The St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is an ideal recreational spot for swimming, caving and picnicking and is a very popular stop when traveling along the Hummingbird Highway. Visitors can easily explore the “inland” Blue Hole and St. Herman’s Cave during a road trip from San Ignacio or Belmopan in the Cayo district, to Dangriga, Hopkins or Placencia in the Stann Creek district. There is an abundance of wildlife along the marked trails in the park, and a wide variety of birds have been recorded in the area.  Large animals, like the jaguar and ocelot, and also many species of reptiles live in the protected areas of the park. While jaguars are elusive, their tracks are often spotted.

This 575-acre park, which is managed by the Belize Audubon Society, is high up in the hills of the Hummingbird Highway. It is believed that many years ago there was a large collapse of a cave system, exposing the underground river, which is a branch of the Sibun River. Immaculately blue sparkling water, termed a ‘cenote’ by the Mayas, form a round pool (hence the name Blue Hole). The cold underground waterway of the Sibun River surfaces into the sinkhole created by the collapsed cave, only to disappear into the ground again a few hundred feet away. This collapsed sinkhole forms part of a cave system that extends for miles and includes nearby St. Herman’s Cave and Caves Branch. Specialized divers have made attempts to find the connection, but it was a series of tests that proved this theory.

 

When visiting the Blue Hole Site, visitors must climb down a steep flight of steps into the cool, echoic cavern below. The Blue Hole comes into sight upon descending the last stretch of steps. Be sure to take lots of water, as the climb up and down can become strenuous. The cold blue water surrounded by a moss-covered rock face, with jungle vines hovering overhead is an inviting sight. The pool is estimated to be 25 feet deep and 300 feet in diameter.

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Getting Here

Just 12 miles (20 km) from Belmopan along the Hummingbird Highway, the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is readily accessible by bus or private vehicle, as it passes along the route to Stann Creek from Belmopan. The park has two entrance areas with parking. At the St. Herman’s Cave entrance, you will find a picnic area, visitor center, gift shop, and trail heads. The second entrance provides easy access to the Blue Hole, a picnic area, restrooms, changing rooms as well as other trails. Buses traveling on the Hummingbird Highway can stop to allow visitors to get off at either entrance.

 

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