No one is quite sure who Saint Herman was, but today, his famous cave is located inside one of Belize’s most beautiful national parks.
Officially known as St. Herman’s National Park, this pristine natural area measures more than 500 acres (200 ha) in size and includes several incredible caves. The park is also home to the Blue Hole, sometimes known as the Inland Blue Hole to distinguish it from the Belize Blue Hole located offshore at Lighthouse Reef.
The Inland Blue Hole is one of Belize’s greatest natural landmarks. Almost perfectly circular, the Blue Hole is located in the middle of the rainforest. Formed naturally following the collapse of an underground cave, the sapphire waters of the Blue Hole are the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing swim on a hot day.
Many visitors, however, start by visiting St. Herman’s Cave. Although the landscape of Belize is riddled with caves, St. Herman’s Cave is one of the few that can be independently explored without a professional guide. St. Herman’s Cave is located some 20 minutes on foot from the park entrance, following a well-marked path.
To enter St. Herman’s Cave, visitors must walk down a steep flight of concrete steps to reach the cave opening. Once inside, visitors can see gigantic stalactites and stalagmites. Without a guide, visitors must turn back after reaching a certain point, but guided tours go much further deep into the cave to reach a sacred space that still contains ancient Maya weapons, pottery fragments, and other priceless artifacts.
The other famous cave in the park is known as the Crystal Cave. With narrow, twisting passages and a difficult terrain to negotiate, Crystal Cave can only be explored with the help of a professional guide. Rappelling equipment and cramped passages make this a challenging cave to spelunk, but all the hard work is worth it when you get to the deepest chamber, the one that gives the Crystal Cave its name. Hidden far from sight, the chamber is filled with dazzling crystal formations, ancient Maya relics, and the bones of men, women, and children who had been sacrificed by Maya priests to appease their angry gods.
Whether you are interested in booking a Belize nature tour like St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, visiting an ancient Maya ruin, or cave tubing inside a sacred Belize cave, Caves Branch Jungle Lodge can help you make your booking.