Santa Rosa Blue Hole


Useful Information

Location: 1085 Blue Hole Rd, Santa Rosa, NM 88435.
(34.940487, -104.673295)
Open: All year daily 7-19.
Closed 04-SEP, 05-SEP.
[2022]
Fee: free.
Weekly Dive Permit USD 20, Annual Dive Permit USD 50, Annual Instructor Permit USD 100.
[2022]
Classification: KarstBlue Hole KarstCenote KarstDoline
Light: n/a
Dimension: Ø=24 m, VR=24 m, A=1,406 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:  
Address: The Blue Hole, 1085 Blue Hole Rd, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, Tel: +1-575-472-3763. E-mail:
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.

History

1976 cave diving prohibited after a diving accident with two dead cave divers.

Description

Santa Rosa Blue Hole is actually just named Blue Hole and is located at Santa Rosa. It is a blue hole or doline, with groundwater at the bottom. Such dolines are called cenotes in Mexico. Actually there is not only one of those cenotes, there are about half a dozen, probably all collapses of the same cave system. Also, the groundwater is connected by the cave and any pollution will spread pretty fast to the others.

In Yucatán the cenotes are just entrances to a vast cave system, and that's not different here. But there is nevertheless an important difference: the cave is not open, the original cave passage at the bottom is filled with the debris of the collapse. There are huge cracks between the blocks, which allows the water to flow freely, but divers have to navigate through the biggest of those cracks with the continuous danger of a rock slide. This make cave diving extremely dangerous. In 1976, two cave divers did not return from their expedition, and as a result cave diving was prohibited. So this is actually a completely unexplored cave system until today. Scuba diving is allowed with a reservation, though, and it costs money. The site is actually quite popular for training at high altitude, as the blue hole is located at 1,406 m asl.

The Blue Hole is a popular bathing spot. Nearby is the Santa Rosa Convention Center and the Santa Rosa Visitor Info Center, which also offer parking. The Visitor Center has a small exhibition, a snack bar, changing rooms, restrooms, retail merchandise, a viewing area, and free internet. The doline has vertical walls which are 2 m to 5m high and offer good possibilities to jump into the water. This is quite harmless, as the doline is very deep. Just be careful, there is a ledge below the surface whioch protrudes. The cave below is actually shaped like a bell, not like a shaft. It becomes wider to the bottom and is almost 40 m in diameter at the floor.

The blue hole is the water source for numerous nearby artificial fish ponds. The Blue Hole Fishing Pond contains fish like green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, winter rainbow trout and summer catfish. It is allowed to go fishing at the pond for children under 11, seniors, and disabled.