What’s it really like to snorkel in the world’s second greatest barrier reef

There’s a certain sense of self-awareness and existentialism when you are beneath the surface of the largest Barrier Reef in the Western Hemisphere. Every minuscule worry literally remains on dry land as you swim alongside marine life you never knew existed. The only sounds are the engulfing water and muffled movements of your tour guide slash diver as he points out the brain coral obscuring a kaleidoscopic parrotfish. You follow his bright life vest, your breathing echoing in your tube, and revel in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Now this is a vacation.

Belize boasts more than 400 cayes and a whopping 180 miles of Barrier Reef to explore. From large, palm tree-studded islands making a perfect base for diving, to tiny sandbars that are known for the nurse sharks swimming nearby. Every caye is different, and so is every coral, lobster and fish you come across. The life that sways beneath will leave you speechless. With over 500 species of fish, every snorkel spot is a little different from the other and if you go back to the same spot, each time you will see something different. 

Trail behind a giant loggerhead turtle as he wades by, or follow a family of dolphins, making sure to catch their glee on your GoPro. Truly, snorkeling in Belize is nothing short of a transcendent experience.