Are you looking for the ultimate Belize adventure? I can vouch to the fact that one of the best things to do in the country is cave tubing. Just imagine yourself lazily drifting through mysterious caves with bats overhead and in some parts surrounded by the vibrant greenery of the jungle. It’s the kind of adventure that makes you realize why Belize is the ultimate destination for cave tubing enthusiasts, even if you never knew you were one!
Where to Cave Tube in Belize
There are two main areas for cave tubing in Belize: the Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve (or Caves Branch for short) near Belize City and the Barton Creek Cave near San Ignacio. While both offer cool caves, rivers, and zip line courses (for those seeking an extra bucket list adventure), Caves Branch also has Mayan ruins.
Tours You Can Take Cave Tubing
For the smoothest experience, I recommend joining a cave tubing tour. These typically include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, all necessary equipment (including headlamps and inner tubes), and a yummy local lunch.
My tour was with Vital Nature and Mayan Tours (and it was great!), but there are many other companies and tours. Here are a few highly rated ones:
- Altun Ha Mayan Temples and Cave Tubing Paradise With Lunch
- Cave Tubing & Xunantunich (Mayan Ruins) From Placencia
- Mayan Ruins & Cave Tubing
What You’ll See Inside The Cave System
As you float through the cave system, be prepared to be awestruck. Illuminated by occasional shafts of sunlight (and, of course, your helmet lights,) the caves reveal a world of stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
These geological formations, resembling icicles hanging from the cave ceiling (stalactites) and rising from the cave floor (stalagmites), create a one-of-a-kind underground landscape.
Keep an eye out for the resident bats adding an extra touch of intrigue to your subterranean adventure. The echoes of water droplets and jungle sounds elevate the experience into a sensory delight.
Is Cave Tubing in Belize Worth it?
Absolutely! It’s more than just an activity; it’s a total dive into nature’s awesomeness that goes beyond the ordinary. The perfect blend of heart-pounding adventure and peaceful moments in these amazing caves makes it a standout part of any trip to Belize. It was for me!
So, if you’re itching for an adventure that blends excitement with a deep connection to nature, trust me—cave tubing in Belize is an absolute, can’t-miss experience.
What To Wear Belize Cave Tubing
Get ready for your cave tubing adventure by dressing in comfy and sensible clothes. Swimwear, water shoes, and lightweight clothing are your best companions. Remember to shield yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat, and keep those pesky mosquitos away with repellent. The idea is to feel super comfy while soaking in the amazing beauty around you!
- Cave tubing in Belize is an all-year-round activity. The rainy season (May to November) means fewer crowds, however, it can also bring higher water levels and potentially stronger currents.
- No prior experience is necessary, but be prepared for a 15-20 minute hike to reach the cave entrance.
- Before embarking on your cave tubing adventure, equip yourself with essentials. Ensure you have a waterproof camera to capture the mesmerizing moments inside the caves.
- Don’t forget sturdy water shoes and headlamps for a comfortable and secure journey through the caves’ rocky terrain (although you can rent these for a fee.)
My Experience Cave Tubing
I had always thought that I would be accomplishing the ‘exploring a cave’ bucket list goal by spelunking through the mud-filled, bat-infested, claustrophobically narrow caverns of California, which I was elated to do. But, when I heard that there was such a thing as cave tubing in Belize my direction was to have this adventure in this Central American country.
After reading numerous, literally hundreds (because I am obsessive like that), reviews on TripAdvisor I decided on Cave Tubing with Vitalino Reyes. He happened to be half the price of the cruise lines for, what seemed to be, a better experience.
Yes, I am pretty cheap. But, I would have happily forked over the extra money if I thought my safety would have been compromised.
There were so many praises about this cave tubing tour group that I felt confident. I emailed the company and got a super rapid response. High-speed internet must exist in Belize. They required no money up front, just our word that we would be there. After confirmation, I received an email with a foolproof map on how to locate them when we were at port.
We were greeted by Vitalino himself, a humble, sweet man who introduced us to our guide and directed us to a small 6-person van which far exceeded the large tour buses that we had been used to on this vacation. The ride was about an hour, but filled with historical information, a shopping stop (AKA: potty break) and a quick glimpse inside the streets of Belize. We arrived at our destination and parked amongst the dozens of other buses.
A part of me had the fear that they may be infested with all sorts of Belizean critters and wondering if they sanitized them after each use like bowling shoes. Probably not. We were then issued our ginormous yellow tubes and lighted helmets. We were ready for business. But, not so fast. We now had to walk, with our helmets on and lugging a 4-foot inner-tube, to the water which was a 45 minute hike away.
During the high rain seasons, the cave tubing adventure flowed more easily, but now our poor guide was subjected to an Olympic-like swim while towing us throughout. It seemed like harsh labor or a fantastic exercise regime. Not tipping him would have almost been a crime.
This was not exactly the “white-water rapid” experience that I had envisioned, but a perfect excursion for all ages. My one big regret was not having a waterproof camera…still kicking myself, really. On the bus ride back, we were taken to Vitalino’s personal restaurant (& home) where we indulged in a traditional Belizean meal made by the wife, aunts and children. We munched on rice & beans, spiced chicken and a never-ending supply of rum punch.
I took an interest in the bottle of Cashew Wine for sale and when the driver overheard this he went back into the restaurant just to get me a sample. All said and shared, Cave Tubing with Vitalino and his staff was one of the highlights of our trip. They were authentically nice, family folks who knew how to make their guests feel at home and their passion for their country was infectious.
So, there you have it. Cave tubing in Belize: a mix of excitement, beautiful nature, and a bit of spookiness. You’ll get wet, maybe swallow a few bugs, and you might even face your primal fear of the dark. But if you want an experience that sticks with you, go to Belize and dive into the mysterious underworld.
Best Tips for Visiting Belize
How to Get to Belize: Belize City Goldson International Airport (BZE) is a major hub and most airlines will fly into it. You can easily check for the best fare deals at Skyscanner, which also has the option to choose ‘cheapest month’ as the departure to find the lowest priced dates to fly to your destination.
Getting Around: Driving in a new destination can be a bit of a challenge, but if you choose to rent a car, RentalCars.com has great deals. If you are not renting a car, there are plenty of other options. Taxis are available all over the city. For a more budget friendly option, you can take the bus, rent a boat or even a golf cart.
Best Time to Visit Belize: Between the month of January and May.
Where to Stay in Belize City: It’s best to stay near the city center, public transportation or the area that you will be spending the most time in. The Great House Inn is a great choice in the Koror district. For something on the less expensive side, try Golden Tree Hotel located in Belize City. For a hotel with a little more extravagance, book a room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina. Or search some great deals on hotels of your choice at Booking.com. If you’re looking for more of a home atmosphere (or are traveling with a group of people), head over to VRBO that has houses, apartments and even just a room for rent in every price range.
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