Belize is home to the magnificent Great Blue Hole, accompanied by the second longest Barrier Reef in the world. This makes it a sought after diver’s paradise. Type the words “What is Belize known for” in any search engine and the first thing to pop up are images of pristine reef systems, exotic marine life, and scores of references to the famous sinkhole.
A national treasure, and Belize’s most famous dive site, the Great Blue Hole is located in the center of Lighthouse Reef some 62 miles off the mainland. This marine treasure measures approximately 984 feet wide and is 410 feet deep. It is considered the world’s largest natural formation of its kind and was thus named ‘The Great Blue Hole” by British diver and author Ned Middleton. Awed by the natural wonder, he reasoned that if Australia could have ‘The Great Barrier Reef ’ then Belize could have ‘The Great Blue Hole’. The name stuck, and after French explorer Jacques Cousteau featured the attraction on a television series called “The Undersea World of Jaques-Cousteau” the reputation of this geographical wonder was solidified.
Deemed a world heritage site by UNESCO, The Great Blue Hole has attracted avid scuba divers from all over the globe. It has also beckoned to the environmentally conscious as well as many other curious travelers. If you’re one of those travelers, you can experience the magnificence of this grand sinkhole in a myriad of ways.
Dive into the depths of the Great Blue Hole. The experience is somber and eerie. The sight of coral snug on the limestone shelving, a glimpse of silhouettes of reef sharks passing above as you slip under the cavern roofs – it makes the descent unimaginable. Diving the Blue Hole leaves you feeling small in comparison to the greatness of the sunken cave. For a moment, you may even feel as if you’re a new age explorer, carrying out your mission to uncover the resting place of an ancient entity. It is a true adventure to swim within these iconic waters. And with a reputable dive company like Splash Dive Center, that adventurous experience is made all the more memorable.
While the opportunity to dive and snorkel in crystal-clear waters and observe marine life among impressive coral formations is unprecedented, there is also an alternative way to witness the grandeur of the Great Blue Hole.
Of course, the Great Blue Hole is mesmerizing. And an aerial tour of it (along with the Barrier Reef and surrounding atolls) presents a new perspective of its natural beauty. Within the comfy confines of a Maya Island Airplane, you can witness the way hues of turquoise suddenly turn into a perfect circle of deep navy blue. Where diving within the Blue Hole can make you feel small, flying above makes you feel even smaller. The tour is an hour-long, granting enough time to experience the wonder of Belize’s treasure. Getting a bird’s eye view of how stunning the staggering 410-foot drop in the middle of a shallow reef system should be a priority item on any adventurer’s bucket list.
Book your tour today with Maya Island Air
You can enjoy the awe-inspiring experience of flying over the Great Blue Hole with Maya Island Air without having to charter an entire aircraft. Both options remain, but whether booking a single seat or chartering the plane, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Belize Barrier Reef, Turneffe Atoll, and Lighthouse Reef. Each flight can seat 11 passengers. Flights leave from San Pedro Municipal Airport.
Featured Photo courtesy Belize Tourism Board