Explore Underwater Beauty in Belize at its Finest – Blackbird Caye Resort

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Belize has quickly become a diver’s dream destination boasting rave reviews about its unspoiled reefs, Belize 2015 Underwater - 1und5 - P2100128_leveledcorals and abundant marine life. The Mesoamerican Reef System — often referred to as the “Jewel of the Caribbean” — is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Within can be found Turneffe Atoll, the largest and most biologically diverse of the four atolls found in the Caribbean. Sitting upon Turneffe Atoll, Blackbird Caye Resort is minutes away from over 70 named dive sits in the area. The pristine waters surrounding our island resort are brimming with vivid color just under the water’s surface.

The atoll, consisting of approximately 28,350 acres, is made up of a mix of high and low lands which essentially fringe an expansive lagoon system that can reach a width of 5 miles and a length of 13 miles. Located 25 miles east of Belize City, it is the closest to the mainland and the most accessible of the three atolls in Belize.

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Scuba diving in Belize is definitely a sport many guests delight in, but those guests not certified or ready to explore the sea’s deeper depths, we can assure them that our snorkeling is just as enjoyable!  An underwater world of brilliant beauty is just minutes from our shore. Most sites are within a 10-15 minute boat ride. Three dives per day are available; two in the morning and one in the afternoon. Two snorkel trips are available daily as well; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Guests may purchase packages that include their activities or purchase resort/meals only and buy their activities on-site a la carte.

The warm waters hosts over 500 species of fish and 65 varieties of stony coral. A number of dolphin species inhabit here as well, including spotted, bottle-nosed, and rough-toothed. One of the world’s largest populations of manatees reside in the region, estimated to number anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500. However, manatee sightings are rare.

Since many fish are protected, our guests are able to enjoy a quite diverse number of species. It’s a breathtaking world that will leave you in sheer amazement and wonder. Come explore it today!

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CREATURE FEATURE: Barracuda … more than just a catchy 70s tune

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“You lying so low in the weeds, I bet you gonna ambush me.” — as sung by Heart in the 70s hit “Barracuda.” And this is exactly how barracuda’s hunt for their prey, using stealth and speed.
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Barracudas are long, lean hunting machines with sleek bodies that allow them to slice through the water at high speeds (40mph), puncturing schools of unaware fish.

Turneffe Atoll — the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Western Hemisphere — is packed tight with the largest mangrove system in Belize, ideal for barracuda. The thick underwater fauna acts as a feeding ground for other wildlife, unawares of the barracuda’s presence.

Of the 27 varieties of barracudas there is one that stands out above the rest — the Great Barracuda, which can grow up to almost 6.5 feet (2 meters) in length and weigh as much as 83 pounds (37 kg).

Add to this a jaw full of teeth that cut like razor blades and you have a fish that is highly evolved to rule the underwater depths. The fish has been around and honing its skills for some 50 million years.
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Strangely, humans have been known to fall ill after eating barracuda, people often become ill from ciguatera fish poisoning, perhaps because the reef fish that barracudas eat themselves consume algae that may contain high levels of the toxin.

Barracudas feed on an array of fish such as groupers, small tunas and grunts. They tend to be solitary but have been fond hunting in small groups and are common in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, not to mention large parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

The waters of Belize and particularly Turneffe Atoll are therefore a vital habitat for the barracuda and subsequently one of the best places to see the torpedo-like fish. Check out the website: http://blackbirdresort.com

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