The Great Mayan Reef Surpassed, also known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, is the world’s second largest barrier reef. It is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This reef system runs between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel for hundreds of miles. It extends from the Bay Islands of Honduras to the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The ancient Great Mayan Reef is largely responsible for the development of communities and civilizations that emerged along its magnificent shores. During the period of the early Mayan people, passages and trade routes were created in this area, greatly boosting their trade and commerce.
When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, the Great Mayan Reef became the safe sanctuary of pirates, It functioned as a maritime gateway for the colonizers as well. At present, the reef system’s rich marine life (including various fish species and 500-year-old coral formations) is a major enticement for local tourism, and also to draw in international tourists.
The tourism that the Great Mayan Reef brings improves the economic gains of Playa del Carmen to greater heights. In addition, it plays an important role in protecting coastal landscapes. It also serves as feeding and breeding grounds for most of its marine life.
If you are into scuba diving, whether you are an experienced or novice diver, you will be astounded as you explore get to experience what the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System has to offer. The composition of its reef types, the rich diversity of its corals and other related species, as well as its length, are some of the most important aspects that contribute to the reef system’s special distinction in all of the Western hemisphere.
This tourist attraction in the Yucatan peninsula is not only one huge single barrier reef; it is a chain of coral gardens, drop-offs, and shallow patch reefs. It also serves as an abode to islets, fringing reefs, and coastal sandbanks. The waters of the Great Barrier Reef boasts more or less 100 dive sites, half a thousand species of fish, and four species of sea turtles.