Cave Tubing Belize: What You Need To Know (2024 Update)

Table of Contents

  1. Caves Are Ancient Settings
    1. Cave Tubing Is A Laid Back Adventure
    2. More than One Way To Cave Tube
    3. Zip lining with Cave Tubing
  2. Other Belize Cave Tubing Adventures
    1. Barton Creek Cave
    2. Aktun Tunichil Muknal

Belize is believed to be home to over 900 Maya sites in total over the more than eight thousand square miles of Earth area we call home. As you could imagine that is a lot to excavate, luckily not all these “sites” are large ruined/abandoned temples. Quite a number of these sites includes village remains and caves.

Belize Cave tubing adventures take you through some of these very subterranean that were once traversed by the Mayan of these parts.

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For those of you wondering who or why anyone would float on a tube through an old cave for fun, let us share these awesome facts with you:

Caves Are Ancient Settings

Our Mayan ancestors believed the caves to be entrances to Xibalba; their underworld, the place of fear and the gods of death.

Thinking about it, there’s little mystery as to why these people would attribute such dreadful qualities to a place such as a cave. Luckily in all our treks we have yet to stumble across Xibalba itself or any of a great many horrors that were theorized to be contained inside.

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It’s difficult to ascertain exactly how old these formations could each be or when the first use of them was. Many of the artefacts left in them have since become calcified, encased in limestone sediments and fused with the cave-scape around them.

Many. if not all the artifacts found therein are permanently fixed to their resting place. It is also difficult to determine whether the caves with no artifacts were used at all or not or for different purposes; the cave that you tube through could have at one point been a very integral part of a community’s belief system!

Cave Tubing Is A Laid Back Adventure

Floating in an air-filled tube quietly down the stream and through limestone caverns has the potential to be one of the most serene experiences to be had in Belize.

As you make your way slowly from the mouth of a cave and through its inner tunnels you’ll be struck by the stark lack of light within. Many reaches of these formations had not seen light for hundreds of years, and some; never before the last century or so.

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Thankfully; you have nothing to fear as your guide takes you meandering through the dark reaches and eventually back out. Entering and later re-emerging from a cave formation can sometimes feel like being reborn into the light, no longer a creature of the dark like the bats, crabs and other nocturnal creatures who sleep there by day.

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Speaking of guides, there are many very knowledgeable and experienced guides that will be happy to take you through safely while explaining the lore and geology of the area. Gone are the days that you needed to be an expert explorer to make it through these places, We doubt Indiana Jones would be smart enough to just float down in a tube to see what’s there anyway.

More than One Way To Cave Tube

Cave tubing, including the hike it takes to the start point and sometimes the end point you’ll spend about a half day adventuring through jungle paths and cave interiors. So that’s it yeah? The fun is over after midday… Not quite; depending on your location auxiliary activities are available to add to your cave exploration expedition!

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Zip lining with Cave Tubing

Sadly, you can’t zip-line through an entire cave (seriously someone… make that happen!) You can precede or follow your float along with a high-hanging swoosh through Belize’s tropical canopy zipping from one platform to the next until you’re back at ground level.

Other Belize Cave Tubing Adventures

So you hung on for dear life on a tree top zip line, then relaxed your tired heart in a floating tube drifting down the cool river through quiet caves yet somehow, your cave adventure itch still itches? Fret not, check out these cool caves to explore while you’re still here:

Barton Creek Cave

Remember our reference to Xibalba earlier? Barton Creek cave is about as close as we can imagine it getting to such a place if it existed. Your trek through Barton Creek cave is a spiritual “step up” from Belize Cave Tubing as you cave canoe your way through the archways and cathedralic inner chambers.  

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Taking a spookier turn, this cave contains remains left behind by the original inhabitants of this land in the form of pottery and even complete skeletons.

Aktun Tunichil Muknal

Universally shortened to ATM cave, this is probably the most famous of the bunch. Apart from most famous (to which there is still debate) it is certainly the most physically vigorous. ATM cave is believed to be the most heavily used cave in the times of death gods and human sacrifices.

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Actun Tunichil Muknal cave with PACZ Tours of San Ygnacio, Belize Thursday April 16, 2009.

Evidence has been found of ancient Mayans fashioning altars and the cave is littered with intact, calcified pottery and human skeletons, forever fused to the rock they lay on. You’ll need to hike, swim and climb your way through this cave to get to the end, there’s no going “around” to check it out… only through!

Have you done any Belize Cave Tubing? What was your favorite part? Would you do it again?

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