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 towards the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea appears unreal.
Discovery Channel named the Great Blue Hole in Belize one of the vital superb 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 thing you could learn about visiting the Great Blue Hole.
The Allure of the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is a big marine sinkhole, about 300 meters (984 ft) throughout and 124 meters (407 ft) deep. Located off the coast of this stunning Central American nation The Blue Hole is famend for its practically excellent round form and deep blue shade, seen from above. It is acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was popularized by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of many prime scuba diving websites on the 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 had 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 heart 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 for sure, one of the best scenic flight we’ve ever taken. And we now have completed rather a lot!
Most individuals go to the Great Blue Hole in Belize by boat or when scuba diving. Trips to the Blue Hole will be booked from Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Belize City. While boat journeys supply a sea-level view, and scuba divers can dive deep into the depths of the darkish cavern for bragging rights, aerial excursions supply probably 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, sleek sea turtles, manta rays, and mild nurse sharks.
The identify ‘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 really perfect surroundings 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 fowl’s eye view of the well-known Caye Caulker Split. Caye Caulker was break up into two elements by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The fierce storm carved a slim channel referred to as The Split, creating a definite north and south division of the island. If you go to Belize, we extremely advocate spending a number 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 will likely 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 biggest barrier reef within the Northern Hemisphere and the second largest on the planet after the Great Barrier Reef. We have taken a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia as effectively and located the Belize Barrier Reef to be simply as stunning (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 forms of corals, and an array of marine mammals. We even noticed big rays from the aircraft throughout our scenic flight.
This magnificent reef system, which incorporates a number of offshore atolls, lots of of sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons, and estuaries, performs an important ecological function. It acts as a pure barrier towards 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 speak in confidence to huge open blue waters.
Approaching the Blue Hole
As our aircraft circled the positioning, we had 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 outlet and the lighter blue and vibrant turquoise of the encircling shallow waters was magnificent. We had been fortunate as there have been no boats inside the outlet once we arrived, so we had pristine views of the outlet all to ourselves.
Planning Your Trip
Plan your journey throughout Belize’s dry season to expertise one of the best of the Great Blue Hole from above.
Light clothes, sun shades, and cameras are must-haves for this journey. It was scorching inside our aircraft and we had been joyful to be in shorts and a lightweight 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 stunning 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 in the course of the dry season, from late November to mid-April, when skies are clear and the visibility is unparalleled.
Cost and Booking Tips
The price 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 price 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 stunning waters is like nothing you’ve ever seen.
You can test the Tropic Air Website for charges and availability. Make certain to reach half-hour earlier than your flight to test in and have a photograph ID along with your Passports.
We advocate reserving your flight prematurely, particularly throughout peak vacationer season, to safe your spot. Some tour operators supply bundle offers that embrace different points of interest in Belize, so be looking out for these to take advantage of your journey.
Other Ways to See the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is a world-renowned diving website. Diving right here lets you discover the crystal-clear waters, see the huge underwater stalactites and stalagmites, and presumably encounter marine life like sharks and different fish species. Note that diving within the Great Blue Hole is really helpful for knowledgeable divers resulting from its depth and distinctive circumstances. 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 improbable 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 gear and steering, making it a protected and informative expertise.
Several corporations supply boat excursions to the Great Blue Hole, typically 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 sensible choice for teams with blended pursuits.
Belize is among the prime scuba diving locations on earth and there are various corporations that over in a single day journeys. For a extra immersive expertise, think about a liveaboard journey which incorporates a number of dives within the Great Blue Hole and surrounding areas over a number of days. These journeys typically embrace different prime dive websites in Belize,
Some excursions mix a go to to the Great Blue Hole with different actions in Belize, similar to river tubing, jungle treks, or visits to Mayan ruins. If you might have a short while in Belize and wish to see one of the best of the seashores and jungle, this can be a nice alternative 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 presents a singular aerial spectacle not like another on the 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 beautiful pure wonders. This journey guarantees awe-inspiring views and unforgettable reminiscences. Belize awaits with its open skies and the enchanting Great Blue Hole at its coronary heart. Embrace the journey!