Great Blue Hole Belize: Everything You Need to Know

sky diving

The Great Blue Hole Belize is one of the best natural wonders in the world. Locating off the shore of Belize in the Caribbean Sea, the inside of this hole looks mysterious and dangerous. And as one of the largest underwater sinkholes in the world, its width is around 1000 feet, and the depth is around 400 feet. You can also easily spot this since it has a unique deep blue color while the surrounding has light blue color water.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Great Blue Hole Belize.

Great Blue Hole Belize

Great Blue Hole Belize Facts

This Blue Hole was featured in the TV Show “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” by the world-famous French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. The episode title was “Secrets of the Sunken Caves.” He has titled under the name of “Caves” since the hole is technically a vertical limestone cave.

Great Blue Hole Belize Facts

After that, recently (in 2018), the billionaire Richard Branson showed a video of going down to the hole by a submarine. And he has further explained that they did not go till the end, as it is said to be filled with silt for the last  100,000 years. However, they have reached very closer to natural objects. For example, below the surface, there are stalactites and stalagmites (at around 40 feet depth).

Only the diving experts can dive into the Great Blue Hole inside, and the snorkelers can only swim on the surface. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

Facts in Short Form about Great Blue Hole Belize

Here are the major facts about this mysterious underwater hole in a short form.

  • It is located 60 miles away from Belize Mainland. And you can only reach it by boat from Belize Island. The journey will take around 1.5 hours, and it is an isolated, mysterious place in the Caribbean Ocean. But, still, a lot of adventure travelers attract to this place annually.
  • According to its size, two Boeing aircraft (747) fit into the blue hole.
  • This was formed after collapsing a large limestone cave in the last glacial period. It is believed that filling the rising water was the reason to collapse it.
  • The Great Blue Hole is a part of a large reef system called the Belize Barrier Reef System. Therefore snorkelers have a lot more to discover around the area.
  • But, there are no colorful reefs and marine life inside the hole. Everything is sandy and colorless. You may see some fish and sea life near the Great Blue Hole’s surface and in nearby shallow lagoons.
  • The founder of this hole’s name is a famous British diver and author Ned Middleton in 1988. He named this “Belize Blue Hole.”
  • Even Bill Gates (2nd richest man in the world) has visited this place with his family in 2012.
  • The Discovery Channel ranked this Blue Hole on the top of the 10 most amazing places on the earth. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

Hotels in Belize

As I mentioned earlier, the Great Blue Hole in Belize is located 60 miles away from the mainland of Belize. And it is protected as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Belize Barrier Reef. Exactly it lies around the center of Light House Reef or a ring-shaped reef (atoll) in the barrier reef’s eastern part.

So, if you plan to visit Great Blue Hole, you have to book a hotel in Belize. Here are the best hotels in Belize. Just zoom out the map and find the ideal place to match your budget.

Inside the Great Blue Hole

You may see some fish and sea life near the Great Blue Hole’s surface and in nearby shallow lagoons. But do not give up. Just continue your dive until seeing beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Actually, it is one of the proofs that once, this cave was a ground surface.

But, although thousands of people snorkel or dive on the surface, very few amounts of explorers tried to dive deeper to discover the bottom. They have kept some narrations and records regarding their journey through the darkness of 125m into the earth’s crust.

When they go into the Blue Hole, they have found giant grey color corals, turtles, nurse sharks, and reef sharks like attractive marines. But, when they continue further for around 90m, the lives things have vanished suddenly. And a thick layer was thereby covering the whole width of the sinkhole containing the toxic hydrogen sulfide. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

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What’s at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole Belize?

What's at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole Belize?

Obviously, due to not having oxygen and sunlight, no lives are there. But, they have seen some hermit crabs and conchs like trapped ones near the bottom. Further, they say that it was like a conchs’ graveyard.

Then, here’s the most interesting part. When they go for around 120m to the bottom side, they found the amazing stalactites. Since this hole was a big dry cave on the earth before the last Ice Age, living things should definitely be there.

With the increment of ocean water in the last Ice Age, caves have flooded and collapsed. Then, this kind of Blue Holes was created. (Some other Blue Holes in the world: Dean’s Blue Hole Bahamas, Dragon Hole in the South China Sea)

Finally, they have discovered the bottom filled with silt from the hurricanes, cyclones, and waterfalls in the past. Currently, it is yet filling with the silt of waterfalls and others. One day it will disappear due to that. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

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Is the great blue hole in Belize dangerous?

They also mentioned that they discovered two dead bodies of divers out of three who disappeared while diving in this hole a long time ago. According to the records, the missing three divers had reached the hydrogen sulfide thick layer and then faced oxygen lacking problems.

Obviously, there’s a dangerous side of this sinkhole since the oxygen and light level is reducing with the depth. So, you definitely need expert diving skills with equipment. Even snorkel or dive on the surface, follow all the safety tips given by your diving guide.

Branson further says that when he saw the Fineline of the rock change where it used to be on the land, he was realized how dangerous the climate-changing effects are. Yes, of course. Climate changes are occurring continuously due to the bad habits of humans. The best evidence for that is that the crew with Branson shows the videos of plastic bottles at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole Belize. And it is the sad truth of our over usage of plastics. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

Can you swim in the Blue Hole Belize?

Of course, you can swim on the surface of the Blue Hole Belize. But, you need to train for some time before diving inside the sinkhole. Information about diving is mentioned below.

It contains shallow water surrounding the Great Blue Hole Belize; it is rich with different marine lives and corals. But, inside the hole, the story is different. The sheer walls limited the sunlight and created a dim light environment. And also, poor water circulation reduces the nutrients available inside. So, you cannot see much life inside.

But still, you can swim through crystal clear water, and sometimes there are Caribbean sharks, hammerhead or Bull sharks, etc. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

Blue Hole Belize diving

The Blue Hole dive is one of the best dives in the world. And also, this is one of the most recognized dive sites by the non-divers in the world. But, throughout the article, I mentioned that this sinkhole lacks marine life and corals. Then, you may think why divers attract so much to here. Here’s the major reason for that. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

Blue Hole Belize diving

This is a unique cave diving that is not frequent in oceans. It would be best if you always dived very close to the rim or wall. And that rim is about 10m deep and slopes till 15m. Since you always dive close to the sides, then you will clearly notice the fascinating limestone formations.

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When you dive further, you will experience a sense of cave diving—the changes like Sudden temperature drops and visibility improvements. But, when you dive further, you may see like 6m tall stalactites and stalagmites. Then, you will feel the value of diving through the non-oxygen zone. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

Plan diving sessions in the Blue Hole

Dive operators in Southern Belize or Ambergris Caye offer day trips to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and the Great Blue Hole. Normally, there should be 8 to 10 members per tour. When you confirm at least 24 hours early, they will check the weather forecasts and confirm your tour. The quality of your experience highly depends on the diving company you have selected.

Plan diving sessions in the Great Blue Hole Belize

You can dive inside the sinkhole only if you are a diving expert. Otherwise, the companies expect you to have at least 24 successful dives under the belt before entering the hole. Snorkelers can stay on the surface of the sinkhole and in the surrounding shallows. So, make an adventurous team with you and book the tour. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

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If you are taking the boat ride from Ambergris Caye, it will take around 3 hours to reach the Blue Hole. And if you start the ride from Palencia Sothern Belize, it will take around 4 hours. But, wherever you start and whenever you go, this ride is a little rough and bumpy. You will probably get seasick. So, get ready for that.

You may think it will be a long and boring ride. Not at all, if you select a funny and adventurous team with you. And most of the diving companies offer not only tours to the Great Blue Hole Belize. They also take you to Long Caye Wall and Half Moon Caye Wall-like places. (Great Blue Hole Belize)

sky diving

There are skydiving tours as well. Try this link to make your journey more adventurous.

Are there sharks in the Blue Hole in Belize?

Of course, the Great Blue Hole in Belize is home to several shark species. As I have mentioned previously, you may see Caribbean reef sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, and nurse sharks are there.

Are there sharks in the Blue Hole in Belize


Great Blue Hole Belize