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The Gap Year Blog

My Top 5 Marine Creatures of Belize - Frontier

22 Aug 2017 10:10 AM

I have been in Belize for 3 weeks now and have loved every moment of it – from the exciting nights out with everyone on the South Island to the more chilled nights at camp playing cards on the North Island. However the amazing marine life that I’ve been lucky enough to encounter is what I know will stick with me forever. I got my PADI Advanced Open Water certification whilst being here and have loved exploring Caye Caulker’s underwater world since. So here are my top five fishy favourites…


I got so lucky and stumbled across three of these rare but majestic creatures on the very first day being here ! The original mermaids, they were completely incredible to witness going about their lives, not deterred by my presence at all. If anything, they were super curious and ended up swimming right up to me. It was definitely a special way to start my trip and meeting the manatees firsthand also gave me an extra incentive to contribute positively towards the scientific side of the project, in order to aid their conservation. I’ve since met one other manatee, different to the others with different personalities.

Nurse Sharks and Sting Rays

One of my favourite places here is a snorkeling site called Shark Ray Alley. It’s aptly named and special because of the abundance of nurse sharks and sting rays that live there. Although they are attracted the to engines of boats due to tourists going there to feed them, which inarguably isn’t natural, it is still undeniably an amazing experience to be able swim amongst so many sharks and rays at once.

A group of nurse sharks


Dolphins have always been a favourite of mine and so I was very excited to discover that seeing these playful animals is standard part of life here in Belize. I’ve seen them gliding through the crystal clear water nearly every other day during my trips between the north and south isalnds and have even been in the water to swim with them a couple of times!

Bioluminescent Plankton

An unforgettable part of life here is seeing the bioluminescence in the water each night. The plankton glows an incredible bright green and makes the dark sea resemble the starry sky above it. It was particularly cool one night when I did a night dive, as it seemed to just appear out of nowhere at every movement I made.

These are just a few of the crazy sea creatures that live here. I’ve really enjoyed discovering them all and learning to ID different fish and coral underwater. It makes diving much more interesting when you know exactly what you’re looking at. I’ll definitely have to come back and visit in the future.

By Ellie Price - Frontier Volunteer | Belize Marine Conservation 

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!