Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beach Cabana, Long Caye, Belize

This is not the only Long Caye in Belize.  The more famous one, and much more developed, is at Lighthouse Reef.  The lesser known one is at Glover's Reef.  The following excerpt is from National Geographic Adventure.

Yet east of the (barrier) reef are three immense atolls, covering more than 400 square miles. An atoll, any atoll, is a magical place. It’s a reef encircling a now sunken island, often dotted with cays that are little more than specks of sand and shell, occupied by dreamers and seabirds. Thanks to atolls, you can find calm pieces of flat water in the middle of the world’s oceans. There are only four in the Western Hemisphere, and three lie off Belize: Glover Reef, Lighthouse, and Turneffe. (The fourth, Banco Chinchorro, is off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.)

Connoisseurs can sniff out the unique character of each atoll. Turneffe is famous among divers for Black Beauty’s ebony coral blankets and for the Elbow, where huge fish waft up and down a hundred-foot wall. It boasts a relatively luxurious cabana camp called the Blackbird Caye Resort and a fishing lodge. Lighthouse Reef, to the east, is home to the Blue Hole; 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep, it was explored and made famous in the 1970’s by Jacques Cousteau. One guidebook calls the atoll’s swanky Lighthouse Reef Resort a “tropical illusion.”

But Glover Reef is the one nobody’s heard of, the atoll for casual adventurers- kayakers, windsurfers, hammock swingers, and snorkelers. Glover is the remotest atoll in Belize. It’s a hundred square miles of sea filled with patch reefs and wild-colored fish, strewn with just five small islands, all strung along its southeastern edge, smack against the Caribbean. Glover has been called the biologically richest site in the Caribbean; in 1994, it was declared a marine reserve by the Belizean government.

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