Thoughts, adventures, projects, and photography by Shawn DeArmond

St. Herman's Cave and Blue Hole

November 16, 2011 - 7:19pm -- Shawn

Day 3 of Belize. So much to do, so little time. We wanted to go to Cechal Pech, the Belize Zoo, Blue Hole and St. Herman's Cave. We had to choose. We went for the Blue hole and cave and it was totally worth it.

On the road, we were hit with another downpour, but once again, it cleared up right before we rolled into the parking lot for the cave. A short hike through the jungle, I saw more butterflies, including one that has markings that look like a butterfly head on the back of the wings. When he's at rest, he looks backwards!

The cave was fantastic. Stone steps led us out of the jungle and down into the cave. I'm glad I brought my flashlight. We hiked the well-marked path through the cave till we came to the river that runs through the cave. Apparently, you can take a 2 1/2 hour tubing trip (also available is a 7-hour tubing trip) through the cave. Would be cool, but definitely no time. The water was quite cool, and clearly mineral-rich. Stalactites and stalagmites abound. Glistening water droplets clung to the ceiling like jewels. Two bats flapped past us on their way through. It was cooler in the cave, but more humid, if such a thing is even possible. We got to a spot where you couldn't, or rather shouldn't, go any farther without a guide. We complied and returned to the river spot.

We enjoyed a quick dip in the cave river, and discovered a small cache of skip rocks, which we took advantage of. The water was so flat and so long, I couldn't skip the length of it.

Climbing back out of the cave, it was stunning to see, after 30 minutes of dark, brown, and grey, the brilliant green of the jungle. Same short hike back to the outpost. Bought a trinket for Shannon make by a Mayan Women's collective.

Blue Hole was only about a mile farther down the road. (The Blue Hole is not the same as the Blue Hole out in the ocean.) Quick walk down some steps to another spot just upstream on the same river where the river comes up out of the cave to form a deep, uh, blue hole where a high cave ceiling collapsed. There was also a small waterfall where a stream dropps into the Blue Hole. Another quick dip, a chat with visitors from South Dakota and Virginia, and we were back on the road.

We chose wisely.

St. Herman's Cave Mouth
30-Foot Pillar
Strange Stalactite Formation
Dad's a Spelunker
Skull's Teeth
Sparkles On The Ceiling
More Pillars
Not Guano
Looks Like a Tiger's Paw
Stalactites from Below
Closer to the 30-foot pillar
Close-up of 30-foot pillar
Cave Mouth From Inside
Vines Hanging Over the Cave Mouth
Backwards Butterfly
Creek Flowing Into Blue Hole
Dad Chilling at Blue Hole
Blue Hole Flowing Into the Cave