A Tropic Air Charter Over the Blue Hole of Belize: I’ve Been Waiting 9 Years for This!

Yesterday, I flew with Tropic Air over the Great Blue Hole of Belize.  The flight I’ve been dreaming of for about 9 years…and even though I have had guest bloggers post about it and I have been there in person on a boat AND I’ve seen pictures of this world famous sinkhole thousands of times, it was even better than I imagined.

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It was one of those “bursting with love for the place you live” moments.  It’s miraculous.  And corny as it sounds, I have never seen some of the blues I saw from up there.  I was thinking of trying to identify them…to give you the “Pantone perspective”.  At the very least, I was looking for lots of different synonyms for the word blue.


But Pantone (the premier color system in the world)?  You’ve got nothing on Belize.  AND the word “arctic” doesn’t quite fit.

I don’t have much more…so let me show you through pictures.

But first…a map.


It was a beautiful day as the five of us headed out…

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We swooped over the island and the main reef.  Our pilot gave us information on what we were seeing and where we were heading.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve – and the cut in the reef.

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Desination.  Blue Hole!  About 1000 feet all the way.  The ideal height, our pilot assured us, to see the sinkhole.

Soon after, you are over deep water…sapphire blue.

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And like a swimming pool in the middle of deep ocean…Turneffe Atoll.

For those wonder (like me), an atoll is:   sometimes called a coral atoll, a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands/cays on the rim. The coral of the atoll often sits atop the rim of an extinct seamount or volcano which has eroded or subsided partially beneath the water.

These atolls were not formed by volcanoes or sea moutains but atop fault blocks…or large blocks of rock where fault lines meet and overlap.

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And on the edges, fingers of glowing neon blue radiating outward…BH! (3)

Next was Lighthouse Atoll…the home of the Blue Hole.  It’s like flying over another planet.

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Shallow shallow water, eagle rays and dolphins visible and clumps of coral.

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And then the famous sink hole.

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And then a shipwreck…a pop of rusty orange…along the reef.

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The edge of the atoll is stunning.

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A small boat below.

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We circled twice and headed back towards San Pedro.

I took over 200 photos…it’s THAT good.  The ocean glows.

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And back home, one hour later to the island.

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And the lagoon behind San Pedro town (and beyond)…

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WHAT AN AMAZING TRIP.  Certainly easier and SO DIFFERENT than visiting by sea.

Tropic Air has a special going right now for this TOTAL bucket list trip.


I’m ready to go again.  Just once a week, I think, would be perfect.

If you are on Pinterest…please pin!

A charter flight over Belize's Great Blue Hole.  Absolutely amazing.

  • which visit type…[air/boat]… made it feel/seem, bigger.
    did you get shots of the, tres cocos ,sinkhole, while up in the air…?

    • From above – SO MUCH MORE IMPRESSIVE. At a boat level, you really don’t see the color changes and coral heads, you hardly see the hole at all. But seeing a real shark while snorkeling…that was quite impressive.

      • mysteryboy

        I just read a promo piece by one of the world’s most revered travel.geographic magazines hyping one of the “expeditions” to the Blue Hole where they say, and I quote” “go snorkeling with the HARMLESS (emphasis mine) nurse and reef sharks.” Not certain one really wants to classify a reef shark as harmless – unless one has great liability insurance. I realize they are not the most aggressive but……

  • Erik Terdal

    Great photos! Now, next time, go down into it. My fave view. 🙂

    • I’ve been snorkeling…and didn’t feel like I was missing much…especially when comparing stories with the divers. But I’ll give it a go for sure. Next? Camping at Half Moon Caye 🙂

  • Gretchen inNOLA

    Wow…just wow.

  • Linda Young

    When I took the flight over the Blue Hole 2 Years ago, I actually WEPT over the color and the beauty of it! The trip doesn’t last nearly long enough, but I would place it #1 on your Belize Bucket List!

    • WOW! Now that’s a recommendation. And i totally get the crying…

  • Steven Tyler PJs

    Oh! I am so sad we won’t be able to do this on this trip! We will arrive in Belize City on Tuesday morning and wouldn’t be able to get to San Pedro in time 🙁