Best time to visit New Mexico

Santa Rosa Blue Hole in New Mexico

One of the most popular diving spots in the United States

Best time: all year round

Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Santa Rosa Blue Hole
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The Blue Hole is a great spot to take a dip in the hot New Mexico's desert. A refreshing natural pool is located east of Santa Rosa, between Albuquerque and Amarillo. It is famous for its spring-fed blue water with a stable temperature of 16 °C (61 °F). Thanks to the consistent temps, you can dive any time of year. The Blue Hole is 40 m (130 ft) deep and 24 m (80 ft) in diameter. The pool is open for general public use with no lifeguards on duty.

The Blue Hole is popular with divers due to its astonishing visibility of 100 ft; however, diving here requires experience or supervision by a skilled instructor. In 2016 a diver was trapped and died on the site. The pool has an elevation of 1,416 m (4,616 ft) which requires divers to use tables for high altitudes to compute the dive profile and decompression stops.

The Blue Hole is one of seven sinkhole lakes connected by underground water channels. In 1932, it served as a fish hatchery; however, since the 1970s it has become a recreation site named Blue Hole Dive and Conference Center.

The water in the hole completely renews itself in six hours—that's why the water is so cold and fresh. The flow speed is 11 m³ per minute (3,000 gallons per minute). It is surrounded by beautiful rocks that children love to climb, making it a great family vacation spot.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit the Santa Rosa Blue Hole in New Mexico?

The Blue Hole is a popular spot for swimming and diving year-round due to its consistent temperature. Summer is when it's warmest at around 26°C (79°F). Diving conditions for experienced adventurers are best from July to September when the region experiences less rain. Winters are popular with first-timers. Show more

What is the maximum depth of the Blue Hole and what precautions should be taken when diving?

Diving the Blue Hole beyond a depth of 18 m (60 ft) requires advanced certification and a diving profile calculation accounting for high altitude. The maximum depth of the sinkhole is 40 m (130 ft), so diving with a skilled instructor is recommended. Adventurers should be certified by PADI advanced, SDI advanced, NAUI, CMAS 2 stars, or equivalent. Show more

How was the Blue Hole formed and what makes it unique from other diving sites in New Mexico?

The Blue Hole is unlike any other diving experience in New Mexico due to its underground water source, unique underwater formations, consistent temperature, and clear water transparency. Although it's not completely natural, the sinkhole is an excellent example of a spring-fed natural pool and one of seven sinkhole lakes in the area. The pool is replenished every six hours. Show more

Are there any nearby accommodations or campsites available for visitors planning to stay more than a day?

Those planning to visit the Blue Hole overnight can base themselves in nearby Santa Rosa. The town is just two miles away and has a variety of affordable hotels and motels to choose from. Alternatively, there are several campsites nearby, such as Sumner Lake State Park, which takes an hour's drive, or Santa Rosa Lake State Park, which is an 8.4-mile drive. Show more

Can non-divers visit the Blue Hole and take part in other activities besides diving?

Non-divers are welcome to the Blue Hole and can enjoy swimming in the clear water, hiking on nearby trails, and going for scenic walks around the sinkhole. The facility also offers water toys and diving boards for swimmers. Visitors can find spots for barbecuing and picnicking close to the water. In addition, children can safely climb the rocks near the area. Food lovers can snack at the snack bar, or they can tour the site with a guide. Show more

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