Located in Central America, Belize is bordered to the south and west by Guatemala, to the north by Mexico and to the east by the beautiful Caribbean Sea. This diverse country has various cultures and languages and has the lowest population density in Central America.
It is well known for its extreme biodiversity and its distinctive ecosystems. Swampy coastal plains covered in mangrove swamps cover the coast and the south and interior of the country are predominantly covered in hills and low mountains.
Home to the largest barrier reef located in the Northern hemisphere, It boasts of having the second-biggest reef system in the world. But that’s not the only reason why you should visit Belize. For us, its to go Blue Hole Belize diving.
The hole is a circular shape and is over 300 meters (984 feet) across in length. How deep is the Great Blue Hole? Well… It is an outstanding 108 meters (354 feet) in depth.
When sea levels were much lower than they are now, several episodes of quaternary glaciation formed the deep hole.
Previous analysis shows that the formation of stalactites found in it took place 153,000; 66,000; and 15,000 years ago. The cave was flooded as the ocean began to rise once again.
It is now part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System which is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
And also has onshore caves of similar formation, collapsed sinkholes, known as cenotes.
Unlike these cenotes located on the mainland which are often discovered to linking underwater cave systems, explorations have found little evidence of this kind of horizontal development inside the Belize Blue Hole. The Discovery Channel previously ranked it as number one on “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth”.
The Belize Great Blue Hole
What Is The Great Blue Hole? Off of the coast of Belize, lies a giant submarine sinkhole, known as The Great Blue Hole. It is located in the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll, 70 km (43 miles) away from the mainland and from the City.
Being a part of the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot, it has many wildlife reserves, jungles, a large variety of different species of fauna and flora and the biggest cave system in Central America. Some bespoke species of its flora and fauna include the mahogany tree, the toucan, tapirs, and the black orchid.
UNESCO inscribed it as a World Heritage Site back in 1996 and is now comprised of a total of seven protected areas; Blue Hole Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve.
Scuba Diving The Blue Hole Belize
Ranked the sixth-best dive site in the world, it is Belize’s most famous dive location. Although it is also home to some other world-class diving locations, there really is no other site like this one. The wide, very deep hole is outlined by the coral reef and the inside is inhabited by sharks.
Although divers consider Blue Hole diving to be a bucket list dive, you should be aware that this is not a dive for divers of all skill levels. It is recommended that a diver should have more than 24 dives logged. It must also be mentioned that it is not a colorful dive, rather more an eye-opener to a dark cave complete with impressive stalactites.
Blue Hole Belize tours can be arranged and are usually full-day trips. These are organized from the coastal tourist communities. It is also accessible by different airlines by aerial tours.
With warm bath-like temperature water, the visibility is very good for Blue Hole dives, ranging at about 30 meters and allows you to get a great view of a reef full of vibrant colors.
The waters very rarely drop below 26. Upon descending into the deep, cool water will begin to shimmer and waver as you pass the “halocline” – the invisible line which divides the salty top from its freshwater depths at about 15 meters deep.
Once submerged, enormous tuna, and other pelagics can be seen to use it to clean themselves. Descending further into the deeps of the dark blue, 25 meters down, you will uncover the ancient caverns to explore the stalactites and stalagmites. The deepest part lies at a depth of 124 meters deep.
Blue Hole dives can be a very worthy experience, but it is very important to remember the dangers of this type of dive, and also the personal duties that you have as a Blue Hole diver, even whilst under the supervision of an experienced Divemaster. It is advised that divers get some deep training before attempting dives at such depths.
It has a deadly reputation with an estimation of 30 fatalities per year, which is why it is known as one of the most dangerous dive sites on the planet. Inexperienced divers are discouraged to dive therein.
Although it is believed to be the Earth’s largest reef in the area, it is by far not even close to being the world’s deepest. There is one known deeper than Belize’s, believed to have been dug by Satan himself – Dean’s Blue Hole.
Dean’s Blue hole is located near to a Town called Clarence in the Bahamas. It drops into a 663-foot underwater cave, which is deep enough to be able to submerge the Washington Monument or even Seattle’s Space Needle.
Us divers absolutely love it, the locals not so much. Not even enough to dip in a toe.
Locals actually believe that this spectacular site was created by Satan himself who dug it out and now lurks in its depths waiting to pick out unwary swimmers who get caught in between the devils’ hands and the deep blue sea.
Having a reputation amongst the world of recreational divers and enthusiasts, it has many things to offer. Although this location is not ideal for the colorful reef lovers, clear waters and a vast variety of flora and fauna are still to be seen. Nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, and bull sharks are some of the things you can meet before entering the dark depths.
Recreational divers are lured here annually to be able to dive in the crystal clear waters and have the chance to meet several species of fish, including the colorful midnight parrotfish and giant groupers.
Reports of people spotting hammerhead sharks along the reefs have been confirmed, but are unfortunately not regularly sighted.
When Is The Best Time To Visit?
It offers all year round Belize scuba diving Blue Hole experiences. If you are not a diver, then at Blue Hole Belize snorkeling is also offered, so do not let this hold you back from this phenomenal experience and take a trip to this world-class snorkeling location.
If you want to go Belize Blue Hole diving then consider the weather. June to November is known to be a rainy season, however, showers are normally short and the visibility offshore is not generally affected. The raining season can sometimes run into the month of December. The risk of large-scale flooding is very low, although after major storms throughout the year small pockets of localized flooding may be possible. Windy months are known to be March, October, and November.
Hurricane season normally runs from June to November. It is advised that during hurricane season, you monitor updates from the local authorities and the media sources before traveling to or around the area.
Full-day trips, blue hole snorkeling and Belize blue hole diving services, and excursions can be organized. The full-day trips normally consist of one dive in the Blue Hole and two additional dives in the nearby reefs. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next scuba diving vacation today.