As one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the Blue Hole strikes awe in all that behold it. Made famous by my husband’s grandfather Jacques Cousteau in 1971, exploring this creation is on the bucket list of all adventurers. Even before I learned to scuba dive I wanted to visit this enchanting place, to see it with my own eyes and a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to do just that.
Approaching the Hole by boat, your vantage point doesn’t show you the outline, just flat aqua marine water. But the dramatic changing of the ocean’s blue hues from light blue to almost black lets you know the depth drops from 45 feet to over 350 in a matter of inches.
Jumping into the azure abyss I felt as if I was slowly falling down a rabbit hole with almost perfectly straight vertical sides. A few corals who found a tiny nook to call home were the only company we had during our dive, there are sharks rumored to inhabit the area but unfortunately we didn’t see any.
Finally, at 160 feet we saw what we were looking for…stalactites! This is what was such a revelation when Jacques Cousteau first dove here over 40 years ago. The geological origins of the Blue Hole had always been a mystery, but when Stalactites were discovered underwater it proved that this hole was once an enormous dry cave because Stalactites only form in the air. Then, when the glaciers melted at the end of the last ice age the cave was flooded. Floating there in the semi-darkness with my husband, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. A moment in my life I will surely never forget.
Sitting only a few minutes away by boat is the eco hotel, Itza Lodge. Itza is nestled on the windward side of a private island and is the perfect location to launch a Blue Hole expedition. Powered by solar, run in the evening by battery and always putting the needs of nature above development, this tropical oasis was the best place for us to decompress after our epic Blue Hole dive. An open air dining room, bar and two swinging hammocks welcome you. Along with the islands native inhabitants, iguanas, hermit crabs and numerous tropical birds.
And remember, adventure is where you lead a full life.