Belize Caving and Cave Tubing

Caving and Cave Tubing in Belize

Caving in Belize
Guests on a Caving Tour

Cave Tubing in Belize
Cave Tubing

It is estimated that there are thousands of caves in Belize. This is due to the fact that much of Belize's land surface is underlined by limestone. This creates extensive underground cave networks and sinkholes. Therein lie many relics of Belize's rich ancient Mayan past. Many caves prove a challenge to the experienced spelunker, but there are a few which beginners can access as well as enjoy. In all, except perhaps the Rio Frio Cave with its extensive opening, an experienced caving guide is recommended.

Caves in Belize have varying degrees of accessibility and difficulty of exploration with caving activities including hiking, wading through water, floating in an inner tube, canoeing, climbing rock formations and/or ropes and "bush" ladders, rapelling, squeezing through narrow openings. In most you will find extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations and pottery shards, while others house many secrets of the past including intact pottery and human remains (sometimes intact skeletons) and other natural formation such as underground waterfalls.

Proper equipment in the form of headlamps, spare batteries, hiking or tennis shoes, drinking water and light snacks are essential along with the services of an experienced caving guide.

Caves for all ages, first time cavers and less experienced spelunkers

Advanced Caving

Advanced Caving should only be attempted by experienced spelunkers. In some of these caves, you must get permission in advance from the Archaeology Department.

  • Caves Branch Cave System
  • Cebeda
  • Aktun Tunichil Muknal Cave
  • Manatee Cave System

Cave Tubing

Many tourist providers offer cave tubing opportunities. Most are within the Caves Branch Cave system.

Cave Canoeing

Tour companies and jungle lodges also cater to canoe adventurers. Best areas to canoe are on the Mopan and Macal Rivers in the Cayo District.

Safety Issues When Caving

  1. If you are claustrophobic, know your limits. Rio Frio is an open cave but most caves tend to have no natural lighting.
  2. Caving can be dangerous with many caves prone to flash floods during extended rainy periods.
  3. Ask about the lighting being used on your tour. An extra flashlight (preferably waterproof) with spare batteries is always a good idea.
  4. Know the accessibility and physical endurance required for each cave before your journey.
  5. Use experienced guides and tour operators for all remote caves even well traveled caves.
  6. Pack lightly especially for the wilder less-known caves where you have to travel for long distances.

Read more about Caving at Calico Jack's Village.