World Reviewer rating

Must go!
Rating 4.4 (177 votes)

Diving the Great Blue Hole

Listed under Diving in Belize City, Belize.

Photo of Diving the Great Blue Hole
Photo by flickr user JennyHuang
Pin It

This is one of the world’s most famous dives, I saw a dvd showing it and I really wanted to go, so much so that I went and had some more technical diving lessons to get good enough to be allowed to go to the bottom. It’s probably the hardest dive I’ve done in terms of depth and compression. Realistically it was an experience like no other, but I would probably have been just as blown away doing a shallower dive around the top of the hole.

The Great Blue Hole is basically a huge sinkhole in the reef and because it’s a lot deeper than the reef around it it looks really dark blue. The holes walls are light coloured limestone and it‘s about 100 - 120 metres across and probably a bit deeper than it is wide. People say it’s a perfect circle, but it’s actually got two breaks in the circle and because of the big coral growths near the holes mouth it doesn’t look quite circular. I saw angelfish and butterflyfish around the rim. Once you get past the coral at the top the walls are pretty smooth for the first 50 metres or so, then ledges start to form, which is where it gets more interesting if you like to dive amongst fish and the visibility is pretty good for the first bit and the water is still, good conditions for fish watching. I saw most os the animal life at the top of the hole but bigger fish further down including tuna, a blacktip reef shark and a bull shark. The weird rock stalactite type rock formations on the inside of the hole get spikier the deeper you get. If you’re going down into it at the bottom there’s some tunnels and a couple of big caves. It’s really quiet down there and dark, it’s probably the darkest dive I’ve been on and to be honest I felt a bit claustrophobic even though I’d seen the dvd so I knew what to expect and what to look for. I had a really nice guide and I felt safe but still a bit nervous but I think it’s just the surroundings and the depth that make you feel frilly.

Written by  Dan Mason.

Other expert and press reviews

“Divers dig deep for the hole truth about our ancestors”

By Roger Highfield for the Telegraph First published March 4, 2008 A pioneering study of life recorded in giant sinkholes that extend far below sea level has shown scientists the catastrophic impact that ancient communities had on their environments. … Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from the Telegraph

“The Great Blue Hole”

A giant, almost perfectly circular sinkhole in the Lighthouse Reef System, the Great Blue Hole is a dive site like no other. Smooth limestone walls go down about 150 metres – straight down – sprouting more and more unusual shapes in limestone as you ge… Read more...

Written by  Nick Shaw.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Even Snorkeling gives you a great experience

The Blue Hole is a good place to deep water dive. It is a completely circular sink hole which was originally an above ground cave. When the water levels rose the weight of the water caused the roof to collapse in and hence formed an almost perfectly circular hole. Even Snorkeling gives you a great experience, we snorkeled half the rim of the Blue Hole and saw lots of fish and even a reef shark. I was a little surprised that the Blue Hole looks so different in person than in aerial shots - the coral is so close to the top of the water, in pictures it looks like land, but it's really not. It was a great trip and although a long day & long boat ride (2 hours from San Pedro), it was worth the trip.

1 Reply

Thanks for giving us a report, jadesmith - I'm not a diver but I'd love to see the Blue Hole, so it's good to know that it's still worth visiting even if you can only snorkel.

The Great Blue Hole

400ms across and 145ms deep, the Great Blue Hole was named by Jacques-Yves Cousteau as one of the world’s top ten diving spots. The hole is a large, almost circular, limestone sinkhole in which has formed an array of limestone stalactites and formations, edged by a reef.

In addition to the coral it’s possible to see bull sharks, though divers will definitely see Pederson’s cleaning shrimp, Angel fish and Neon gobies

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

Similar Experiences

  • Dive with Reef Sharks in the Grand Bahamas

    When I am not working my favourite dive is in Grand Bahamas with the Caribbean reef sharks. The dive operators here do hand fee…

  • Diving Blue Corner

    Strong currents bring in the food, which brings in the fish, which brings in the divers, who have fun in the currents. And the…

  • North Save-a-Tack Passage Dive

    Namena is in the migratory path of both whale and dolphin species, is lined with islands where turtles come to lay their eggs a…

Related links

Contribute to this page