Taking a tour to see the Great Blue Hole is one of the best experiences you can have in Belize. Read our must-know tips on how to book and what to expect!
Set in the middle of one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, the Great Blue Hole is accessible by boat and diving tours, but for the most stunning views and to get perspective of the magnitude of the hole, booking a flight tour is the way to go.
In planning my scenic flight tour to see the Great Blue Hole, I chose the tour company Maya Island Air, which is not only the most affordable option, but it also came highly recommended. I found my tour with them to be informative, accommodating, and, most of all, fun!
Here’s everything you need to know about booking a Blue Hole flight tour in Belize.
How to Book a Blue Hole Scenic Flight Tour in Belize
What is the Great Blue Hole?
About 43 miles off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole that formed over hundreds of thousands of years and is thought to be the largest blue hole of its kind. 150,000 years ago, the Blue Hole was just a small limestone cave, but as the water levels rose around it, the cave became flooded and the roof collapsed, forming the beginnings of the hole we see today.
The hole is situated beside the Lighthouse Reef, is 1043 feet across and 407 feet deep, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additionally, the site is one of the top diving spots in the world due to the various stalactites found in the waters and the various species of fish that can be found there.
Just note that the site is an advanced dive, and divers are required to have at least 24 dives under their belt before they hop in.
Booking a Blue Hole Scenic Flight Tour
After extensive research, I decided to book my tour with Maya Island Air because of their punctuality in responding, their affordability, and the fact that they had some of the best reviews I could find.
Maya Island Air offers two experience options – the Co-Pilot seat and the Window seat. The Co-Pilot seat costs $229 USD and allows you to sit up front with the pilot, and the Window seat costs $199 USD and offers you the experience to sit behind the pilot with the other passengers.
Flights for these Scenic Flight Tours depart from San Pedro, Belize, and the company offers a 24-hour cancellation policy with a fee.
When to Book a Great Blue Hole Tour
For your choice of dates, it’s recommended to book your tour at least one month in advance, although spaces usually remain available closer to the date (you can even book your tour in person in San Pedro). Additionally, Maya Island Air offer tours year-round, although you may want to plan your trip to Belize depending on the weather-related experience you want to have.
Belize’s rainy season is generally June through November, and although the probability is low, there is the chance of hurricanes during this time. Conversely, the dry season in Belize is from December through May when the country experiences generally stable, sunny days.
That said, there is really no bad time to go to Belize. I went in June and it was beautiful!
What to Expect From a Great Blue Hole Tour
Tours of the Great Blue Hole last 1 hour and offer views of the reef, the Turneffe Atoll, Shark Ray Alley, and an ocean freighter wreck. In allowing passengers to see the Great Blue Hole no matter what side of the plane they’re sitting on, the tour also does two full loops per side around it.
Flights depart San Pedro, Belize for the tour at 1:00 PM Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and each tour has a capacity of 11 people max.
Photography is allowed aboard the plane given that you don’t use flash, alcohol is not permitted, and you won’t be able to send or receive texts or calls while in flight. This tour is a great opportunity to exist in the moment and take in all that it has to offer!