to unplug from the world. At thirty miles long and eight miles wide, it is the easternmost atoll and includes two of the country’s most beautiful natural monuments.

Exploring the Blue Hole & Other Dive Sites

great blue hole belize

Stalactites of the Great Blue Hole. Photo by Antonio Busiello/WWF

A Caribbean destination that’s worthy of anyone’s bucket list, the Great Blue Hole is teeming with mystery and natural splendour. Plunge into the depths of this 400 ft deep sinkhole that was once an elaborate underwater cave. If you’re an adventurous soul (like many divers and even Costeau’s grandson) you’ll get the chance to witness spectacular vertical cliffs and over-hanging shelves. (Though, you need an Advanced Open Water Diving Certificate). Other nearby dive sites that are sure to impress include the Half Moon Caye Wall and the Long Caye Aquarium.

Escaping to Half Moon Caye

This path through a littoral forest leads to the Bird Tower. Image by Jordana Wright

Perhaps one of the hallmarks of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll – aside from the Blue Hole – Half Moon Caye is the perfect place to experience a true tropical escape in the Caribbean. Think a palm studded beach, crystal clear water, and littoral forests that make for prime birdwatching. In addition to Half Moon Caye, the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is also home to five other idyllic islands: Northern Caye, Sandbore Caye, Saddle Caye, Long Caye, and Hat Caye.

Featured Photo by Belize Audubon Society 

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