Grand Caribe Belize Resort & Condominiums has been very thrilled about the recent announcement from Belize Tourism Board that Belize’s very own Great Blue Hole has been included among more than 300 destinations for which votes are being cast for the honor of being named the 8th Wonder of the World! Virtual Tourist, an affiliate of TripAdvisor, has begun an online campaign to add one more structure, either man-made or completely natural, to the traditional list of 7 Wonders of the World. The sites that have been nominated may be found on their website, where voters may vote for their favorite once per day from June 3 – September 30.
The Great Blue Hole, a part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef System (which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a perfectly natural, circular underwater sinkhole formed when the roof of a giant cave began collapsing some 153,000 years ago. Stalactite and stalagmite structures retrieved from the Hole revealed that the upper parts of the cave were once above sea level. A rise in sea levels led to further collapses, producing a massive cavern 1000 feet wide and 412 feet deep. The water inside the hole runs to greater depths than the surrounding water; therefore, sunlight penetrates to greater
depths within, producing the dark-blue appearance that characterizes the sinkhole.
The site was made famous by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who declared it one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world. In 1971 he brought his ship, the Calypso, to the hole to chart its depths. Investigations by his expedition confirmed that the hole originated from typical karst limestone formations, with collapses occurring in at least four stages, leaving ledges at depths of 21 m (69 ft), 49 m (161 ft), and 91 m (299 ft).
The Great Blue Hole lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll about 43 miles from the mainland, and done as a day tour from Ambergris Caye. The Hole continues to thrill divers, and even snorkelers, who delight in seeing the marvelous cave formations and the numerous species of sharks that roam the area. Coral formations occur just below the rim of the Blue Hole and not any farther, due to the lack of sunlight. This also means that there isn’t a great variety of fish found within the Blue Hole itself. However, it is certainly a wonder of nature that consistently ranks among the top dive sites in the world, and that we feel certainly merits its nomination for this 8 Other sites contending for this amazing honor include the Everglades in Florida, Yellowstone National Park, the Empire State Building, the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, the cities of London and Buenos Aires, Stonehenge, and Tikal in neighboring Guatemala. While it is an unparalleled recognition to simply be included in this list of sites with such outstanding pedigree, Grand Caribe believes that our Great Blue Hole truly can carry the popular vote to be named the world’s 8th
Wonder of the World competition.
Kimberly Stirdivant Wason, Head of PR & Marketing at Virtual Tourist, noted that “The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.”
According to the Belize Tourism Board, Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers—a win that would give the country major publicity—by being featured in this international contest being undertaken through Virtual Tourist in collaboration with the American Television Show, Extra.
“Belize has long been an escape for the free-spirited traveler seeking phenomenal wonders in an alluring and authentic setting,” the BTB notes.
Contact us at Grand Caribe Belize Resort & Condominiums for more information on voting for the Great Blue Hole, and about booking a stay at our award-winning resort to visit this world-renowned site and experience its wondrous beauty first-hand.