March 27, 2023

Explore the amazing underground in Belize’s many caves

Visitors to Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal should be physically fit to experience the cave’s natural and cultural wonders.
Known for its extensive untouched natural beauty, Belize is full of diverse environments and ecosystems. One of the most unique of these systems can be seen in Belize’s caves, which number in the thousands throughout the small country. Visitors to these caves can enjoy everything from active adventures to cultural discovery of the ancient Maya.

In most caves, adventurers will find extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations as they enjoy a tour at their own pace. Caves can offer everything from easy walks focused on discovery to challenging hikes filled with squeezes, crawls, rappels, and swims for the adventure-seeker. In other caves, which were used extensively by the Mayans, visitors will find pottery shards, ancient intact pottery, and even human remains. Natural wonders such as underground waterfalls can also be found in caves including Blue Creek and Caves Branch.

One must-see cave spot in Belize is Actun Tunichil Muknal (or ATM). Here, visitors will find the remains of the Crystal Maiden, a Maya girl sacrificed eons ago. Other highlights of ATM include stunning limestone formations, thousand-year-old calcified skulls, and skeletons Maya artifacts. Travelers should note that seeing ATM is a physically demanding experience, so visitors should be active and prepared to do some swimming.

Another popular cave attraction is the Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve, home to caves the ancient Maya considered to be sacred. Visitors to the site can float down the Caves Branch River on an inner tube, on tours that run daily.

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