|Location:||20 km southeast of the Capital Belmopan. From Belmopan follow Hummingbird Hwy, turn off right at park main entrance. Accessible by a trail along the western park border or from the Blue Hole. 400 meters from the Hummingbird Highway.|
All year daily 8-16:30.
Park: Foreigners BZD 8, Nationals BZD 2.
|Classification:||Karst cave blue hole|
self guided: L=600 m.
guided: L=1,600 m.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|0-900||used by the Maya during the Classic Period.|
|1965||cave found suitable as a show cave.|
|1968||proposed as a National Park by Waight.|
|1981||protected under the National Parks System Act.|
St. Herman's Cave is of great archaeological interest. It was used by the Maya during the Classic Period. Pottery vessels were found, which were used for the collection of Zuh uy Ha (virgin water) from driping speleothems. Other interesting finds included spears and torches. All those items are now studied by the Department of Archaeology in Belmopan.
Normally a permit is required for all archaeological caves in Belize. This cave is an exception, as it is open to all park visitors without permit. However, there are two other interesting caves nearby, Mountain Cow Cave and Petroglyph Cave. To visit them a permit from the Department of Archaeology is required.
Probably more interesting to the visitor wit a geologic interest is the Blue Hole, which gave the National Park its name. An underground stream, which later forms the Sibun River, appears once in a huge doline. This collapsed river cave forms a hole with a diameter of 100 m and a depth of 30 m. At the bottom is the cave river, which forms a 8 m deep lake, glowing in a typical sapphire blue colour.
This place is a favourite spot of the citizens of Belmopan, because of its beauty, the cool and pleasant atmosphere in the doline, and its vicinity to the city.
You can walk on a concrete path with steps for more than 1.6 km underground, but it can be slippery when wet. Bring a torch and plenty of spare batteries.
Two miles from St Herman's Cave is the Blue Hole, an azure blue swimming hole fringed with vines and ferns. It is fed by a stream which comes from St Herman's Cave. After its long underground journeys it surface in the cenote before sinking again and after another underground journey reappears in the Sibun River, which enters the sea just south of Belize City. There is a rough 4 km long trail between St Herman's Cave and the Blue Hole, good walking boots are essential.
Lock your car and leave someone on guard. An armed guard and more wardens have been hired to prevent further theft and assaults.
Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.