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May 29, 2018

National Geographic Writers to Feature Belize in Dive Guide

Belize’s Barrier Reef remains a place of great interest to visitors, whether those come to relax or seeking answers to some of the great mysteries under the ocean waters. Now, it is being featured as one of the world’s fifty best dive travel destinations by the venerable National Geographic Magazine. As part of their year-long worldwide tour of dive travel destinations, writer Carrie Miller and professional diver Chris Taylor landed in Belize on Monday. The couple will spend a week crisscrossing the Jewel while visiting their selected destination. They met the press in Belize City this morning and News Five’s Aaron Humes has this story of adventure.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

A shared love of adventure brought National Geographic writer Carrie Miller and her husband, master diver Chris Taylor, together years ago, and it has now brought them to Belize to fulfill part of a dream – a comprehensive guide book to the best diving destinations worldwide, with the imprint of the world’s most famous scientific and cultural research organization as seal of approval.

 

Carrie Miller

Carrie Miller, Contributing Editor/Writer, National Geographic Traveler

“We came up with this idea for a dive travel guide book , which is a world first; and we pitched the idea to National Geographic and they loved it, and so we are traveling for one year continuously. We started at the end of March of this year and we are finishing up at the end of March, 2019. Belize is number nine on our [list of] places; we’ve still got forty-one to go (laughs), so it’s a long year. But we are very excited about it. And the really good thing about it is that the project so far has really resonated with the people we’ve met along the way; divers travel, that’s how they like to see the world, so they want to not only experience countries to dive in, they also want to experience adventures in food and culture.”

 

So with no shortage of dive sites to visit – the Blue Hole, Glovers’ and Lighthouse Reefs, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve all come to mind – which spot will be featured in the book? It’s actually none of the above according to Taylor, who chose the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. National Geographic had previously named Pelican Beach on the caye one of the twenty-one best beaches in the world last year.

 

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor, Professional Diver

“I did some research and I decided to look at the southern reefs, South Water Caye in particular and the area around there, mainly because it’s a very good overall dive site. So it has a wide range of different dive opportunities, so there’s a wide range of diving for more skilled people and less skilled people, and also because it’s a little bit quieter now. Divers want to try and get the best bang for their buck when they’re spending money, so they will be looking for the best places for them to spend their money, and the best place is generally somewhere where there’s a marine park, because obviously in a marine park there’s a lot of things to see.”

 

Miller and Taylor will start their tour at Altun Ha in the Belize District before traveling south, also taking in a Garifuna cultural tour in Dangriga. Miller shares that she wants future readers to have a sense of discovery when the book is published in 2020.

 

Carrie Miller

“There will be opportunities in our book as well to highlight things that we haven’t covered ourselves but are activities nearby, or things that you might want to consider trying to do. I’m also very conscious of the fact, when I’m writing, of how I like to travel, which is I like to feel like I’m discovering things for myself – I don’t like being told ‘you need to go here, here, here.’ I like getting an overview of a destination, and getting a sense of its personality and culture, and some suggestions about things that are available to do in the country, and then I like to go and find it for myself and feel like I’ve made this discovery all on my own. And so, the way we are designing and writing this book is we’re not jamming in every fact and figure and thing to do that we can come across. We’re giving an overview and we’re spending some word count and time on that overview, telling more of a story, and hopefully letting people discover it for themselves.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The book’s foreword will be written by noted ocean researcher Dr. Sylvia Earle.

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