Belize's Great Blue Hole:  Guide to Visiting and Diving this Photogenic Location

Ever since Jacques Cousteau declared Belize's Great Blue Hole to be one of the best diving spots ever in 1971, the world has not stopped talking about this natural wonder. Attracting science and scuba enthusiasts from everywhere, there is no stopping the curiosity that surrounds this marvellous and mysterious sight. How deep does the water go? What lies at the bottom? While we cannot solve these untold treasures, we can let you in on everything you will need to know about visiting the world's largest sinkhole: an iconic spot for an Insta-worthy shot!

Belonging to the second largest coral reef system in the world, a sight like this is hard to forget. The colours alone are enough to make you swoon. And with such a convenient location, it would be a shame to lose out on seeing it for yourself. With multiple direct flights from different U.S. cities, and only a two hour flight from Miami, Belize is the perfect spot for those in need of washing away the stress of everyday life with a dive and a drink (in that order!). With 50% of the country’s tourists listing scuba diving as their primary reason for vacationing in this beautiful country, it is safe to say that Cousteau’s words have made waves  —  and rightfully so!

Up in the Sky

Before you dip your flippers into this stunning sinkhole, here is how you can get the money shot for your Instagram feed without taking the plunge. Measuring over 950 feet across, it is easy to see where the Great Blue Hole gets its name from! In order to see this site from the best angle, we recommend flying high.

From Belize’s own airline to a private helicopter tour, you have a few different options to pick from depending on how much you wish to pay. Although you should expect to spend more on the latter option, the added bonus of champagne and chocolates makes the experience all the more worth capturing. Get ready to be looking glamorous on your timeline; this tour is deluxe for a reason.

Under the Sea

We understand. Sometimes, you just have to experience these things for yourself! While the aircraft may be cosier, and the champagne went down a storm, nothing compares to exploring the waters first-hand and witnessing everything that this beauty has in store. Estimated to be 400 feet deep, the Great Blue Hole is more than just a pretty face (or surface).  Around 150,000 years old, this sinkhole contains caverns and rock formations dating back to the Earth’s last Ice Age! Despite the time that has passed, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is far from being fully explored. Its waters are the home of mysterious marine life, and the source of unanswered questions about our planet. As a result, this travel spot comes with a cautionary note: do not go diving here unless you are experienced, and always make sure to follow the correct procedures provided by the local diving experts.

With the right guidance, experiencing the Great Blue Hole first-hand can be magical. Many wonders await you, although you will not be able to see many of them. As you venture deeper into these waters, the light fades further away. Thank goodness you are carrying your diving torch! Your flashlight will be your best friend in this trip, so use it wisely. Although the lack of sunlight may be a disadvantage, the underwater environment completely engulfs you. Inhabited by over 500 rare plants and animals, including several sharks, this site will take your breath away  —  and not just because of the lack of oxygen at the very bottom.

Due to its depth, you unfortunately do not have much time to explore this sinkhole to your heart’s content. However, this time-limit only adds to this diving experience being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While you may not be able to solve one of Earth’s greatest enigmas in a few minutes, deep-sea diving in the Great Blue Hole makes for an unique experience. How many people can say that they have swam with sharks in the dark? Belize’s Great Blue Hole diving experience is all about the not knowing: the uncertainty of what to find and where you will find it, and how deep can one person possibly go? Even if the world never gets to the bottom of this mystery, that will not stop people from trying, nor will it stop the craze surrounding this sight. Keep or add it to your travel bucket list, because Cousteau was right. This diving spot is the best of its kind.

If you're looking for other insta-worthy destinations, check out our series of the top spots for your feed.

Header Image Copyright: © UNESCO

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Hannah Douch
August 30, 2023

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