Diving The Great Blue Hole in Belize0
by Amy Myers
SCUBA divers from around the world recognize the iconic photos of the Blue Hole in Belize, a “bucket list” dive for experienced and novice divers alike.
The Great Blue Hole, as it is often called, is part of the Lighthouse Reef and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is recommended for advance certified and experienced divers due to the depths of the dives.
Depending on where you stay in the country, it can take up to 3 hours to get to the Blue Hole by boat. If this is high on your list of “Must Do” activities, keep the location in mind when booking your hotel or dive resort in Belize.
The Blue Hole is fairly accessible from San Pedro and the many lodging options on Ambergris Caye, the most popular island in Belize. Plan on a full day of adventure with about 2-1/2 hours of travel by boat each way. To be closer to The Blue Hole, consider island dive resorts in the central part of the country such as St. George’s Caye Resort, which offers small group dives and is only a 1-1/2 hour boat trip away.
Regardless of where you’re staying, after a beautiful ride across turquoise waters, you arrive at Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll about 60 miles off the mainland and Belize City. The Blue Hole lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef and is over 980 feet (300 meters) across and 350 feet (108 meters) deep.
The first dive is to about 130 feet in depth inside the deep Blue Hole, where you can see amazing limestone formations of stalagmites and stalactites, haunting and worth the trip in themselves. You may also swim with a variety of sharks, giant groupers and other pelagic species. The first dive is followed by a visit to the Booby Bird Sanctuary on a nearby protected caye to marvel at the colony of birds and enjoy lunch.
Two additional wall dives are enjoyed around Lighthouse Reef, reported by some divers to be “the dives of a lifetime.” These dives dependably bring quantities of colorful reef fish and pelagics as the currents along Lighthouse Reef provide oxygenated water and plenty of nutrients.
The Blue Hole is currently nominated by USA Today as one of the Top 10 Dive Sites in the Caribbean — feel free to join the fun and vote for your favorite by January 30, 2017. http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-caribbean-dive-site
The Blue Hole is a one-of-a-kind sinkhole dive site famous for its shark viewing opportunities, as well as interesting stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Amy Myers is the marketing manager for St Georges Caye Resort. St. Georges Caye offers day excursions to the Blue Hole As well as the reefs of Turneffe.
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