Coral Reef Vacation
Only the Best for the Best
Basics About Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated waters. Often called "rainforests of the sea", coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
The Great Biodiversity of the Reef
The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk and more than 500 species of fish. There are numerous species that live in or around the reef system that are endangered or under some degree of protection, including the following: sea turtles (Green turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Leatherback turtle, and the Hawksbill turtle), the Queen Conch, the West Indian Manatee, the Splendid toadfish, the American crocodile, the Morelet's Crocodile, the Nassau grouper, Elkhorn coral, and black coral. The reef system is home to one of the world's largest populations of manatees, with an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 of them. Some northern areas of the reef system near Isla Contoy are home to the largest fish on the planet, the Whale shark.