Caribbean Scuba Diving Trips For The Whole Family
The Caribbean offers a lot more than just white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters. The Caribbean sea offers some of the best scuba diving spots in the world. If fact the Caribbean is home to the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef. It is the second largest reef in the world.
MesoAmerican Reef – A divers heaven
You can visit the reef off the coast of 4 countries and they are: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. The norther end of the reef starts off the norther coast of the Yucatan. It can be accessed from the cities of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel. Akumal a little further south also provides a great location to dive on the reef with out the crowds typicaly found in Cancun or the ever growing Playa Del Carmen.
After crossing the southern Mexican boarder the reef flows along the eastern shore of Belize and Guatamala until it reaches the north-east corner of Honduras.
There are many cayes and islands along the entire stretch of the reef. In places like the island of Roatan you can access the reef simply by swimming off the beach. This allows people to see the reef while snorkeling without having to spend the money on renting charters. But you can rent a charter or join a tour to both scuba dive or snorkel in most beach towns that lie along the MesoAmerican Reef.
The reef is a very diverse ecological system and the region is home to a very unique list of flora and fauna. For example you can see over 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and more than 500 species of fish.
Several species that inhabit the coral reef are endangered so it is important to protect them for future generations of divers to come. Unfortunately an invasive species the red lionfish that is native to the Indo-Pacific region is threatenig the native species.
The reef system is currently suffering an invasion by the red lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), which is native to the Indo-Pacific region. The Lionfish
eat reef-tending species, such as cleaner shrimp and other species that eat algae. Not only does the have an immediate impact of the reef cleaning species it also is impacting the local economy by impacting valuable commercial species, such as lobster, are being negatively affected by the spread of the lionfish due to the enormous appetite of the invasive lionfish.
When diving on the MesoAmerican reef you may also be treated to a view of Manatees and off the Yucatan you may even see the worlds largest fish the Whale shark. The reefs off the Yucatan are used by the whale shark for eating and mating.
The best part of diving off the MesoAmerican reef in the Caribbean is the fact that it is one of the secrets of the Caribbean. You can find quaint villages all up and down the reef system to make your home away from home. The villages also offer some of the most affordable accomadations in the Caribbean. But eventhough it is not expensive you will still be in paradise. The foods you eat will almost be more enjoyable than the diving itself. So besure to check out the local establishments for both food and beverage. You might find your new favorites.