A Scenic Flight over the Great Blue Hole

Flying over the Belize Blue Hole
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Last year I spent a long weekend in Ambergris Caye and I had the most incredible vacation. My travel itinerary included leisurely exploring the island, meeting many wonderful people, and going on tons of amazing tours.

One of those tours included a scenic flight over the Great Blue Hole. Yes, that’s right, flying over Belize’s Blue Hole is now a top thing to do while visiting Ambergris Caye. This experience was high on my bucket list so I’m particularly excited to share how it went.

Great Blue Hole

For context, the Great Blue Hole is one of Belize’s most popular attractions and perhaps the world’s most famous giant marine sinkhole. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll approx. 70 km (43 miles) from Belize’s mainland. Circular in shape, the dark navy hole is 318 m (1,043 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep, making it visible from outer space. And since it’s part of the barrier reef, it’s designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Great Blue Hole is part of Belize's Barrier Reef
The Great Blue Hole is a part of Belize’s Barrier Reef

For a long time, travelers to Belize were only able to appreciate the natural wonder of the Great Blue Hole through diving expeditions. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. For persons that aren’t divers, or for anyone that loves diving and wants a complementary experience, the Great Blue Hole scenic flight is definitely an extraordinary experience that should not be missed.

Flying over the Great Blue Hole with Tropic Air

The Great Blue Hole flyover tour with Tropic Air is the perfect tour for a “slow” day on Ambergris Caye. I recommend reserving the experience for a day when you want to leisurely explore downtown San Pedro or for when you want to recover from a previous day of active tours.

San Pedro beachfront near Estels Dine by the Sea
Artisans on the beach in Downtown San Pedro

I did the tour on a Sunday, after having a jam-packed Saturday of adventures. On the day of the tour, I slept in and I had a late breakfast at Pelican Reef Villas, the resort I was staying at. After breakfast, I lounged by the pool for a bit and then went for a walk on the beach. Going slow was top of mind for me on that day so that’s exactly what I did.

Since the tour was scheduled to leave the San Pedro airport at 1 pm, I left my resort at around noon to arrive 30 minutes before takeoff. When I arrived at the terminal, I was greeted by a friendly Tropic Air customer service assistant who directed me to the waiting area. As it turns out, everyone had arrived early and were patiently waiting while enjoying the A/C and free WiFi that is available at the terminal.

Tropic Air Pilot during Blue Hole Flyover Tour
Co-pilot shot of Tropic Air pilot

Right on schedule, just a few minutes before 1 pm, the customer service assistant collected us and guided our group to the aircraft. Once there, everyone was assigned to their guaranteed window seat and the pilot gave us a brief overview of what we should expect on the tour. Since I was the last person to enter the plane, by chance, I was given the co-pilot seat. When this happened, I could see that everyone was jealous. haha

The Great Blue Hole scenic flight lasted 60 minutes. It took us 20 minutes to get there and 20 minutes to get back. This means that for 10 minutes, our group enjoyed breathtaking views of the Great Blue Hole as our plane looped around it several times. Seeing the Great Blue Hole was surreal, I had seen countless photos of it but never thought I’d get to see it up close from the air. I’m certain that many of the other passengers felt the same as I did, everyone had big smiles as they took tons of photos.

Aerial view of the Belize Barrier Reef

The 10 minutes of looping around the Great Blue Hole were amazing but it’s definitely not all the flight offered. En route, along with in-flight commentary from our pilot, we were treated to scenic views of Hol Chan, the barrier reef, and many tiny cayes that dot Belize’s coast, including flying over Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef. In the past, passengers have seen creatures such as manatees, rays, and dolphins. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any.

I definitely recommend this tour for anyone looking for a bucket list experience. Diving the Great Blue hole is great but getting a birds-eye view of it is extraordinary.

Booking your Flyover Tour of the Great Blue Hole

I was thrilled to partner with Tropic Air to have experienced the Great Blue Hole Flyover tour! Tropic Air is a Belizean airline that mostly offers domestic flights throughout Belize, including packaged tours to popular tourist sites such as Lamanai, Actun Tunichil Muknal, and the Great Blue Hole, of course.

Departing From:San Pedro or Caye Caulker
Day and Time:Tuesday & Thursday at 11am
Sunday at 1pm
Price:US$292/ per person
Departing From:Belize City Municipal
Day and Time:Tuesday & Thursday at 10am
Price:US$292/ per person

You can book your adventure by visiting www.tropicair.com.

Where to stay

Located approximately 5 km south of the downtown core, Pelican Reef Villas serves as the perfect base during a trip to Ambergris Caye. Along with staying at luxurious modern villas, the resort offers amenities such as a restaurant and bar, pool, boat dock, and a private beach. It’s the perfect place to return to after a long day of fun activities since guests can enjoy the tranquility of South Ambergris Caye while lounging by the pool or on the beach.

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Great Blue Hole Flyover Tour



Reader Interactions


  1. Ron Chen says

    Do you know how high the airplane is when it loops around Great Blue Hole?

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