The Caves of Belize

With the new year promising a potential end to the pandemic thanks to the distribution of vaccines now underway, it’s a good time to think once again about a well-deserved break. In this blog series, I have talked about the waters, with their wildlife and diving opportunities, the jungles, the beaches, and the beautiful night skies. But one area I have not covered is underground. Belize has one of the most extensive cave systems in the world, with about 300 of them available for exploration.

Many of them have great historical and cultural significance, having been used by the Mayans as sacred sites that were seen as a passage to the underworld and the homes of the gods.

Perhaps the most fascinating of these is the Black Hole Drop, which is located inland, in the Western Cayo District. It is a cave that is entered and exited from above, using climbing gear, and can only be done in the company of licensed guides. This is quite the adventure, basically descending through the jungle canopy and continuing down 500 feet into what looks like total darkness. This is an adventure that requires some skills in ladder climbing and hiking and is definitely one of the more adventurous cave excursions. The Barton Creek Cave is located in the same area as the Black Hole Drop, but it is accessed a little more easily, with the help of licensed guides and a canoe. According to BelizeHub, which has an excellent rundown of the 10 most fascinating caves in Belize, the Barton Creek Cave has chambers that will remind you of “cathedrals and wide roomy passages.” The cave was recently recognized as one of the nine most unusual and beautiful caves in the world.

The entrance to the Barton Creek Cave – photo courtesy of Belize Hub

One of the many reasons I fell in love with Belize is because its citizens and government take the beauty of nature so seriously. The country is dotted with amazing natural and human-made wonders – not just caves, but wildlife sanctuaries, temples and ruins, and the amazing diving and water-related activities. It’s a country that recognizes the value of tourism and eco-tourism, which is such a wonderful proof of concept that people and nature can co-exist more than we have done over the past 200 years in so many places in the world.

Maybe that’s why oceanographer Jacques Cousteau spent so much time here, and why film director Francis Ford Coppola set up two eco-reserves here.

As always, we look forward to welcoming guests to stay with us and to meet our wonderful canine ambassadors, Charlie and Mr. Bean. Travel can be done more safely and regularly now, and we have our Gold Standard, meaning we can provide safe hospitality that aligns with the standards established by the Belize Tourist Board and the Government of Belize. Even if you are considering visiting later in the year when things return to a new normal, there’s just so much to do here, I invite you to contact us so we can help guide you to some of the wonderful areas of interest and fascination.

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