Overnighting at Lighthouse Reef in Belize 

by McNab Editorial Team

Lighthouse Reef is one of the most famous atolls in Belize. Discover why you should make it your next vacation destination.

What Is an Atoll?

An atoll is a coral island. There are only four atolls in the western hemisphere, and three are in Belize.

Located about 50 miles from the Belize mainland, the atolls are part of a vast, protected marine reserve that includes several bird, sea mammal, and fish sanctuaries.

What Is Special About Lighthouse Reef?

If you only visit one of the atolls, you should choose Lighthouse Reef.

It’s the only atoll large enough to hold a private airstrip. It is also spectacularly scenic, with soft sand beaches, shady palms, and clear blue water.

It’s home to the first protected natural area in Belize. In 1928, the Belize and British governments established Half Moon Caye Monument as a way to protect endangered red-footed boobies. It is now home to the only viable breeding colony of red-footed boobies in the western Caribbean.

Since then, the protected area has grown to include the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole of Belize.

The Mysterious Blue Hole

Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is a natural ocean sinkhole that forms an underwater cave. It is almost 1000 feet wide and 500 feet deep.

The Blue Hole first came to the world’s attention when French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau explored it in 1971. At the time, he declared it the best diving hole in the world.

In 2018, his grandson Fabien Costeau returned with his own team. The film and photography he took appeared in a documentary that aired on the Discovery Channel on December 2, 2018.

The waters around the Blue Hole are teeming with sea life of all kinds.

What Can You Do on Lighthouse Reef?

This beautiful reef is ideal for all your favorite water activities. It offers some of the best snorkeling in the world in water that’s filled with hundreds of tropical fish species. If you enjoy birding, you can spot hundreds of different birds in a single day in Belize.

Go sea kayaking or swimming in the clear blue waters. Take yoga classes on the beach. Learn about Belize’s traditional Maya and Garifuna cultures through authentic music, dance and food.

Island Expeditions Offers Overnight Tours on Lighthouse Reef

If you want to immerse yourself in days of pure tropical bliss, contact Island Expeditions. Ask about their eight-day Lighthouse Reef Adventure. Island Expeditions operates a 100% sustainable guest lodge on Half Moon Caye.

Island Expeditions has been helping fund eco-tourism in Belize for more than 30 years. The Lighthouse Reef adventure is part of a partnership with the Belize Audubon Society that helps fund the ranger station on the atoll. They also support the Belize Zoo, Panthera and several local schools. Contact them today to get started on your own island adventure. 

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