St. Herman's Cave: Stairway to the Maya Underworld

St. Herman's
Blue Hole
National Park


Enjoy the unique geological features found within 575 acres of forest rich with wildlife. The main attractions in this park, St. Herman's Cave and the Blue Hole, are connected by an underground stream. Visitors can walk 300 yards into the cave entrance unguided or can tour hire a guide to traverse the cave completely, seeing 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.

Blue HoleThe 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.

Explore the Mountain Cow CaveFor more spelunking adventures visit Mountain Cow Cave (also known as Crystal Cave). A guided exploration into this spectacular cave system will take you through huge caverns adorned with crystalline formations. Mayan shamans and priests once journeyed into this underworld, known as Xibalba, and performed sacred rituals.




The History of St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park

Visitor Center opens at Blue Hole National Park.As far back as 1965, the site's cave was recognized for its tourism potential. Part of the site was proposed as a National Park by James A. Waight in 1968 and the entire site was proposed as a national park by a FAO (1978).

The Government of Belize having acquired part of the site in the 1960s and the remainder in the 1970s, declared it as Blue Hole National Park on November 23, 1986.

In 1988, funds from the MacArthur Foundation were used to construct a retaining wall to prevent erosion around the concrete stairway and a trail way was made from Blue Hole to the opening of St. Herman's Cave.

An agreement was signed on November 15, 1994 between the Christian Environment Association and the Belize Audubon Society to acquire and permanently conserve 4,000 acres (purchased from Caribbean Investment Ltd.) adjacent to the park. The visitor center was opened on May 8th, 1996.

On November 27, 1997 the Belize Audubon Society officially inaugurated the RARE Trail. It was named after the Rare Animal Relief Effort, which made its construction possible.

To avoid confusion between Blue Hole Natural Monument, the park's name was changed to St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park in 2005.

Getting There

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park is located twelve miles southeast of Belmopan on the right side of the beautiful Hummingbird Highway. 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 and also has a picnic area. Buses traveling on the Hummingbird Highway can drop you off at either entrance.