The Great Mayan Reef

The Great Mayan Reef, also called Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, is located on the coasts of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera. It stretches more than 620 miles and is the second largest in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia that measures 1550 miles. The wonderful Mayan Reef is born at Cabo Catoche, on the north of Quintana Roo, and extends to the coasts of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This submarine paradise is one of the best places in the world for practicing scuba diving and snorkeling thanks to the impeccable transparency of the Mexican Caribbean, allowing sun light to reach great depths. This biodiversity jewel hosts an enormous amount of organisms in more than 65 types of coral and 500 fish species, including lobster, pink snail, white, hawksbill and Caguama turtles, dolphins and whale sharks. Associated to the coral reef system are great extensions of wetlands, marine grass prairies, lagoons and mangrove forest that protect coastal ecosystems. Unfortunately, the coral systems of the world are threatened by pollution and tourists that can break the ecosystem’s harmony. It is very important to have preservation strategies because coral systems are very fragile, pollution and unmanaged tourist activities cause great harm. An initiative of the World Wildlife Fund promotes joining the efforts of these four countries into a great Protected Natural Area in order to establish the proper instruments for the preservation of biodiversity and develop proper forms of ecotourism. Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México. Copyright Explorando México, Todos los Derechos Reservados. Foto: Serge Melki