Here is a blog post by Linda Patterson about her experiences and her point of view about Cave Tubing in Belize. She tells an amazing story of how this simple tour can turn out to be the most spectacular that even the most seasoned adventurers have not attempted. Don’t waste time – start reading to find out why you should come cave tubing in Belize too!
The tropics of Central America are known the world over for their lush jungle environs, incredible ancient ruins, and plentiful opportunities to pursue all manner of adventure sports and relaxing seaside activities, from diving and snorkeling to jungle treks and simple sunning on the beach. What many who seek out the ancient Aztec and Maya cities or plop down at once of the many world-class resorts overlook is what many might call the opportunity of a lifetime :the ability to ride the underground rivers of Belize.
Glimpse Into the Past
Few methods of traveling around Central America are more fascinating and comfortable than underground cave-tubing. Not only can you relax in the soft embrace of a warm, gentle current, you'll be able to see many remnants left by the region's ancient cultures. The caves are accessible from cenotes, or above-ground sinkholes, which allow you to descend down into the sub-surface realm and travel backwards in time to a simpler, less complicated time. Many veteran travelers who have ticked off many or all of Belize's ancient ruins, spectacular dive sports, and world-class resorts have yet to take this simple but unforgettable trip down the underground river paths once traveled by some of humanity's earliest societies.
You're welcome to plot your own route through the caves, but especially for first-timers, taking advantage of one of the many cave-tubing shops that provide guides and rent tubing equipment may be the best option. The rivers that flow through these caves have existed since the time of the Maya empire; then, as now, they bring life and tropical abundance to the cave interior and the surface above. In ancient times, they were often used by early Mesoamericans as sources of drinking water and for crop irrigation, and so a great number of artifacts and carvings were left behind four tourists and archeologists alike to marvel at, perched comfortably atop an inner tube floating under the serene current's gentle propulsion.
A Vacation Underground
Of course, for those who prefer the DIY approach, there is plenty of information available online to help you chart your own course through the cave system, and online reviews :as well as the advice of other travelers and friends who have previously tubed themselves :will help you make an informed decision on which tubing company to patronize. One of the tubing routes most popular with backpackers is the Caves Branch route in Cayo district. The millennia-old cave system begins not far from Hummingbird Highway, and there is substantial evidence that it was used by the ancient Maya as a means of transporting resources over 2,000 years ago.
Searching online reviews first means you'll be able to verify the safety and honesty of the company you rent your tubes from. For the most part, the tubes issued to tourists meet standards of durability and quality testing; your equipment will also include a standard life vest (just in case) and a caver's light, which is worn on the forehead. This headlamp will illuminate the dark spaces between cenotes where you are truly traveling in underground caverns, dozens of feet or more below the surface. Along the Caves Branch trail, you'll pass by the natural "sculptures" of Celestial Bird and Vision Serpent, created by centuries of dripping water carrying sediment and minerals down from the cave's ceiling.
An Unforgettable Journey
If you're the adventurous type, don't fret; not all the cave-tubing routes are resigned to slow drifts down placid underground rivers. Fast water and rapid currents are available in some of the more advanced routes; slipping and sliding down the subterranean tunnels will be a thrill you aren't likely to forget. All travelers to Central America ought to think seriously about spending some time in Belize's majestic underground tunnels. Few other places allow you to experience such startling history, underground wildlife, and the deepest recesses of humanity's ancestral civilizations all at the same time.”
She had a marvelous time - can you tell? Did you have this same experience? You definitely should try it if you have not yet. This is one of the best adventure tours in Belize. If you had a similar (or different) experience, leave a comment below and tell us about it!