Blue Hole Natural Monument

Blue Hole
Natural Monument

The Blue Hole is a stunning jewel set in a ring of corals. Measuring 1,000 feet across and 412 feet deep, this ocean-floor sinkhole is believed to be the world’s largest blue hole. Divers descend into the Blue Hole's tranquil abyss to see geological wonders and fascinating marine life. Giant stalactites, dripstone sheets, and columns are located in the Gallery at the southern rim of the Great Blue Hole. These structures formed in a dry cavern above sea level during glacial periods.

Blue Hole is one of the top ten diving destinations in the world.Jacques Cousteau revealed the secrets of the mysterious Blue Hole to millions of viewers in 1971 through the television series The Undersea World of Jaques-Yves Cousteau. Today, dive boats follow the way of the famous Calypso to explore one of the world’s best destinations for scuba diving.

Blue Hole Natural Monument is one the seven wonders of Belize’s World Heritage Site. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which covers a total area of 237,962 acres, illustrates a classic example of reefs through fringing, barrier, and atoll types. World Heritage conservation makes a significant contribution to the protection of the environment, its cultural and natural diversity and the interactions between the people and the environment, which are fundamental to ecologically sustainable development.

The History of Blue Hole Natural Monument

The United Nations World Heritage Committee formally adopted seven marine protected areas along the Belize Barrier Reef and its adjacent atolls as a World Heritage Site under UNESCO at their meeting in Merida, Mexico on December 4, 1996.  Blue Hole Natural Monument is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site.

At the launching of the Belize Audubon Society’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations in 1999, an agreement was signed between the Belize Audubon Society and the Government of Belize to co-manage Blue Hole Natural Monument.

Getting There

Blue Hole Natural Monument and the Lighthouse Reef Atoll are located 55 miles east of Belize City. Several PADI dive operators visit Half Moon Caye Natural Monument out of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, or Belize City. There are also charter services from many hops along the country, live-aboard dive ships, as well as island lodges that provide packages that get you there. Local live-aboard dive ships are now required to anchor in designated areas as their anchors have caused irreversible damage to the reef. Air charters are available if you want a good aerial view of the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef Atoll.