Blue Creek is a village that can be located in the southern most district in Belize, the Toledo District. The village was founded by Kek’chi and Mopan Maya families that came from San Antonio and Aguacate. Blue Creek Village was first known as Rio Blanco. Its clear water and fertile soil invited people to stay here. Soon after, the name of the village was then changed into Blue Creek in line with the beauty of the river that it possesses.
Indeed, Blue Creek Village is endowed with the gift of nature, and has a collection of tourist spots that will surely win your heart. Although this district is the least developed, it features some of the most extensive cave networks, breath-taking offshore cays, vast coastal lowland plains and some preserved rainforest where many unique creatures call it their home.
Hokeb Ha – Where the water enters the Earth
But perhaps none of these attraction gets better attention than Blue Creek’s Hokeb Ha Cave or simply known as the Blue Creek Cave. One of the most impressive natural sites, Blue Creek Cave is but a 20 minute hike only from the village. In Mayan language, “Hokeb Ha” means “Where the water enters the Earth”. True to its name, Blue Creek Cave’s entrance has a massive size and is carved into a summit of a hill with long vines dangling from above and spill out into the Blue Creek.
First, to reach the cave, one must endure to hike for approximately 20 minutes over mostly cleared pathway, through the jungle and going upstream along the green-blue river. Path along the creek sometimes is cemented. When you reach the clearing, you need to pass next through the research station and find next the wide trail on the other side. You need to follow this trail until you reach the wide dry creek with white stones. You need to cross this creek and continue to follow the trail along the creek heading upstream. The trail may become vague with steep limestone at its base. After this, you may have to face the most challenging part yet of this journey which involves climbing over slippery roots and rocks. In a few minutes, you will then see that the creek runs out of the opening of the cave, making its way through limestone boulders and out to the open. A 10 foot waterfall will appear right before your eyes along with the main entrance of the cave. Then there goes one of the best part: when you arrive at the mouth of Blue Creek Cave, you need to swim upstream through the water towards the cave’s interior. Do not worry, to enter the cave, a tour guide must accompany all visitors to explore the interior. You will also be given life jacket to keep you safe as well as headlamps. The cave runs deep so not long after you made your first few steps inside the cave, all natural light disappears. For many years, Archaeologists were able to find Late Classic Maya ceramics inside this cave and an altar. This information prompts many archaeologists to the idea that the cave must have been used for ceremonial purposes. Whether these ceremonies are for celebrations or for sacrifices, no one knows for sure.
Inside the cave, you will appreciate the beauty of stalactites that hang from the top like teardrops and stalagmites sprouting from the floor. Both Stalactites and Stalagmites are formed from different substances such as minerals, mud, limestone, etc. that accumulates through time. These normally occur only under certain pH conditions. Stalactites and Stalagmites should not be touched under normal circumstances, since normal oil and dirt from skin may affect the growth of the formation or may also stain and change its color permanently.
You can keep going if you want inside the cave while appreciating the breath-taking view. The limestone cave is full of natural crystal clear pools. Water inside the cave has a temperature which is constant at 75 degrees. Indeed, another popular activity in the area is Cave swimming. You can still enjoy the view of Stalactites and Stalagmites in the area for swimming but it is not that much.
Under the assistance of a tour guide, it is possible for tourists to take another three to four hour tour through the interior of the cave that leads you to another entrance. It is a bit lengthy, but once you reach the entrance the other side, it will be all worth it. A body of calm water is situated in the entrance of this side and is perfect for swimming most times of the year. At certain times though, especially during the rainy season, the cave will not be accessible. The possibility of strong currents and sudden rise in water is high, which may endanger tourists if it isn’t closed.
Overall, this is certainly a challenging trip, but totally worth it. Not only will you be able to witness the amazing scenery of the place, you also get to have the chance of experiencing one of the wildest adventures of a lifetime. It does not matter whether you are young or old; you can go for the adventure as long as you have what it takes to take the thrill. And if you don’t get tired of this whole trip, you might also want to extend the Blue Creek hike and explore the Rainforest. You can also try the Tiger Cave and the Laguna Cave in Southern Belize and witness its equal pleasure.