The Mesoamerican Reef is also the second-largest in the world, and it’s a gem of the Caribbean for those who appreciate underwater worlds.
The largest reef system in the world is of course the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but the second largest is in the Caribbean. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System stretches along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras and is a dazzling display of the rich diversity of life just below the waves.
Cozumel is an island just off Playa del Carmen and is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the western hemisphere.
It is rare to find such natural beauty, crystal clear waters, and vast marine life.
Although diving and snorkeling are the main draws, travelers who opt to explore outside the tourist area will not be disappointed.
Deserted beaches, wild natural parks, and stunning scenery are waiting to be explored by those who dare to step off the gringo-trail.
The Size And Ecosystem of The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System
The Mesoamerican Reef is also called the Great Mayan Reef or Great Maya Reef. It extends for over 1,126 kilometers or 700 miles. in the Caribbean.
The reef system starts at the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula at Isla Contoy and goes south to the Bay Islands of Honduras. Much of it is protected in various national parts and protected areas like Cayos Cochinos Marine Park, Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, Belize Barrier Reef, Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, and others.
- Length: 600-700 Miles Long
- Great Barrier Reef: 1,429 Miles Long (Australia)
The reefs system is a tripartite world of mangroves, seagrass, and coral reefs. Due to its proximity to the shore, it is connected to the inshore habitats. The areas of mangroves, seagrass, and coral reef are bound so tightly by the tides, currents, and mutual dependency that they can’t be teased apart.
- Tripartite World: Of Mangroves, Seagrass, and Coral Reefs
Source: Scuba Diving Cancun