An oil drilling moratorium, development restrictions and fishing reform has helped the 200-mile-reef come off Unesco’s endangered world heritage sites...Read More
Fun Cave Adventures to Do With Kids in Belize
The Cayo districtis honeycombed with limestone caves, used by the Maya for centuries. The Maya entered caves through underground rivers, and climbed up on dry ledges for ceremonies, sacrifices, burials, and to store food. Caves symbolized both the underworld (home of the Lords of Xibalba and death) and life, just as the sun rises each morning when the night is gone.Different cave tours are available, from an easy one hour canoe ride through Barton Creek Cave, to active cave tubing and hiking to see Maya sites within the caves. None of the caves have permanent lighting or paved walkways and railings – kids will feel like real cave explorers.
Take a one hour canoe ride through Barton Creek Cave – this cave tour is fun for children of all ages, no paddling is required, life jackets are provided. The cave entrance, a rock face covered with ferns and dangling vines, seems impassable, until the guide paddles the canoe around an obstructing rock, and into a huge, high cavern. Floating through the cave, a bat or two flying overhead, delicate sounds of water dripping, look for Maya pottery and a skull from their ceremonies on the higher ledges. Other times the formations are just above your head, you have to duck, as the canoe glides underneath – sparkling stalactites, stalagmites, cave bacon and curtains are illuminated with a single headlamp. A unique experience!
Cave tubing tours involve floating in inner tubes on underground rivers through caves; some tours also include hikes within the caves to see Maya artifacts. We took the River Cave Adventure from Caves Branch, a combination of floating and Maya exploration, good for kids ages 7 and up. Highly recommended. We hiked a short distance to the river, then floated into the cave. Our very experienced guides not only took us to see spectacular cave formations (one miniature room looked like a spun sugar castle), but pointed out various wildlife in the cave – little bats that eat insects, “gardens” spun by worms to catch flies, albino crickets. Lunch was served in the cave (not something we’d done before). We viewed broken Maya pots (pots are broken intentionally as part of the ceremonies), sat around ancient fire rings, and shined our headlamps on a striking figure of the Maya fertility god and shadowy formations that look like a Maya man and woman with a baby on her back.For cave tubing tours, wear clothing that can get wet (swimsuits, shorts, rash guard shirts) and shoes with a tread (no open toed sandals), as walking through caves is slippery and rocks can be sharp. A waterproof camera is handy.
Teens will get a kick out of this cave adventure. Hike to the river, then walk/swim (depending on the water level) into the cave, and hike up where you’ll see ritually broken Maya pottery pots and the skeleton of a teenage girl sacrifice (fifteen sacrifices were found in the cave). Wear clothing that can get wet, shoes for hiking, helmets and headlamps are provided.
Top Places to Stay in Belize
Belize Tour Companies and Travel Agents
Belize Real Estate Opportunities
June 26, 2018
Just a stone’s throw off the coast of Belize, brightly colored tropical fish mingle with sharks, manta rays and sea...Read More
June 17, 2018
BELIZE CITY, Belize — Belize is tiny for a country — about the land size of Maryland — but it...Read More
June 17, 2018
Once you have lived on Ambergris Caye awhile, you get to know which restaurants have off-menu special request options. Read...Read More
June 12, 2018
After a year of procrastination and poor planning, Belize finally made it on my to do list in 2018. Read...Read More
June 12, 2018
Autograph Collection Hotels, in partnership with owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, today announced the brand will debut in Belize with the...Read More