One of the best ways to see the Blue Gap of Belize is from above. Right here’s our information on profit from your scenic flight
In 1971, Jacques Cousteau famously described Belize’s Nice Blue Gap (now the Blue Gap Pure Monument) as one of many world’s high 10 dive websites. Ever since, the large sinkhole in the course of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef has captivated the general public’s consideration.
Measuring 318m (1,043ft) throughout and 124m (407ft) deep, the Blue Gap and its surrounding reef system are actually mesmerising. However it’s a kind of websites that truly appears higher from afar. We consider one of the simplest ways to see the Blue Gap of Belize is from above. Right here’s why.
Finest seen from the air
Whereas Kia and I are each certified open water divers – and I’ve the advanced qualification – studies suggest that at most depths within the Blue Gap, there may be not truly a lot to see. Some divers have even described it as boring and underwhelming. It’s simply too darkish down there. It’s not till you get to the caverns and overhangs, positioned at round 34m (110ft) and deeper, that the dive affords extra to see – and also you’ll want a torch for that.
Whereas there are reef sharks and the occasional hammerhead to see, the dive is much less about marine life and extra of a ceremony of passage amongst divers, recognized as an alternative for its thrilling darkish descent and submarine stalactites. In actuality, although, most divers gained’t get even midway down the vertical cave – not to mention anyplace close to the underside.
Divers should full a deep diver qualification and even then, you’re solely capable of descend 40m (131ft) into the Blue Gap’s depths. You’ll have round eight minutes of ‘backside time’ although you’ll be removed from the seabed correct. If you wish to go deeper than 60m (200ft), you’ll want to make use of hypoxic respiration gasoline. Briefly, to actually expertise diving the Blue Gap, you must be an elite diver or a billionaire.
Another choice is to snorkel across the rim. Whereas the encircling reef is thought for its various fish life, you gained’t be capable of actually respect the Blue Gap’s measurement or the traits that make it so particular. As such, the consensus is that one of the simplest ways to see the Blue Gap of Belize is from above.
The best way to make it occur
We took a scenic flight over the Blue Gap from the island of Ambergris Caye throughout our month-long journey by Central America. It was a spotlight of the journey, an actual bucket record expertise up there with visiting the seven new wonders of the world.
From the air, you actually get to understand the opening’s near-perfect circumference, its deep-azure eye, its vibrant aquamarine border and the broader pearl-string of reefs, lagoons and islands stretched throughout the horizon. We spent per week diving the Great Barrier Reef however we by no means noticed it from above. As such, the Blue Gap was fairly in contrast to something we’d seen earlier than.
Because it’s positioned round 70 km (43 mi) off the coast of mainland Belize, one of the simplest ways to see the Blue Gap is to book a scenic flight with Tropic Air. We’ve put collectively a fast Q&A information on organise your flight.
The place do flights depart from?
Flights go away from the islands of Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) and Caye Caulker or from the mainland at Belize Metropolis Municipal.
When do flights depart?
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, flights go away from San Pedro and Caye Caulker at 11am and Belize Metropolis at 10am.
On Sundays, flights go away from San Pedro and Caye Caulker at 1pm.
Atlas & Boots
Our Blue Gap scenic flight
How lengthy are the flights?
Flights final round one hour together with the time it takes to fly to and from the Blue Gap. Round 10 minutes are spent circling the Blue Gap itself.
When do I have to verify in?
Verify in at the least half-hour earlier than your departure time.
What number of passengers are on board?
Planes are both three- or 11-seater plane relying on how many individuals have booked onto the tour.
The place ought to I sit?
Seats will not be assigned however all passengers get a window seat. Although some plane have aisle seats, these will not be offered.
We expect it’s higher to take a seat in the direction of the again of the plane to get probably the most unobstructed views versus beneath the wings. Nonetheless, it’s possible you’ll choose to take a seat nearer the entrance so that you get to see the cockpit, and even within the cockpit itself subsequent to the pilot.
How lengthy do you spend on the Blue Gap?
The aircraft circles the Blue Gap twice in every route (for round 10 minutes). It doesn’t matter what facet of the aircraft you sit on, all passengers get to see it for a similar size of time.
How excessive do the planes fly?
The planes fly at round 600ft (182m) above the Blue Gap and a little bit increased in the course of the journey to and from the positioning.
What kind of aircraft is it?
Flights are both on a 13-seater Cessna 208 Caravan or a three-seater Cessna 182T. You’ll be able to see the planes on Tropic Air’s website.
What else will I see?
Aside from the Blue Gap, you will note a big expanse of the Belize Barrier Reef, a part of the world’s second-largest reef system. Second solely to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Mesoamerican Reef was fashioned by a sequence of submerged mountains and ridges creating numerous reefs and lagoons boasting each possible shade of blue.
Additionally, you will fly over a number of islands together with Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker and presumably a part of Belize Metropolis, relying on the place you’re taking off from. As you fly over Caye Caulker, look out for the place the island was break up in two when Hurricane Hattie surged throughout the atoll in 1961.
The aircraft may also go over Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a well-liked snorkelling and diving spot.
How a lot do flights value?
Scenic flights from all airports start at $259.89 USD per individual.
What occurs if there’s dangerous climate?
Blue Gap scenic flights are climate dependent, however it’s uncommon for them to get severely delayed, rescheduled or cancelled. Nonetheless, in uncommon cases when they’re cancelled, a full refund is obtainable.
Blue Gap of Belize: the necessities
What: Taking a scenic flight over the Blue Gap in Belize.
The place: We stayed at Sapphire Beach Resort on Ambergris Caye. Positioned on a non-public seashore, Sapphire advantages from its quiet and relaxed location round 45 minutes from San Pedro, the principle city on the island.
All of the villas and bungalows at Sapphire include kitchenettes in addition to water coolers so that you at all times have ingesting water. There’s an on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to a poolside bar serving cocktails, snacks and light-weight meals. The resort has its personal personal jetty and free kayaks and snorkelling gear for its visitors.
When: The very best time to go to Belize, notably the Blue Gap, barrier reef and the Cayes, is in the course of the dry season between January and Might. Guests can anticipate largely heat, sunny days with the odd bathe. The moist season runs from June to December.
How: We booked our Blue Gap Scenic Tour with Tropic Air which will be performed instantly by their web site. Flights depart from the small airport in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.
On Ambergris Caye, you’ll in all probability need to rent a golf cart to get across the island. We employed our cart by Mark’s Golf Carts, however the cart wasn’t in nice situation. There are many golf cart firms on the island so it could be value purchasing round or asking your resort for a advice.
Because the island is so small, it’s straightforward to navigate and driving is fairly simple. Nonetheless, it’s value mentioning that the roads – notably the additional you get from city – are in horrible situation and will be moderately uncomfortable to drive.
We took a water taxi from Chetumal in Mexico to San Pedro through Water Jets International. The 1.5-hour boat trip was uncomplicated and value $70 USD per individual. To get from San Pedro to Belize Metropolis on the mainland, we took one other water taxi, this time with San Pedro Belize Express (1.5 hours, $30.50 USD).
All worldwide flights arrive on the Philip Goldson Worldwide Airport (PGIA) close to Belize Metropolis. Ebook by skyscanner.net for one of the best costs.
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Lead picture: Atlas & Boots