St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park - Everything You Need to Know

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park

One of Belize’s most fascinating characteristics is an exotic mix of cultures and peoples, but it’s anyone’s guess how the name of a Russian saint was bestowed upon St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. St. Herman was born in Moscow in 1755 and became a legendary North American missionary, yet he never traveled further south than Kodiak, Alaska. You might want to solve the mystery yourself–before or after you visit.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is more than just the place 200 species of birds and exotic cats call home. Caves, hidden amid forested land marked by nature trails used by jaguars, ocelots, tapir and armadillos when humans aren’t around, take visitors to a 180-foot-wide entrance that could easily be missed because jungle vines are everywhere. This cave was once used for Mayan ceremonies and rituals, remnants of which were left behind when the cave dwellers moved on. The blue sinkhole on premises is fed by underground streams and it’s fascinating enough on its own to draw crowds.

Why you should visit St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

The unique geological features within this 575 acre forest plus the beauty and wildlife combine to offer visitors plenty of reasons to tour this area. But it’s the cave system that’s the big lure: walk the 200 yards into the enclave to marvel at prehistoric-looking speleothems and Mayan artifacts. What’s the Blue Hole? It’s the lush blue pool deep within the cavern that’s 100-feet deep and 300-feet in diameter. Don’t confuse this Blue Hole with the place near Lighthouse Reef atoll that’s beloved by divers. That said, what other excursion offers opportunities to see wildlife, Mayan artifacts, a cool cave and a sinkhole fed by underground rivers all in one place?

What makes this park unique?

Every notable site in Belize has its own romantic history and St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is no exception. Created by Mother Nature when an underground limestone cave collapsed, this natural wonder is connected by a river that invites swimmers and tubers eager to navigate aspects of the cave via the waterway to jump in and have fun. First showcased as a great place to visit back in 1965, this popular destination became an official Belize National Park in 1978 after funds from the MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago-based philanthropic entity, underwrote a project that enhanced the location by helping to stem erosion.

Where is it located?

This destination is close to the nation’s capital, Belmopan, but you don’t have to be headquartered there to visit because licensed tour agents will be happy to escort you to and from this natural wonderland.


When is the best time to go?

Any time of year!

How to get here

From Belmopan, travel about 12 miles southeast along the Hummingbird Highway to the park’s entrance. Expect to hike through the jungle to reach your destinations.

Best way to experience St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

Travel through dense forest to the entrance where a picnic area, visitor’s center and gift shop await. Because this site is so easy to wander, you won’t need a guide. Visit the cave, the Blue Hole and surrounding environment using easy-to-follow trails before using the site’s changing rooms to get ready for a refreshing swim. One cautionary note: because this site is, by its nature, a wet adventure, exercise caution when you encounter slippery steps on your journey back in time.

Get a copy of The Ultimate Belize Bucket List! Written by Larry Waight, a local with more than twenty years of experience in the travel industry, the book is packed with tips, information, and recommendations about all of the best things to see and do in Belize.
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