Exploring the majestic Great Blue Hole on a scenic flight is an journey of a lifetime. While the Great Blue Hole is known within the scuba diving neighborhood, it’s much more spectacular to see from the sky. Soaring above an immense, deep blue abyss standing out in opposition to the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea appears unreal.
Discovery Channel named the Great Blue Hole in Belize one of the crucial wonderful locations on earth, and when you see it, you’ll perceive why. We took a one-hour personal constitution scenic flight over the Great Blue Hole with Tropic Air, In this text, we are going to share every part you must find out about visiting the Great Blue Hole.
The Allure of the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is a huge marine sinkhole, about 300 meters (984 toes) throughout and 124 meters (407 toes) deep. Located off the coast of this lovely Central American nation The Blue Hole is famend for its practically good round form and deep blue coloration, seen from above. It is acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was popularized by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of many high scuba diving websites on this planet. Since then, tourism has expanded to incorporate scenic flights, snorkeling journeys, and boat excursions.
Originally, The Great Blue Hole was a part of a limestone cave system over the last ice age. As the ice caps started melting and sea ranges rose, the caves have been flooded, and their roofs collapsed, resulting in the formation of this round, deep blue void. The Great Blue Hole is a must-visit when touring to Belize.
Location and How to Get to the Blue Hole
Located within the middle of Lighthouse Reef, a tiny atoll some 70 km (43 miles) from the mainland of Belize, the Great Blue Hole is accessible by boat and air.
When we first visited Belize 20 years in the past, the one technique to see the Great Blue Hole was on a scuba diving journey, however issues have modified and even non-divers can now expertise this pure world surprise.
We booked a flight from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye for our scenic flight to the Blue Hole which lasted for one hour. This flight to the Great Blue Hole was certainly, the most effective scenic flight we’ve ever taken. And we’ve got completed quite a bit!
Most individuals go to the Great Blue Hole in Belize by boat or when scuba diving. Trips to the Blue Hole could be booked from Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Belize City. While boat journeys provide a sea-level view, and scuba divers can dive deep into the depths of the darkish cavern for bragging rights, aerial excursions provide essentially the most breathtaking perspective of this pure surprise.
The Experience of Flying Over the Great Blue Hole
Flying over the Great Blue Hole is nothing wanting spectacular. We left Ambergris Caye in our personal four-seater aircraft and spent an hour within the air overlooking the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize is one other jewel in Belize’s crown of pure wonders. This marine sanctuary was established in 1987 and spans roughly 18 sq. kilometers (7 sq. miles). It is a haven for an astonishing number of marine life, particularly, swish sea turtles, manta rays, and delicate nurse sharks.
The title ‘Hol Chan’ comes from the Mayan language, which means ‘Little Channel’, which aptly describes the reserve’s pure break within the Belize Barrier Reef. This break creates a great setting for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Our Great Blue Hole Flight
The journey started from San Pedro airport and took us over Ambergris Caye to see the town, its shoreline, and a few gems like Secret Beach.
We then continued to fly over neighboring Caye Caulker, the place we had a chicken’s eye view of the well-known Caye Caulker Split. Caye Caulker was break up into two components by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The fierce storm carved a slim channel generally known as The Split, creating a definite north and south division of the island. If you go to Belize, we extremely suggest spending a couple of days on Caye Caulker.
We then flew out over the Belize Barrier Reef to see a few of its 400+ cayes and atolls. We noticed a non-public island that’s being remodeled right into a luxurious five-star retreat that shall be a non-public escape for the wealthy and well-known and we noticed different personal islands scattered between the Belize mainland and the Blue Hole throughout our 70 km flight.
The Belize Barrier Reef
The Belize Barrier Reef is a spectacular pure surprise. It is the most important barrier reef within the Northern Hemisphere and the second largest on this planet after the Great Barrier Reef. We have taken a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia as nicely and located the Belize Barrier Reef to be simply as lovely (if no more) than its extra well-known cousin. ,
Spanning over 300 kilometers (190 miles), this UNESCO World Heritage Site is house to over 500 species of fish, quite a few kinds of corals, and an array of marine mammals. We even noticed large rays from the aircraft throughout our scenic flight.
This magnificent reef system, which incorporates a number of offshore atolls, a whole lot of sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons, and estuaries, performs a vital ecological position. It acts as a pure barrier in opposition to sturdy waves, defending Belize’s shoreline and supporting the nation’s fishing business.
It was fascinating to see the distinct divide between the barrier reef and the Belize coast confide in extensive open blue waters.
Approaching the Blue Hole
As our aircraft circled the location, we have been giddy with pleasure. Our captain made 4 passes across the Blue Hole – two on both aspect of the aircraft, so Dave and I each had ample views of the pure surprise.
The stark distinction between the darkish blue of the opening and the lighter blue and vibrant turquoise of the encircling shallow waters was magnificent. We have been fortunate as there have been no boats inside the opening after we arrived, so we had pristine views of the opening all to ourselves.
Planning Your Trip
Plan your journey throughout Belize’s dry season to expertise the most effective of the Great Blue Hole from above.
Light clothes, sun shades, and cameras are must-haves for this journey. It was sizzling inside our aircraft and we have been joyful to be in shorts and a light-weight T-shirt.
Most, importantly, guarantee your digital camera has sufficient reminiscence and an additional battery, as you’ll wish to seize each second of this unimaginable expertise. We didn’t get to the Blue Hole till about half-hour into our flight and we already took a ton of images because the coast and waters of Belize are lovely in their very own proper!
Flights usually final round one hour, providing ample time to marvel at this surprise. The finest occasions for flights are throughout the dry season, from late November to mid-April, when skies are clear and the visibility is unparalleled.
Cost and Booking Tips
The value of flying over the Great Blue Hole varies, usually starting from $200 to USD 500 per particular person, relying on the tour operator and the plane used. Private charters can run usually round USD 1200. The value is totally value it. We’ve taken a number of scenic flights world wide that final solely ten to twenty minutes. An hour over these lovely waters is like nothing you’ve ever seen.
You can examine the Tropic Air Website for charges and availability. Make positive to reach half-hour earlier than your flight to examine in and have a photograph ID together with your Passports.
We suggest reserving your flight prematurely, particularly throughout peak vacationer season, to safe your spot. Some tour operators provide bundle offers that embody different points of interest in Belize, so be looking out for these to profit from your journey.
Other Ways to See the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is a world-renowned diving web site. Diving right here means that you can discover the crystal-clear waters, see the huge underwater stalactites and stalagmites, and probably encounter marine life like sharks and different fish species. Note that diving within the Great Blue Hole is really useful for knowledgeable divers on account of its depth and distinctive situations. Dive outlets would require proof of deep and superior open-water diving expertise.
If you’re not a diver, snorkeling across the edges of the Great Blue Hole is a unbelievable various. You gained’t see the deep, darker depths, however the surrounding reef areas are teeming with vibrant marine life. There are many snorkeling excursions accessible that present tools and steerage, making it a secure and informative expertise.
Several firms provide boat excursions to the Great Blue Hole, usually mixed with stops at close by points of interest just like the Half Moon Caye or the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. These excursions often cater to divers and snorkelers, making them a good selection for teams with combined pursuits.
Belize is among the high scuba diving locations on earth and there are numerous firms that over in a single day journeys. For a extra immersive expertise, contemplate a liveaboard journey which incorporates a number of dives within the Great Blue Hole and surrounding areas over a number of days. These journeys usually embody different high dive websites in Belize,
Some excursions mix a go to to the Great Blue Hole with different actions in Belize, reminiscent of river tubing, jungle treks, or visits to Mayan ruins. If you’ve gotten a short while in Belize and wish to see the most effective of the seashores and jungle, it is a nice selection offering a well-rounded expertise of the nation’s various points of interest.
Located off the coast of this Central American paradise, the Great Blue Hole gives a singular aerial spectacle in contrast to every other on this planet. A flight over the Great Blue Hole is extra than simply an aerial tour; it’s an encounter with one of many world’s most gorgeous pure wonders. This journey guarantees awe-inspiring views and unforgettable recollections. Belize awaits with its open skies and the enchanting Great Blue Hole at its coronary heart. Embrace the journey!