I don’t think I’ll ever lose that frisson of excitement when I board a plane, heading off to parts either familiar or unknown. My first visit to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye came in 1987, when my father splurged on a flight for me to arrive in style.
That stomach-churning feeling at the first elevation, followed by the eerie whooshing in my ears soon disappeared, as I opened my eyes and stared in wonder at the vistas below. The kind pilot let me sit next to him, so I had the best vantage point. I got to see the specks of mangroves and tiny islets dotting the blues and greens of the water. Clouds floated by and for a 6-year old, nothing was as special as that magical ride to my new home.
The magic remains, and in fact it was rejuvenated when I received a wonderful surprise courtesy of my editor and Tropic Air. After 11 years working at the newspaper, I was gifted a flyover of the BLUE HOLE!
Finally, I’d see the World Heritage Site the way I’ve only witnessed via photographs and video.
Tropic Air has begun offering this new aerial tour to observe the giant sub marine sinkhole “the way it was meant to be seen…from the air”.
The entire tour was an experience in itself. I could see the break where our barrier reef ensures our island’s protection, and I could only marvel at the various shades of blue that stretched as far as the eye could see.
The one-hour ride took us over the deep blue of the Caribbean Sea, turning to the Lighthouse Atoll…which meant the Blue Hole was getting closer. But even before the star of the morning could be revealed, I along with other guests in the plane oohed and awed over the change in scenery. That stunning turquoise and clear waters of the atoll that make snorkelers’ hearts sing…the unmistakable drop off where divers can delight nearby, and unspoiled islands.
My heart nearly stopped at the sight of a lone kayaker just paddling away.
As we kept flying, we could see one of the iconic fishermen’s sailboats (which you can see tied up at the swing bridge in Belize City). There were several kayaks tied to the back. I imagined what it could possibly be like to spend a week or two at a time on a sailboat, simply floating around one of the most iconic locations of our beautiful Belize. A few shadows darted here and there, perhaps some dolphins, rays, sharks…
Our flight kept its track, and on the monitor, I could see the label “BHOLE” and knew we were nearby. Bit by bit, she drew near. I still find it hard to describe what it felt like – but I felt like I was 6 again.
I took so many pictures (over 500) but nothing compares to what I saw with my own eyes. This stunning sinkhole that has been explored still contains so much mystery, a life source for so much marine life. A large source of income for the tourism industry, and as such, us Belizeans – she lay below, shimmering in the sunlight.
There is no greater feeling…as we flew away to catch the sight of the shipwreck along the reef, I couldn’t help but wonder. How did I get so lucky?
About Tropic Air’s Blue Hole Aerial Tour
$214USD per person, minimum 2 guests, maximum 12
Departs San Pedro/Caye Caulker every Tuesday & Thursday at 11AM, returns 12PM
Flights are subject to weather conditions, and private tour charters are available. Book online!