The UNESCO world heritage list comprises more than 1,000 spots — 20 percent of them natural — designated as the legacy of all mankind. These 13 spots represent an even more precious slice: they can be fully appreciated only by divers.
From the Taj Mahal to the Grand Canyon, the most spectacular cultural and natural places in the world find a spot on the storied UNESCO World Heritage List — an international cooperation created during a 1972 United Nations conference to protect the world’s most wondrous locales. And while divers know there are seemingly limitless places to explore with a tank strapped to their backs, only a select few of the world’s dive destinations meet the World Heritage criterion. When you dive one of these sites, you’re submerging someplace deemed to have “outstanding universal value” that’s worth protecting at all costs. In our world, that’s a dive for the books.
1) BELIZE BARRIER REEF RESERVE SYSTEM
Diving the UNESCO- listed reefs of Belize is like riding a conveyor belt through the evolution of reef development, rolling through such varied environments as mangrove forests, lagoons, sandy cayes and pristine atolls.