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Caves to Visit in Belize

For those who don’t already know, Belize is more than just a highly sought-after travel destination. It is also the holy grail for ancient Maya culture and thus the host site of many historically significant caves. In fact, exploring the mysterious caves of Belize is like venturing on a journey back in time, and you have the option to do so by way of guided cave tubing, canoeing, rappelling, or hiking tours.

There is certainly no shortage of caves in Belize, but we’ve put together a list of some of the most noteworthy ones to help you plan an adventure-filled sailing vacation that you’ll not soon forget…

Image Credit: FreedomSessions

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

More commonly known by its abbreviated nickname—ATM Cave—Actun Tunichil Muknal is the most popular and therefore most famous cave in Belize. A tour of the ATM cave reveals a number of museum-worthy Maya artefacts, including the sacrificial remains of the “Crystal Maiden”. This particular site is so fascinating that both the National Geographic Society and the Discovery Channel have recognised it as one of the top sacred caves in the world. 

Black Hole Drop

The Black Hole Drop, whose official name is Actun Tunich Muknal, is the Belize cave for those seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush. Following a 300-foot rappel descent into the Black Hole Drop’s dark jungle of a sinkhole, visitors then come face-to-face with the massive cave entrance that offers a glimpse of Mayan stories past.

Image Credit: Matt Leonard

Caves Branch

Belize’s hotspot for cave tubing adventures, Caves Branch, is especially unique because it features multiple caves connected by a series of underground passages. Upon disembarking on a guided cave tubing tour, visitors enjoy floating down the Caves Branch River, and inside the caves, there are numerous natural and manmade wonders to look at, including waterfalls, footprints on the walls, rock drawings, and crystal-like mineral formations.

Other Maya caves worth mentioning include Barton Creek, a ceremonial cave best explored by way of a guided canoe tour, and Rio Frio, the largest cave in Belize, where you’ll be awe-struck by the beautiful arched entryway. Deciding which caves to visit during a Belize sailing vacation depends on the level of physical activity those in your group desire and are capable of, so plan your excursions accordingly. 

Photo Credits: 
Ed Reder flicker.com/edreder
Matt Leonard flicker.com/losinghand
Freedom Sessions flicker.com/freedomsessions

Author Name: 
Kaitlyn Nakagoshi

Contributor

Ian Pedersen

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