Placencia is a beautiful, 16-mile long stretch of golden sand beaches in the Stann Creek District of Belize and serves as the gateway to some of the country’s most spectacular marine wildlife, including whale sharks, stingrays, and manatees.
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean and can measure up to 12 meters (41 feet) long and weigh up to 21 tons. Despite their enormous size, whale sharks pose little danger to humans as they feed on tiny krill and fish spawn. Every spring, the whale sharks migrate to the outer areas of the Belize Barrier Reef in southern Belize, and a limited number of divers get the amazing opportunity to interact with these immense creatures.
Whale sharks circumnavigate the globe every year. They normally spend their time in very deep waters that are inaccessible to humans, but they rise to the surface in conjunction with the phases of the moon in order to feed.
Stingrays are powerful hunters, but their prey in the waters of Belize are small fish and squid. Natural channels in the reef serve as “superhighways” for fish and other marine life, drawing in vast schools of stingrays. Divers and snorkelers face little danger from stingrays, and being surrounded by stingrays as they flit and dart through the water is a truly magical experience.
Sometimes known as “sea cows” and sometimes known as “mermaids,” manatees are gentle, vegetarian mammals that thrive in the shallow, warm waters of Belize. Feeding on the vast beds of seagrass along the coast and estuaries of Belize, manatees are a wonder to behold.
Manatees pose no danger to humans, but their numbers have dwindled over the past century as boat propellers can easily injure or kill them. Today, manatees in Belize are protected animals. Manatees are very docile animals, slowly swimming through the water, but they are very intelligent, often recognizing human beings after just one meeting.
Visitors to Belize are not permitted to touch manatees, but it can be very enjoyable watching them play and frolic. Manatees breathe air and must surface every 15 minutes, making them easy to spot. Manatees communicate with one another with whistles and clicks in a similar manner as dolphins.
Chabil Mar has a number of Belize vacation packages that include snorkeling, visiting the manatees, and diving with whale sharks. To book these activities or to learn more about customizing the perfect Belize vacation, contact Chabil Mar reservation’s office today!