Blue Hole National Park & St. Herman’s Cave

Take a refreshing swim in the sapphire blue waters of the Inland Blue Hole, a sinkhole in a lush jungle setting fed by an underground river…

The Inland Blue Hole is located just off the Hummingbird Highway, 12 miles south of the capital city of Belmopan. It’s literally a 15 minute hike from the parking lot to the sinkhole making it very accessible and a popular stop for tours in the area. As you walk down the fairly steep trail towards the sinkhole the first thing you notice is the bright sapphire blue colors piercing through the green foliage. Beams of sunlight penetrate the thick jungle canopy above and reflect off the glass-like surface of the water. This is the Inland Blue Hole, for which the national park is named. It should not be confused with the Great Blue Hole on Lighthouse Reef Atoll which is popular with divers. The sinkhole was formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cave. The pool itself lays at the bottom of a large depression in the jungle; from ground level it drops around 100 feet to the surface of the water, after which the water depth drops 25 feet into a an underground cave system. Fed by a tributary of the Caves Branch River the underground spring water is cold, crystal clear and invigoratingly refreshing! There is a wide shallow sandy area where you can swim and relax surrounded by shear rock walls, hanging vines and lush jungle.

The Blue Hole National Park covers 575 acres of lush jungle to explore. Approximately 200 bird species have been recorded making if popular for bird watching. Wild cats which have been spotted in the park include the Jaguar, Ocelot and Jaguarundi. Other wildlife sightings include the Baird’s Tapir and the Nine-Banded Armadillo. In addition to the Inland Blue Hole, the park also has nature trails and 2 cave systems: Saint Herman’s Cave and Crystal Cave (also called Mountain Cow Cave). St. Herman’s Cave has a picturesque 180 foot wide entrance with a sheer cliff wall draped in vines. The cave itself is at the base of another sinkhole with an underground stream that connects it to the blue hole sinkhole. Used by the Maya for ceremonial rituals, artifacts found in the cave include pottery vessels, spears and torches. Crystal Cave is a spectacular cave system with huge caverns and crystalline formations.

The park has 2 entrances off of the Hummingbird Highway. Just 2 miles north of the Inland Blue Hole entrance you’ll find the main entrance to the park that has the Visitor’s Center, camp site, Observation Tower and trails to Saint Herman’s Cave and Crystal Cave. The Dusky Ant Bird Trail leads your through the jungle from the visitor’s center to the Inland Blue Hole. The park is so accessible that it’s often combined with day tours to the Belize Zoo or Cave Tubing on the Caves Branch River System.

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1 Comment

  1. Alex Gamero, 6 years ago

    The Inland Blue Hole is just a short hike from the Hummingbird Highway. If you’re touring the area or driving past to your destination you should definitely stop and takw a swim. Once you see how beatufiul the blue hue of the water and lush jungle setting you’ll realize why this is such a popular stop!

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