Inside the Great Blue Hole of Belize
An almost perfectly circular sinkhole measuring 300 meters across, the Great Blue Hole is one of the most popular and special sites for diving in the Belize Barrier Reef. Formed about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, the Blue Hole offers divers a uniquely gothic experience of starkly beautiful underwater caves featuring enormous stalactites and the occasional glimpse of the elusive hammerhead shark.
Why You Have to Visit the Blue Hole of Belize
Known to locals for centuries as a uniquely special diving location, the Blue Hole of Belize came to the world’s attention in 1971 after famed French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau declared it to be one of his top 10 diving spots in the world. Later, the Discovery Channel named the Belize Blue Hole as one of the top 10 most amazing places on Earth.
Every year, thousands of experienced divers from around the globe come to the Blue Hole of Belize to descend over 90 meters into the inky darkness.
Where in Belize Is the Blue Hole?
The Blue Hole of Belize is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef. The perimeter of the Belize Blue Hole is formed by Lighthouse Reef and is located approximately 43 miles (70 km) from mainland Belize.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Blue Hole
As an underwater diving attraction, there is little variation by season or time of year so just about any time is a good time to explore the watery depths of the Belize Blue Hole. Be aware that storms or heavy rainfall can somewhat reduce visibility as well as make transportation to the Belize Blue Hole more difficult.
Exploring the Mysterious and Enigmatic Blue Hole of Belize
How to Get to the Blue Hole
There are no commercial routes that connect Lighthouse Reef (which surrounds the Belize Blue Hole) and the mainland or other islands. A number of private companies offer boat service to and from the area, as well as supplying the necessary diving gear and equipment.
Best way to Experience the Blue Hole
Due to the unique challenges of the depth of the Belize Blue Hole and exploring a series of submerged caves, diving in the area is restricted to experienced divers only. All divers must prove that they have completed at least 24 prior dives and can demonstrate proficiency in diving safety techniques.
11 Interesting Facts about the Belize Blue Hole
1.) The Belize Blue hole is known to be one of the most stunning areas located in the Lighthouse Reef and is also considered a diving paradise.
2.) The Belize Blue Hole is not only the most unique area in the world, but is also the only blue hole that may be seen from space.
3.) This blue hole is almost a perfect circle and is over 1,000 feet or 305 meters wide and 480 feet or 146 meters deep.
4.) The Belize Blue Hole is in a cave that was formed above sea level. This may be proved by the fact that Stalagmites and Stalactites are unable to form underwater, and are only able to be formed due to constant dripping that is seen on stalagmites in many cave systems above ground.
5.) The area that holds the Belize Blue Hole is a World Heritage site and is one of many protected areas in Belize.
6.) The best spot for diving or snorkeling is within the first 40 feet of water above the Belize Blue Hole. Anything that is below that point is for experienced divers only.
7.) What people don’t really know is that the Belize Blue Hole only has 2 safe diving areas. You can go to the north side, which is the most popular side for large boats, since it is easier to access from there. The south side only allows small boats access due to specific wind directions. So, in order to dive, it must be done within the holes circumference.
8.) The Blue Hole doesn’t create that much circulation, so very little oxygen tends to reach the deepest part of the hole. This causes very few marine creatures the ability to survive there, even though bacteria seems to thrive.
9.) What makes the Belize Blue Hole so interesting is the fact that over 500 rare plants and animals that are located only in this area.
10.) Because Jacques Cousteau made his famous dive in 1960’s, a large number of scuba divers have started traveling to the Belize Blue Hole.
11.) The blue, deep waters of the Belize Blue Hole are the habitat to many hammerhead and black tip tigers. Although, all that you are likely to come upon is your diving partner during your expedition.
8 Amazing Photos of the Belize Blue Hole