St. Herman's Blue Hole

Category
Attraction
Type of Attraction
Aquatic Wonder, National Park
District/Region
Cayo
Description
Highlights
  • Inland Blue Hole
  • St. Herman's Caves
  • Cave tubing & Swimming

About Location
At St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) there are unique geological features that can be found within 575 acres of forest rich with wildlife. The main attractions in this park, namely the St. Herman’s Cave and the Blue Hole, are connected by an underground stream. Visitors can walk 200 yards into the cave entrance unguided or can hire a guide to traverse the cave completely, seeing beautiful speleothems and Mayan artifacts. After a guided tour through St. Herman’s Cave, you can float peacefully back to the entrance of the cave on an inner tube.

The Blue Hole is a cool and refreshing place for an afternoon swim. It was formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cave. In this case, the river running through the original cavern still flows through the cave system, and forms a sapphire-colored pool at the bottom of the cenote. The depression measures about 100 feet deep and 300 feet in diameter, with the actual Blue Hole at the depression’s base having a depth of about 25 feet.

(Courtesy Belize Audubon Society)
www.belizeaudubon.org
 
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Available Listings
$
100
/ Person
$
280
/ Group
Departs From:
Hopkins
Xunantunich Mayan ruin, also known as the "Maiden of the Rock” is the second tallest Mayan ruin in Belize. Xunantunich is located across from Benque Viejo Road near the village of ... moreSan Jose Succotz just a few miles from Belize’s western border with Guatemala. From there a hand-cranked ferry will take you across the Mopan River. From the other side of the river, it's a mile uphill to the site, which can be accessed on foot or in a vehicle.

The Blue Hole is a cool and refreshing place for an afternoon swim. It was formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cave. In this case, the river running through the original cavern still flows through the cave system and forms a sapphire-colored pool at the bottom of the sinkhole. The depression measures about 100 feet deep and 300 feet in diameter, with the actual blue hole at the depression’s base having a depth of about 25 feet.
$
171
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
Looking for an active adventure in Belize? Explore the underground Crystal Cave, located inside Blue Hole National Pak. An experienced guide will take you on a hike through the beautiful ... moretropical rainforest and into the limestone cave. Inside, you will see chambers filled with ancient Mayan artifacts such as pottery, beads, and obsidian tools. In addition to impressive rock columns, stalactites, and stalagmites, you will also see sparkling rock formations everywhere-especially in a section of the cave called The Wonderland. This is a challenging cave and is for those who love adventure- the guide will help lower you into the cave by rappelling with a rock if you wish to venture deeper into the cave. Reward yourself after this challenging adventure with a refreshing swim in the inland Blue Hole, which is a beautiful turquoise color.
$
130
/ Person
Departs From:
Placencia
Provider:
As we embark on this 100-mile drive through the hills of the country, you’ll encounter a breathtaking view of the mountains as we make our way to the Western Highway. We’ll pass Maya ... moreand Mestizo communities with their beautifully maintained farmlands and cattle farms.

Once we come to the banks of the Mopan River, we will cross on a hand-operated ferry before arriving across grassy plazas, where you will marvel at the architecture of El Castillo, one of the largest Maya Temples of Belize, and the largest structure at Xunantunich. El Castillo stands 130 feet above plaza level, with its reconstructed East and West friezes representing Gods of the Maya and several inner chambers. We’ll also move through other temples and courtyards where kings, queens and their elite carried out special ceremonies. Xunantunich has an excellent display center at the site, and you will have a chance to climb the “stairway to heaven” on El Castillo. This vantage point provides a breathtaking panoramic view of surrounding rivers and towns as well as Guatemala. After the tour, we enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant in the town of San Ignacio. We make a stop on the way back on the Hummingbird Highway at St Herman Blue Hole for its natural turquoise pool surrounding by mosses and lush vegetation the perfect spot for an afternoon swim.
$
100
-
$
125
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
St. Herman’s cave is a little over an hour’s drive from Hopkins and less than two hours from Placencia. Cave tubing at St. Herman’s Caves starts with a 10-minute walk from the park ... moreto the cave entrance before you embark on your two-hour float in the cave. The experienced, licensed tour guide will provide interesting facts on the geology of the formations, the cave history as well as the importance of caves in Maya history and culture. At the end of the cave tubing, you will walk back upstream, where once again you get a chance to see the cave and its spectacular formations. Before returning back to Hopkins, we can stop to visit the inland Blue Hole.
$
115
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Provider:
This combo tour includes a trip to the Belize Zoo & a tour of St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park. The tour starts in Belize city, we will take 40 minutes to drive to the Belize ... moreZoo. The second tour will be to St. Herman cave. We will pass through our country capital Belmopan. Lunch in Belmopan can be provided upon request. St. Herman cave is 40 minutes drive from the Belize zoo.
$
150
-
$
175
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
The steep downward walk that takes you to these caverns takes around one hour. Then, at the mouth of the cave, you’ll follow the same footpaths the Maya shamans and priests once traveled ... moreto reach these ceremonial chambers.

Along the way, you’ll marvel at all the Maya artifacts, including pottery, beads, and obsidian knives – even human skeletons that have been calcified in the limestone floor dating back 2,000 years.
$
100
-
$
180
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
This is a combination of cave exploration and cave tubing to explore this incredible river cave system. Imagine the excitement as you drift downriver, your body tucked in an inflated ... moreinner tube, your fingers trailing in the crisp clear river and up head is the vine-draped opening of a mysterious cave. 

With your headlamp at the ready, your body relaxed and your guide leading the way cave tubing offers an exhilarating alternative combination of rainforest and caves experience. The cave tubing takes about 2.5 hours.
$
110
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (2)
If you are an extreme cave explorer, Crystal cave also known as Mountain Cow cave is an adventure you just can't miss during your trip to Belize! This tour is not for the faint of ... moreheart and all participants must be able-bodied and accompanied by a certified guide. This site is located in the Blue Hole National Park which is located 12 miles southeast of Belmopan on the right side of the Hummingbird Highway. 

Caves played a very important role in the ancient culture as the Mayas considered caves to be a supernatural realm where their deities and ancestors resided. Caves were the portal between the tangible human world and the invisible world of the gods, a place called Xibalba. It was here that the ancient Mayan Shamans performed their most sacred rituals and ceremonies and this was the underground domain of their gods.

A guided exploration into this very spectacular cave system begins with a rigorous 50-minute hike on uneven jungle rainforest terrain. Then prepare for a steep downward walk that takes you miles down to huge caverns full of dazzling crystalline rock formations, you'll follow the same footpaths the Maya Shamans and priests once traveled to reach these ceremonial chambers. The guided tour will have participants crawling through cracks and crevices beholding spectacular cave formations, learning about its history and geology, as well as viewing ancient Mayan pottery, beads, obsidian knives and even human skeletal remains that have been calcified in the limestone floor dating back 2,000 years. After a thrilling experience you the option of finishing off with a refreshing swim in the cool waters of the inland Blue Hole.
$
95
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
INLAND BLUE HOLE BIRDWATCHING Belize is a birdwatcher’s paradise! As many as 587 birds have been recorded in Belize and, of these, approximately 20 percent are migrants from North ... moreAmerica. Every year new species are being documented. Eight new records were accepted in 2007, including the Crested Caracara, Canada Goose, and Spot-breasted Oriole. For those interested in exploring the diversity and beauty of the avifauna of the diverse habitats MayaWalk expert birdwatching guides will point out tiny iridescent hummingbirds, impressive raptors, and various migratory and endemic songbirds. One of the best places to go on a Belize birding tour is St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, a beautiful protected area along the scenic Hummingbird Highway.

This small park covers 575 acres and has two natural features open for touring, St. Herman’s Cave: a beautiful crystalline cave in the limestone hills and the Blue Hole: a clear sinkhole filled with turquoise waters, perfect for a swim. A series of lovely hiking trails over various landscapes take visitors into the jungle where the foliage, tropical flowers, and rainforest canopy are the feeding and nesting grounds for hundreds of species of birds. For those interested in finding out more about the amazingly diverse avifauna of Belize we recommend purchasing Birds of Belize (University of Texas Press) by H. Lee Jones, illustrated by Dana Gardner-- a must-have for serious birders. Published in 2003, this is the first complete guide to the identification of all to the birds of Belize and it is beautifully illustrated and complete with habitat information. Our birding guides will be equipped with binoculars and a spotting scope to make the most of your birding experience. Enjoy the serene trails of the park and end the day with a lovely swim in the Blue Hole.
$
125
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Provider:
Xunantunich Maya Ruins One of the largest ancient Maya cities ever built, Xunantunich is located approximately 70 miles (110 km) west of Belize City. Constructed on a ridge overlooking ... morethe Mopan River, Xunantunich was once home to nearly 100,000 people.

The original name of the site is unknown, but its modern name derives from a Maya term that means “Stone Woman.” First rediscovered in 1892, many visitors to the site reported seeing a ghostly woman who was reported to haunt the structure known as “El Castillo” (The Castle).

Still the second-largest manmade structure in the country, El Castillo measures 130 feet (40 meters) tall. Built as a temple pyramid, El Castillo is located in the exact center of the town.

Today, Xunantunich is located approximately one mile from the Guatemalan border. During its heyday during the Classic Period of the Maya civilization (around 600-700 AD), Xunanutinch competed with nearby cities, including Naranjo, Caracol, and Tikal (which lies just a few miles over the border in Guatemala).

Inland Blue Hole

Not to be confused with the Blue Hole that lies on the offshore reef, the Inland Blue Hole is located in the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park near the capital of Belize, Belmopan.

First designated a national park in 1986, St. Herman’s is managed by the Belize Audobon Society as it sits in the middle of one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the country. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded in the area, including the red-legged honeycreeper and the piratic flycatcher. There is also a wide selection of wildlife in the park, including three big cat species.

The Inland Blue Hole itself is a natural phenomenon formed thousands of years ago when a cave collapsed. Today, the Inland Blue Hole is filled with spring-fed water that is naturally a brilliant shade of blue. A perfect area for enjoying a picnic or respite from the heat, the Inland Blue Hole’s refreshing waters offer swimmers a great way to cool off on a hot day.

Other nearby attractions in the park include two caves, St. Herman’s Cave and the Crystal Cave. The water from the Inland Blue Hole flows directly into St. Herman’s Cave, located approximately one mile away.
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