Exploring the Great Blue Hole from above
The Great Blue Hole is undeniably Belize’s biggest tourist seduction, and for good reason. Guidebooks are crammed with the ubiquitous “Jacques Cousteau” line and a must for scuba divers. But what is often overlooked (pun intended) is seeing the 407-feet deep funnel-shaped UNESCO World Heritage Site from a narrow 6-seater plane.
The cobalt-colored sinkhole, part of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, lies just 43 miles from the mainland.
The entire aerial roundtrip tour takes about 1.5 hours. After a mere half-hour or so in a light aircraft – and through at least four shades of blue – you will be able to spot the Blue Hole in the horizon. The ride to the sinkhole itself is one entirely devoid of ordinary. After passing the first reef, the water becomes more tumultuous; white-tipped waves crashing against one another resemble squirming white specks.
Though some might be unnerved by the tiny size of the plane (you have to crouch to get in), it allows every single passenger a clear uninterrupted view of the watery marvel. This is where the pilot’s skills really come in. No angle is left unturned as the aircraft dips to the left, dips to the right, then flies literally parallel to the Blue Hole. Infinite opportunities for all kinds of Blue Hole #selfies.
After the dizzying – but amazing – tricks, the plane gently lowers to a bewildering 100 feet above the sinkhole.
A few feet more, and you’d feel like skimming your fingers atop the water.
- 406.9 feet deep, 1049.8 wide
- 43 miles off the mainland
- UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Consists of Hammerhead Sharks, among other extraordinary marine life
There’s more than just a pretty, giant hole in our sea; on the way, the two reefs are a sight to behold, like two shades of blue chastely kissing. There is also a large ship-wreck some little ways a way from the sinkhole. Although the history of it is unclear, the rusting relic feels like a little keepsake from the vast ocean.
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