Reefs not to be missed!
For centuries, the waters of our planet have attracted curious minds and adventurers eager to explore their depths. Some of the most prized attractions of this underwater world are corals and the reefs that their coming together creates. Far from being just brightly-coloured pieces of rock, corals are fascinating invertebrates that live in colonies made of polyps.
With their dazzling colours and beautiful formations, corals serve not only as an indicator of a healthy eco-system but as wonderful environments where one can spot a myriad of aquatic life. This allows for diving and snorkelling as ways that you can explore and enjoy the mesmerising beauty of the world’s coral reefs.
The Flexicover Team covers some of the best coral reef locations around the world.
Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
Best time for diving: Between April and June
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is the second-largest coral reef in the world running 900km along the western coast of Central America. And the 300km stretch off Belize’s coast is home to some of the most beautiful coral reef gardens on Earth. You can spot about 65 different species of coral here, from 3m long purple sea fans to large basket sponges, over 300 fish types plus turtles and manatees. The waters around Half Moon Caye and Long Caye offer visibility of up to 70m and one of the most famous (and challenging) diving sites. The star attraction is the Great Blue Hole, boasting a depth of 124m, where one can sight groupers alongside black tip and hammerhead sharks.
Palancar Reef, Mexico
Best time for diving: March and August
Known as an ‘underwater Garden of Eden’, this is part of the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel. It’s located off the south-western coast of the island of Cozumel and can be accessed through the beautiful Playa Palancar beach. Technically comprised of four different conglomerations, these famous coral reefs are home to many coral attractions such as the Palancar Caves, with large brain corals and tunnels you can swim through, Palancar Horseshoe and the exquisite Palancar Gardens. The colourful corals here are home to a bevy of wonderful exotic marine species such as crabs, parrotfish, moray eels, angelfish, stingrays and even nurse sharks and turtles.
Andaman Sea Reefs, South-east Asia
Best time for diving: Between October and May
Renowned for its rich biodiversity, the Andaman Sea Reefs around the Andaman Islands are home to a fascinating variety of corals and other marine life. Scuba diving and snorkelling are some of the most popular activities on the islands with Corbyn’s Cove Beach and Cinque Island providing exceptional opportunities to sight crocodiles and dugongs in the wild. According to common lore, there are more species of corals found in these reefs than anywhere on the planet, though the records estimate about 200 different known species. These include prime examples of staghorn, solid table and red whip corals alongside various sea anemones, which are particularly noted for their symbiosis with clownfishes.
Raja Ampat Reef, Indonesia
Best time for diving: All year
Part of the Coral Triangle, the turquoise waters around the Raja Ampat, or ‘Four Kings’, islands of the West Papua province are home to some of the most pristine and best coral reefs. Here you can find 600 hard coral species and anywhere up to 2000 species of fish – making the marine life diversity density one the highest on the globe. Some of the corals here have lain undisturbed for centuries, allowing them to display all their flamboyant beauty, exactly in the same condition as when they were formed, such as the purple fields of leather coral. A paradise for diving enthusiasts, taking a cruise around the four main islands is an unforgettable experience.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Best time for diving: Between June to October
One of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef stretches for nearly 2900km along the Queensland cost. It comprises 2900 bright reefs and 900 islands, making it the largest on the planet – and the only living thing that can be seen from space! Great Barrier Reef tours can help you sight mind-boggling numbers of coral sponges, fan corals, around 1500 species of tropical fish, reptiles, rays, dolphins, turtles and 120-year old giant clams. For those truly into nature, there’s around 200 species of birds to be spotted too. Heron Island is one of the most popular dive bases to see coral reefs in Australia, with over 20 dive sites nearby including Heron Bommie, Coral Cascades and Gorgonia Hole.
Pick from the best coral reefs around the world as you plan your next adventure vacation and get ready to witness the incredible beauty of nature underwater.
As a Flexicover policy holder, you will be automatically covered for over 120 different sports and recreational activities, which includes scuba diving up to 30 metres and snorkelling. This is just part of our commitment to provide you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.