An aerial view of the Great Blue Hole in Belize

The Great Blue Hole in Belize

The Blue Hole Natural Monument is a breathtaking ring of coral encircling a huge, underwater sinkhole located in the shallow waters of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The Great Blue Hole of Belize, the monument’s principal attraction, is circular in shape and roughly 1,000 feet across (300 meters) and over 400 feet deep (120 meters).

Located off of Ambergris Caye, it is the largest geological formation of its kind in the world. This collapsed cave system was likely formed above ground 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. Today, you can still experience the vertical cliffs and overhanging shelves supporting stalactites and stalagmites in the deep, blue water, though it will take a scuba dive in Belize to experience it.

Made famous by world-renowned underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, the Blue Hole Belize diving site is on the bucket list of virtually every scuba diver in the world. Its vertical plunge, passing marine life like Caribbean Reef Sharks into the ancient cenote, eventually gives way to enormous stalactites and caves.

If you aren’t interested in diving the Great Blue Hole, you can still see the natural moment via aerial tours that depart daily. Even more captivating and photogenic when seen from the air, the Great Blue Hole is so large it can even be seen from space.

“Seeing the stalagmites and stalactites 140 feet down is an awesome experience. And you can’t see the bottom from there. Our dive lasted about 8 minutes at the Arch,” says TripAdvisor user @Charlieo122.

Travel Information

Located near the center of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the Great Blue Hole of Belize can be experienced by a day dive-boat trip, live-aboard dive vessel, or by air tour. Book a diving or snorkeling excursion with a sustainable, licensed tour operator or an Instagram-worthy sightseeing tour with a local airline.  See our responsible visitation guidelines before visiting so you can do your part to protect the Belize Barrier Reef for future generations to enjoy.

An aerial view of the Great Blue Hole in Belize