Belize Top Destinations
Belize travel destination
The Blue Hole is a feature attraction of diving in Belize, especially for divers with an appreciation of geographical phenomena - this is your opportunity to explore the famous Blue Hole. Part of the Lighthouse Reef System, at approximately 62 miles (100 km) from Belize City, the almost perfectly circular Blue Hole has a radius of more than 1,000 feet (305 m). It is one of the most astounding dive sites to be found anywhere on earth. Located in the center of the Lighthouse Reef the Blue Hole is a large hole of water 480 feet (145 m) deep, which gives the deep blue color that causes such structures throughout the world to be known as "blue holes."
The coral actually breaks the surface in many sections at low tide. Except for two narrow channels, the reef surrounds the hole. The hole itself is the opening to a system of caves and passageway that penetrate this undersea mountain. In various places, massive limestone stalactites hang down from what was once the ceiling of air-filled caves before the end of the last Ice Age. The hole is the opening to what was a dry cave system during the Ice Age. When the ice melted and the sea level rose, the caves were flooded, creating what is now a magnet for many divers. Today the Blue Hole is famed for its sponges, barracuda, corals, angelfish, and a school of sharks often seen patrolling the hole’s edge.
A stalactite marks an entrance to the Blue Hole’s underwater cave system. This famous sinkhole at Lighthouse Reef, became an icon of Belize after renowned researcher Jacques Cousteau, explored it in 1970. At the crest of the thousand-foot circular reef, snorkelers in its clear waters delight in seeing exquisite corals, energetic fish, colorful sponges, and graceful sea fans. The rim descends to 90 feet at 60 degrees, then drops vertically to 120 feet. Mammoth caverns perforate the walls.
The entrance to the cavern cannot be reached without descending more than 110 feet (34 meters) down a sheer rock wall - some 10 feet (3 meters) deeper than the recommended maximum depth for recreational divers. At these depths, a diver has only a matter of minutes before breathing compressed air becomes dangerous, due to high levels of nitrogen that accumulate in the blood.