The Belize scuba diving sites of repute are numerous, and there are few countries
where the diving is so good and the ability to enjoy it
so easy. Arguably the king of the best Belize dive sites
is the famed Blue Hole. If you've come to Belize
exclusively to scuba dive, you will not want to miss the
chance to dive the Blue Hole. The famous French diver
and scientist, Jacques Cousteau, placed the Belize Blue
Hole among his ten favorite dive sites in the world, so
that should give you an idea of the kind of experience
to be had here. The Blue Hole Belize diving experience
is perhaps best left for advanced divers, at least if
you plan to head deep within. Less-experienced divers
can still dive around the rim of the Blue Hole, which
is still worthy of bragging about. Snorkelers can also
cruise the waters around it to get an idea of its overall
mystique. The good news for visitors to Belize is that
the Blue Hole and the other best Belize dive sites are
all easy to access. The number of tour providers that
can get you here is impressive, so you'll want to
consider at least a sailing
trip to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll which surrounds the
The Lighthouse Reef Atoll is found east of the Belize Barrier Reef, some 60 miles offshore from Belize City. During the Ice Age, the Belize Blue Hole was the mouth of a cave system, which is part of it's allure. Should you dive here, you'll observe some truly intriguing marine stalactites that surely give testament to its past. The stalactites and other limestone formations found within the Blue Hole become more intense and intriguing the further down you dive, and also, the further down you go, the water seems to get clearer. In other words, should you dare descend into this dark lair, you will be rewarded for your courage. The Blue Hole, which is basically an underwater sinkhole of considerable proportions, is some 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep. For all intents and purposes, it is a bottomless pit, and it's the extreme depth of the hole that accounts for its deep blue color. It's amazing to see it from the air, as the opening is basically a perfect circle. In 1996, the Belize Blue Hole was designated a World Heritage Site, and in 1999, it was named a Belize national monument.
Though the walls of the Belize Blue Hole are mostly smooth and vertical, there are spots were giant overhangs and ledges can be explored. These ledges are where the stalactites cling, and due to a past earthquake, some of these stalactites hang at a 12-degree pitch. The rim of the Blue Hole starts about 30-35 feet down, and though it's certainly worth it to descend further past the entrance, the perimeter diving and snorkeling is really excellent enough. As mentioned, only advanced divers are encouraged to head deep within the Belize Blue Hole for most. If you are a less-experienced diver, your dive guide can stay with you to ensure greater safety if you wish. The best places to arrange expeditions to the Blue Hole and to the other best Belize dive sites are the offshore cayes. Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are two of the larger and more popular Belize cayes to head to, and there are no shortage of tour operators and dive shops that can take you to the Blue Hole. The dive boats tend to leave pretty early in the morning, as it's a bit of a trip out, and if you and your diving mates are feeling especially courageous, you can vote to have the dive guides chum the water. This attracts hammer head sharks, and other sharks, so you might find the idea a bit unsettling, so when it comes time to vote, you'll certainly have your say.
As far down as 130 feet into the Belize Blue Hole, the water temperature stays at 76 degrees or above, which helps to make this one of the best Belize dive sites. You can enjoy it year round, though arguably the best time to dive the Blue Hole is during the dry season, which is essentially between the months of November and April. Should you be interested in diving the Belize Blue Hole, you can find plenty of Belize vacation packages that offer the experience as part of their itineraries. Some of these packages can also include trips to Belize Maya sites, excursions to some of the top Belize caves, and other top attractions. You might take advantage of one of these packages, and some even include your accommodations and transportation, which can help to make your Belize vacation less stressful.