The Great Blue Hole, Belize
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Offbeat Traveler: Belize’s Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole, Belize
There are many blue holes off the coast of Belize, but the “great” Blue Hole on Lighthouse Reef Atoll is the one most visible in a flyover -- and the most famous one for diving. The hole is about 1,000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep.

-- Los Angeles Times (USGS)
Vertical aerial of Blue Hole
The Blue Hole sits on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, about 50 miles east of Belize City. (Tony Rath / Tony Rath Photography)
The Great Blue Hole, Belize
The late Jacques Cousteau and a filming crew explored the underwater cave whose roof collapsed about 10,000 years ago. (Tony Rath / Tony Rath Photography)
The Great Blue Hole, Belize
Diving in the great Blue Hole requires advanced skills. Divers descend to about 135 feet to explore the exotic wildlife and underwater features. (Tony Rath / Tony Rath Photography)
The Great Blue Hole, Belize
Some divers tour the lip of the crater, according to the Belize Tourism Board, which is about 60 to 80 feet underwater. (Rohan Ashton)
The Great Blue Hole, Belize
Coral and fish inside the great Blue Hole. (Rohan Ashton)
Coral and yellow fish
Coral and fish in the great Blue Hole. (Rohan Ashton)
Orange fish
A type of parrotfish in the Blue Hole, part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which covers more than 200,000 acres. (Rohan Ashton)
Yellow Sponge
A sponge on the reef in the Blue Hole. (Rohan Ashton)
Fish
Glimpses of the underwater world inside the Blue Hole. (Rohan Ashton)
Yellow fish
Blue-striped grunt fish thrive in the waters of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which includes the great Blue Hole. (Tony Rath of Tony Rath Photography)
Diver and coral
A diver with elkhorn coral in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. (Tony Rath / Tony Rath Photography)
Diving with turtles
Sea turtles ply the waters of the barrier reef, a series of coral reefs off Belize. (Tony Rath / Tony Rath Photography)
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