Belize’s Blue Hole Nat’l. Park

belize-blue-hole-close-upThe park is named after a sapphire pool in a jungle opening. It is a 500-acre park off Hummingbird Highway, near Belize’s capital of Belmopan; has trails above and below ground.

 

Courtesy Wikipedia.

The Blue Hole is a sinkhole that was formed by the collapse of an underground cave, and filled in by an underground river.

 

Belize, Blue Hole Nat'l. Park

Belize, Blue Hole Nat’l. Park

 

When we initially began the trail down we could not see the water. Each descending step got cooler and quieter, and we were surrounded by seeping walls of rock covered with thick and verdant growth.

 

Then soon the blue water at the base of the trail appeared.

 

Belize, Blue Hole Nat'l. Park

Belize, Blue Hole Nat’l. Park

There was a small standing area for viewing the pool, and for those who climbed onto the rocks there was a sandy area for entering the water.

 

We watched little kids boisterously climb out of the water, hunched and shivering from the icy dip.

 

Summer tanager, Blue Hole Nat'l Park, Belize

Summer tanager, Blue Hole Nat’l Park, Belize

We had been birding in the jungle, and having great luck. But it was hot and humid, and the mosquitoes were especially brutal. So a cold dip looked enticing.

 

But there were birds to see! We had already been thrilled with various hummingbirds, ant birds, and tanagers.

 

Rufous-tailed jacamar, Belize

Rufous-tailed jacamar, Belize

As we stood in this surreal sight serenaded by trickling water, gazing at the blue water and the millions of ferns, our reverie was soon interrupted by a new bird, a jacamar.

 

Energetically flitting among the vines and wild orchids, a rufous-tailed jacamar captured our full attention–we watched, marveled, photographed this new lifer.  A colorful and zippy tropical bird, they only occur in the New World.

 

More jacamar info here.

 

As we were hiking back out, I turned around to get one last look.

 

Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Belize

Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Belize

A clear blue pool nestled below earth’s surface–it was a fairy place. It felt like Peter Pan would be coming along any minute.

 

Or maybe that jacamar was Peter Pan?

 

Photo credit: Athena Alexander

WordPress blogger Myriam’s drawing of the jacamar.

New release and a fun mystery, makes a great gift.

Golden Gate GraveyardPurchase here.

 

 

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47 thoughts on “Belize’s Blue Hole Nat’l. Park

  1. This is of particular interest to me, as I have been asked to give workshops in Belize http://www.pookshilllodge.com (I might have mentioned this before) Vicki Sadden who runs the lodge comes to my workshops in Portugal and wants me to come to Belize for all the wildlife, but particularly the hummingbirds…..and this beautiful little oasis does seem like magic. It sounds like one of those magical moments that will be imprinted on your mind. I will probably finish your book tonight and so will drop a message on Sunday with my thoughts. janet:)

    • I am always impressed at the many workshops all over the world that you are asked to instruct at, Janet. The Pooks Hill Lodge is in the Cayo District, and this park is in that same district. There are many hummingbirds and other birds too. Also many mosquitoes and bugs, which may or may not be an issue for you. I would love to hear what you thought after reading GGG, and invite you to email me at jeteliot@aol.com (or not). Your favorite characters, favorite scenes, surprises, etc. Also, if you are up for it, I could use an Amazon review. I’m delighted to share GGG with you, my thanks. Enjoy the ending!

      • Good morning Jet…thank you so much for your email..I will be sending you my thoughts today…loved the book and finished yesterday…will also write a review on Amazon….Wishing you a lovely weekend. We are hearing about the terrible fire in Oakland California! Another instance of how lives can be changed in the blink of an eye Janet….

      • I am delighted you finished and enjoyed GGG, Janet. Thanks very much, in advance, for your thoughts and review, too. The Oakland warehouse fire is tragic and horrifying, yes.

  2. I love the look of the tanager and the jacamar looks a bit like our kingfisher here in the UK – doesn’t sound like it though. The jacamar has a nicer sound though the kingfisher is fantastic to watch as I imagine the jacamar is too.

    • You’re on the right track, Alastair. The jacamar is most similar to the bee-eaters in the Old World, if you are familiar with them. And we didn’t hear this jacamar, the memorable thing was how fast he buzzed by us, similar to a hummingbird. Though they are bigger than a hummingbird. Thanks so much for your interest, and always a joy to talk sounds with you. 🙂

    • It’s really tricky to haul all that heavy gear up and down the trails in very sweaty and uncomfortable conditions, so I will be sure to tell her you enjoyed the bird photos, Cindy. My thanks and a big smile to you~~

  3. Such a colourful post! From the photographs, to your descriptions, and even the name of the highway (who couldn’t be tempted by the Hummingbird Highway?!), it’s clear this is a magical place. I think I’d even brave those mosquito clouds to see the sights. Wonderful!
    Have a great weekend!

    • pc, such a warm comment, thank you. You and Mrs. pc are such intrepid hikers, I know you would definitely brave the mosquito clouds and find this magical place. Belize, BTW, is a good warm escape from Canadian winters, and pretty reasonably priced. You can go inland, to the jungles, or coastal (snorkeling, etc.). We did both. Cheers to you and Mrs. pc and my best wishes for a happy weekend.

  4. I haven’t been to Belize but I’ve friends that had a lot of fun there. When it comes to birds, they do have beautiful species. Nice post my friend! 🙂

    • This gave me a sweet laugh, David. All of Belize is so full of color, and now I know why — it’s the food colors! Not only are the birds bright and the waters colorful, but the houses and buildings are brightly painted too. So glad to bring you to Belize, my friend~~

  5. Love the idea of Peter Pan being a special bird. Magic is all around us, yes?
    Your posts seem to be including more humor! Feeling less stress now that GGG has been birthed?

  6. Beautiful birding! The sapphire pool reminded me of a very similar looking hot spring in the Awash desert in Ethiopia. We plunged in to get a warm bath 🙂

    • It is always a thrill to come upon these little natural swimming holes in the world, I agree. Some are hot, some are cold, but they’re all like one’s own special adventure. I hope you are enjoying a pleasant weekend, Helen.

  7. Blues Holes are such amazing features. There are both land and sea ones on Abaco (and Bahamas generally), some amazingly deep or that a lead to long intricate systems of astonishing crystal caves under the pine forests. But you need to be an experienced diver to explore those – which I am not, sadly… RH

    • I agree, RH. There is also a Blue Hole for divers off the coast of Belize (different from this forest one). It was a favorite of Jacques Cousteau’s. I have enjoyed some wonderful diving adventures on your blog, this suits me fine. ha.

  8. A fairy place :-)! Your description does sound magical indeed and the backlit tail feathers of the jacamar are definitely fairy-like. Thank you for sharing this adventure and mentioning my drawing. Now my drawing is connected to your adventure, which is pretty cool!!! I also like the sound of a Hummingbird Highway…

    • I’m really glad you found the post, Myriam; because it was your drawing that reminded me of this magical visit to the Blue Hole Park and inspired me to post about it. It was a joy to share your beautiful drawing. 🙂

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