Belize has been an ideal location for the formation of caves because of the limestone throughout much of its interior and a seasonal wet climate, resulting in caves becoming a common feature in the mountainous areas of Belize.
The main attraction of caves is the crystal formations, formed over millions of years. Stalactites are large crystal columns that grow down from the sides or ceiling of a cave, while stalagmites are large crystal columns that grow upwards from the floor of the cave.
Most of the caves in Belize were also used by the ancient Maya and Maya artifacts have been discovered in most of the caves so far. There are different levels of caving experience available ranging from the large open mouth caves a short ways from the parking lot to the more intricate caving systems located at the end of a hiking trail.
Mayan Ceremonial Cave
Enter , if you dare, the world which was believed by ancient Mayan priests to be the entrance to the underworld and the Kingdom of their God Xibalba!
Feel the presence of the ancient Gods as you explore spectacular and awe filled crystal chambers that hold 2,000 year old Maya ceremonial centers. Fire pits, charcoal and ash, pottery, bowls, relics, alters, wall carvings, glyph writings and actual skeletons of sacrificial victims are found in various ceremonial caves.
Hundreds of feet under the limestone mountain ridge above, explore this river cave with a total of six waterfalls. Spectacular crystal formations loom above and ancient Maya ceremonial centers are hidden in side chambers as you explore this mist shrouded kingdom.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave
Travel back in time over 2,000 years in history as you learn about the Maya and witness first hand a living museum where human sacrifices and artifacts can be viewed in their original context. The Actun Tunichil Muknal “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher” is one of the most impressive caves in Belize and was a sacred place to the prehistoric Maya of Belize who used the cave to conduct their ceremonies.
The cave system contains a series of chambers/ amazing caverns, ceremonial vessels, sparkling centuries old stalactites and stalagmites, and other cultural artifacts ending in a 300 by 50 meter Cathedral with sacrificial Ceremonies once took place. Here you will be exposed to the individuals sacrificed to the Gods of the underworld. The most famous is known as “The Crystal Maiden”, the skeleton of a teenage girl, probably a sacrifice victim, whose bones which have been completely covered by the natural processes of the cave, leaving them with a sparkling appearance.
Mountain Cow (Crystal) Cave
For more spelunking adventures visit Mountain Cow Cave (also known as Crystal Cave). A guided exploration into this spectacular cave system will take you through huge caverns adorned with crystalline formations.
The whole cave is filled with calcium carbonate formations from floor to ceiling and when the light shines on the formations they sparkle like diamonds. The actual caving experience is very rewarding as you climb up rock walls, slide through small crevices and crawl through tiny gaps all of which are adorned with speleothems and crystalline formations, artifacts of pottery, beads, obsidian blades and human skeletal remains that have been calcified in the limestone floor.
River Cave Cave Tubing Expedition
Combine cave tubing and cave exploration to explore this incredible river cave system where ancient Maya Ceremonial centers, pottery, artifacts, altars, obsidian blood letting blades, jade and the actual footprints of the Shaman and priests dated to 400 A.D. are still seen.
A living museum where the past can still be experienced in its historical and natural location. Massive cathedral size chambers with walls of river sculptured rock dwarf explorers as you pass on foot and inner tube.
The Black Hole Drop (Actun Loch Tunich Cave)
The edge of the Actun Loch Tunich sink hole sits over 300 feet above the basin below, 200 feet above the rainforest canopy that grows out from the sink hole basin.
A system of rappelling ropes are prepared for your decent to the basin below. The first 10 feet provides the adrenaline, the next 200 feet provides an unforgettable experience and sights to behold, and the last 100 feet takes you down through the rainforest canopy. The sink hole is not actually black, but you can't see the bottom from where you start. Once you're at the bottom, the question is... how do you get out?