Scuba diving in Great Blue Hole
This location is a world-class site, a part of the larger Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Great Blue Hole is a huge submarine sinkhole at least 150,000 years old. It is nestled in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll off the coast of Belize, where an island of coral encircles turquoise-colored waters of the lagoon. The hole is perfectly circular in shape, over 300m/984ft in diameter and 125m/410ft deep. The sinkhole had first formed as a limestone cave during the previous glacial period, a time when sea levels were significantly lower than now. When the ocean began to rise, the cave system flooded and finally collapsed, creating a "vertical cave" in the ocean. Jacques Cousteau explored this site and confirmed that it had indeed originated from a limestone cave formation. It's worth mentioning that the deeper it goes, formations become more complicated and the water more clear. On the western side, at a depth of 70m/230ft, there is an entrance to a large cave, West Wall Cave. Moving inside it divers can spot skeletons of turtles and other creatures. Diving here is more suitable for experienced divers, although it is also a popular spot among recreational divers.
When to go
Diving in Belize is possible throughout the year. The average sea temperature ranges from 25C/77F to 28C/82F all year round.
What to see
Stunning geological formations, walls, caves, caverns, tunnels as well as myriad species of marine life and coral formations. Huge stalactites and stalagmites are found below the surface, mostly located at the depth of 30-45m/ft; their size can reach up to 9-12m/30-40ft in length. The marine life here includes big groupers, parrotfish, nurse sharks, Blacktip shark, Caribbean reef shark and the occasional bull shark and hammerheads as well as many other fish.