Top 10 Best Coral Reefs in the World

Ever wondered what creates the ethereal wonderland of coral reefs underwater? Depositions of tan-colored dead coral polyps are the chief artisans of this dream world that houses multicolored fish, lovely sea anemones, beautiful sea stars, weird crabs and mollusks and pretty sea fans. Be it a fringing reef, an atoll or a barrier reef, it presents an amazing aspect for enthusiasts.

Let’s take a look at some of the picturesque coral reefs in the world.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Opportunities Galore for Every Visitor

It is the only living thing visible from space! You can easily imagine the impressive size of the 3000 reefs. View the magnificent Heart Reef from a seaplane/helicopter/hot air balloon, dive shipwrecks such as SS Yongola, hop on a glass-bottomed boat to glimpse the vibrant marine life including the Dugongs and Green Sea Turtles, or set sail through the clear blue seas to reach the verdant Daintree Rainforest.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Raja Ampat Reef, Indonesia

A Magical Mosaic of Marine Life

‘The Four Kings’ is one of the best preserved reef structures in Indonesia’s West Papua. Home to 75% of the coral species, it sure is a treasure trove for naturalists, adventurers, and all others. The stunning Birds Head Seascape is the habitat of more than 40 endemic fish species, more than 50 species of marine shrimps, and 5 species of sea turtles. And you can meet many of them while you explore the underwater world.

Raja Ampat Reef, Indonesia

Red Sea Coral Reef, Red Sea

The Variegated Undersea World

Diversity adds to the marvel of the reef system in the Red Sea. Clear waters, sheltered from strong currents and warmed by volcanic activity, create the ideal environment for the more than 200 types of soft and hard corals found here. Dive the site in Sinai, see the scenic seascape and swim with the moray eels, giant manta rays, Napoleon wrasse, hammerhead sharks and the famed Red Sea lionfish.

Red Sea Coral Reef, Red Sea

Belize Barrier Reef, Belize

An Adventure Awaits

Picturesque islands and luxuriant mangrove cays set amidst the turquoise waters of the Caribbean create an ideal destination to dive and snorkel. With its amazing flora (170+ species above, and 240+ species below the waters), and astounding fauna (American crocodile, vivid fish, turtles, and West Indian manatees), this place is great for an adventure. And while you are there, do taste the lobsters and conchs – just yummy!

Belize Barrier Reef, Belize

Apo Reef, Philippines

Fantastic Forms of Flora and Fauna

Around the Mindoro and Pandan Islands lies this marine sanctuary. An array of corals (table corals, fire corals, brain corals, and soft corals), luminescent sea anemones, and pretty sea fans brighten up this underwater fairyland. Easy slopes and steep walls make it perfect for amateur and addict divers. And, be it the little pipefish or pygmy seahorses or the giant manta rays and hammerhead sharks, you get to meet them all.

Apo Reef, Philippines

Andros Barrier Reef, Bahamas

Ultimate Destination for Adventurers

For an adventurer, this is the place to be. Snorkel with the sea turtles and manta rays; dive down the abyss of the Tongue of the Ocean; explore the cave system through the blue holes but beware the mythical monster Lusca; hike or kayak to see the endangered Bahamian woodstar hummingbird and the Kirtland’s warbler. And if you have had your fill, just relax at a secluded beach; it’s the most sparsely populated island around.

Andros Barrier Reef, Bahamas

Rainbow Reef, Taveuni, Fiji

A Divers’ Delight

A dive into the waters reveals a fantastical seascape. When the tide is ride, the Somosomo Strait supplies nutrient-rich waters, and the soft corals bloom out to their best, and most enchanting, forms. Punctuating this kaleidoscope are the hard corals and the barracudas, sharks and other pelagic creatures. The Great White Wall presents a completely different vista with its luminescent white corals.

Rainbow Reef, Taveuni, Fiji

Maldives-Chagos-Lakshadweep Atolls, Indian Ocean

Home to Amazing Creatures

The largest atoll system complete with beautiful reefs visible from the top of the shallow waters create a mesmeric picture. Home to an endemic coral species, this reef system also houses Olive Ridley and Hawksbill Turtle, Cuvier’s and Blainsville’s beaked whale, and finless porpoise. You can also catch a glimpse of the Green Turtles and seabirds that nest here. It sure is a naturalist’s dream destination.

Maldives-Chagos-Lakshadweep Atolls, Indian Ocean

Palancar Reef, San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico

Charming Coral Concoctions

Coral and limestone formations, canyons and troughs, mazes of tunnels, and plateaus create a fine setting for divers and snorkelers to discover the beauty of the reef system in Cozumel. Be it the towering coral outcrops or the teeming schools of fish, you can get a good view of the lovely marine life that thrives in the clear shallow waters. The underwater national park ensures enchantment for all.

Palancar Reef, San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico

Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles

An Undiscovered Gem

Nestled in the midst of four large coral islands, encircled by reefs, is a shallow lagoon. Yes, this is the largest raised atoll in the Indian Ocean. And in every nook and cranny you will be able to find a wonder waiting for you to explore. It is home to unique creatures, including some 152,000 Giant tortoises. Pristine conditions, the result of isolation and difficult access, make it one of the best kept secrets of Seychelles.

Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles

If you love and appreciate natural wonders, plan your visit to these fantastic spots now.

Roxanne Genier
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Roxanne Genier

Luxury Brand Management Consultant at Roxy Genier
Roxanne or Roxy, founder of Luxe In A City, was nominated as one of the Top 5 Luxury Travel Bloggers by the readers of USA Today. Aside from overseeing this luxury travel blog, she spends her time teaching how to perfect the feeling of luxury to authentic niche brands while traveling the world with her family.
Roxanne Genier
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