Belize city, the largest city in the central American country of Belize. It is located at the mouth of the Belize river on the cost of the Caribbean. Belize is a beautiful Caribbean gate way where tourists can laze away on white sandy beaches, dive in the western hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, hike through lush jungles. But the most importantly Belize is known for its most adventurous and extraordinary natural creation that is the great blue hole. A feature attraction of diving in Belize, specially for divers with a appreciation of geographical phenomena, is the opportunity to explore the famed blue hole.
The Great Blue Hole is a world-class destination for recreational scuba divers attracted by the opportunity to dive in crystal-clear waters and see myriad species of marine life including tropical fish and spectacular coral formations. The blue hole is located 45 miles away due east of ambergris caye, 75 km east of Belize city and 8 km north of half moon caye natural monument, is located at lighthouse reef atoll. The hole is almost perfectly circular over 1000 feet across and 400 feet deep and is almost surrounded by fringing reefs which make it an excellent snorkel adventurous spot. A blue hole is a cave inland or underwater sinkhole also called as vertical caves. There are many blue holes located around the world but the most famous can be found in Belize, Australia, Egypt and the Bahamas. Most blue holes contain freshwater and saltwater
The Blue Hole of Belize is unique and is the only Blue Hole that can actually be seen from space with the naked eye. It is called blue hole because of the striking indigo blue color of the deep hole in comparison to lighter shades of green and blue of the surrounding. The blue hole is considered a land mark of Belize is a prime attraction of the country. It was originally an above ground cave and as the water levels rose the weight of the water caused the roof to collapse and form an almost perfect circular hole. The blue hole is more of dive destination but it also offer excellent snorkeling around the rim of the hole. This site was made famous by jacues yves Cousteau who declared this as one of the top ten best scuba diving sites in the world.
From above, this renowned dive spot looks like a dark blue circle in the middle of a vast expanse of turquoise. Divers seek this limestone sinkhole for a challenge and a thrill, but also for an education in natural history. great hole has a total 11 underwater caves. They all vary in depth and length. The most shallow is the great blue hole at 124 meters to the most deep each year around 200000 people come from all over world to experience this extraordinary natural creation. This is also famous for 500 rare forms of animals and plants. On different locations you will find variety in the color of blue hole like few miles away it looks more turquoise in color as you come to close it looks crystal blue. the temperature in the blue hole at 130 ft is about 76 F with hardly any change throughout the year.
The Great Blue Hole’s geological past spans 150,000 years, back to a time when it actually existed above ground, as evinced by the presence of stalactites in its underwater caves. Although many mysteries remain as to the origin of the great blue hole, scientists believe that a series of dry caves predating the Ice Age gave rise to the submerged sinkhole of today. Sometime before the last great thaw, an earthquake shook the area to an angle of 12 degrees, which explains why the stalactites hang so strangely tilted. Following this seismic upset, the melting of the last Ice Age flooded the cave systems and eventually the limestone ceilings of the once-dry caves collapsed under the weight of the water, creating one giant sinkhole 1,000 feet in diameter and over 400 feet deep.
Now it is declared as world heritage for preservation for coming generations. A plethora of plants and animals inhabiting the reef, lobsters, turtles and schools of bright fish swim and feed in patches of the purple coral found around the great blue hole. The marine life in this area includes nurse sharks, giant groupers and several types of reef sharks such as Caribbean reef shark and black tip shark. The most popular dive destination in Belize, the Great Blue Hole offers divers interesting observations of limestone formations that mold its walls. This massive sinkhole under the water is near the Lighthouse Reef and creates a perfect circle of deep blue water. The deeper one dives into the Great Blue Hole, the clearer the water and the more breathtaking the scenery, as the array of bizarre stalactites and limestone formations become more complex and intense.
There is lot to enjoyed from the blue hole dive. Although the Great Blue Hole is most definitely great but it also required a certain level of experience and responsibility. So the Visitors visiting to Belize must not miss the opportunity to visit great blue hole, one of the world’s most recognizable natural wonders.