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What is the best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize?

A shot of the Blue from the air – best way to see the Blue Hole

The best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize is from above. Here’s our guide on how to make the most of your scenic flight

In 1971, Jacques Cousteau famously described Belize’s Great Blue Hole (now the Blue Hole Natural Monument) as one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. Ever since, the giant sinkhole in the middle of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef has captivated the public’s attention.

Measuring 318m (1,043ft) across and 124m (407ft) deep, the Blue Hole and its surrounding reef system are truly mesmerising. But it’s one of those sites that actually looks better from afar. We believe the best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize is from above. Here’s why.

Best seen from the air

While Kia and I are both qualified open water divers – and I have the advanced qualification – reports suggest that at most depths in the Blue Hole, there is not actually much to see. Some divers have even described it as boring and underwhelming. It’s just too dark down there. It’s not until you get to the caverns and overhangs, located at around 34m (110ft) and deeper, that the dive offers more to see – and you’ll need a torch for that.

While there are reef sharks and the occasional hammerhead to see, the dive is less about marine life and more of a rite of passage among divers, known instead for its thrilling dark descent and submarine stalactites. In reality, though, most divers won’t get even halfway down the vertical cave – let alone anywhere near the bottom.

Divers must complete a deep diver qualification and even then, you’re only able to descend 40m (131ft) into the Blue Hole’s depths. You’ll have around eight minutes of ‘bottom time’ even though you’ll be far from the seabed proper. If you want to go deeper than 60m (200ft), you’ll need to use hypoxic breathing gas. In short, to truly experience diving the Blue Hole, you need to be an elite diver or a billionaire.

Atlas & Boots The Blue Hole is best seen from above

Another option is to snorkel around the rim. While the surrounding reef is known for its diverse fish life, you won’t be able to truly appreciate the Blue Hole’s size or the characteristics that make it so special. As such, the consensus is that the best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize is from above.

How to make it happen

We took a scenic flight over the Blue Hole from the island of Ambergris Caye…

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