St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

 

(some information taken from the Belize Audubon Society )

Location: Mile 42 on the Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District, just four miles south of Armenia Village and one mile from Ringtail Village.

The park managed by the Belize Audubon Society http://www.belizeaudubon.org/  consist of  665  acres of forest rich with wildlife with trail systems, cave and swimming opportunities.

The main attractions in this park are St. Herman’s Cave and the Blue Hole, are connected by an underground stream. Visitors can walk 300 yards into the cave entrance on their on or they can hire a guide to explore the cave completely, you will observe beautiful speleothems and Maya 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

 

 

Accommodations & Meals

The accommodations available near the Blue Hole National Park, are Ian Anderson Caves Branch

Snacks & Refreshments:

Almost everyday, the Women’s Group from Armenia Village sells snacks and refreshments at the park.

Activities

 Swimming:

The park boasts the Blue Hole itself, a 25-foot-deep pool filled from an underground source, which is usually sapphire blue (thus its name) and always very cool and refreshing!

 Hiking:

In the jungle around the pool is the Hummingbird Loop, an interpretive trail, which is part of over five miles of trails in the park. Other trails include the Highland and Lowland Trails, Camping Trail, and St. Herman’s Jungle Trail. These trails wind through forests that contain mahogany, nargosta, and cotton trees, ferns, cacti, and small orchids.

 Observation Tower:

An uphill hike from St. Herman’s Cave also leads to a hilltop observation tower above the rainforest canopy from which can be seen a panoramic view of the entire park.

 Birding:

The park is home to over 200 species of birds, and visitors can often spot ones such as the slaty-breasted tinamou, keel-billed toucan, and white hawk. Several of the local wardens are excellent birders.

 Wildlife:

Three species of wild cats have been sighted in the park – the Jaguar, Ocelot and Jaguarundi – and several other mammals as well, including the Baird’s Tapir and the Nine-banded Armadillo.

 Cave Tubing:

A cool option for traveling through St. Herman’s Cave.

 Caving:

The National Park includes two caves. St. Herman’s Cave boasts stalactites, stalagmites, and curious formations in the limestone rock. Visitors can walk 300 yards into the cave entrance unguided or can hire a guide to traverse the cave completely, seeing untouched rock formations and Maya ceremonial pottery.