10 BEST Jaw-Dropping Caves in Belize (2024)

Caves in Belize

Are you craving an adventure that’s off the beaten path?

The caves in Belize offer the world’s most extensive and intriguing cave systems.

Discover here the 10 best cave systems in Belize that you can easily explore…

Key Takeaways

  • Belize has many stunning caves full of history and beauty. Some famous ones are Actun Tunichil Muknal, Great Blue Hole, and Barton Creek Cave.
  • The Maya people used these caves years ago for rituals. They left behind pots, tools and even bones that tell us stories about their life.
  • You can explore the caves in different ways like walking or using special gear. There are also fun river tours at places like Barton Creek Cave.
  • If you’re going to visit Belize’s caves, remember to bring good shoes, a hat for the sun, sunscreen to protect your skin and water to drink on your journey. Always be safe!

Unraveling the Mysteries of Belize’s Caves

Belize is known for its stunning caves. They are a part of Belize’s rich history.

Lots of these caves were important to the Maya people years ago. Many believe that they were doors to another world, the underworld.

You will find art and tools in many caves. These artifacts tell us about how the Maya people lived.

Additionally, you may see pots or carvings on walls inside some caves like ATM Cave or Actun Halal Cave.

Other parts of the cave can also take your breath away! Most caves have places where water has carved out big rooms over time, creating large vaulted ceilings.

Caves in Belize come in all shapes and sizes. Some are easy to walk through while others need special gear to explore them safely.

A few even have rivers running through them like Barton Creek Cave, which is one of the biggest river caves in Belize.

Many tourists love going on tours in these amazing spaces under ground, like Caves Branch Cave Tubing tour or ATM Cave Tour.

Exploring these ancient spaces lets you get up close with history and nature at the same time!

Now you know why so many people love coming here for an adventure.

Top 10 Caves in Belize to Explore

From the mysterious depths of Actun Tunichil Muknal to the remarkable underwater cavern of the Great Blue Hole; Belize offers an amazing array of caves to explore.

Barton Creek Cave takes you on a historical journey, while Crystal Cave dazzles with its gem-like formations.

Chechem Ha Cave is known for its Mayan pottery artifacts and Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve provides an exciting tubing adventure.

Other must-visit spots include Cave World Adventures (Actun Chapat), Rio Frio Cave, Blue Creek Cave, Flour Camp Cave (U’chen Tzub), and Jaguar Paw’s cave and jungle expeditions.

Each offering unique explorations into rich history, natural beauty and adventurous terrains imbued with tales from Mayan civilization.

1. Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave Crystal Maiden

Discover the awe-inspiring wonders of Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave in Belize, a mesmerizing Maya ceremonial cave that beckons adventure seekers.

Renowned as the “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” ATM boasts rare bloodletting altars, 1400 cataloged artifacts, and the hauntingly beautiful “Crystal Maiden”, an intact skeleton adorned with calcium carbonate.

Embark on an extraordinary journey, beginning with a swim into the cave’s mouth and navigating ankle to chest-high waters, followed by a trek through labyrinthine chambers filled with ancient skulls, pots, and altars.

This challenging yet rewarding tour, departing from San Ignacio, promises a day of hiking, climbing, and swimming, unveiling untouched Maya history.

2. Great Blue Hole

Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole in Belize is an awe-inspiring natural wonder, featuring a massive underwater sinkhole surrounded by a breathtaking ring of coral in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

This circular marvel, boasts dimensions of approximately 1,000 feet across and over 400 feet deep, making it the world’s largest geological formation of its kind.

Formed over 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, this collapsed cave system reveals vertical cliffs, overhanging shelves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and a vibrant marine ecosystem including Caribbean Reef Sharks.

Whether you’re a scuba enthusiast exploring its depths or taking a captivating aerial tour, the Great Blue Hole promises an unforgettable experience, earning its place on every diver’s bucket list worldwide.

3. Barton Creek Cave

Barton Creek Cave

Barton Creek Cave, nestled in Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge area, beckons adventure enthusiasts with its mysterious allure.

This two-mile-long wet cave, adorned with captivating stalactites and stalagmites, unveils a treasure trove of Maya artifacts—ceramics, figurines, and even human skeletons, echoing the ancient tales of this fascinating civilization.

The journey to the cave itself is an adventure, setting the tone for the thrilling exploration that awaits.

Whether paddling through its waters or embarking on a walking expedition, visitors immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the Maya, discovering a necklace crafted from animal finger bones and a carved bone figure.

Barton Creek Cave is not just a destination; it’s a portal to a bygone era, inviting intrepid souls to uncover the secrets hidden within its subterranean passages.

4. Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave Belize

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Belize’s Cayo District to explore the awe-inspiring Crystal Cave, nestled within the Blue Hole National Park.

Renowned as one of the world’s largest cave systems, Crystal Cave enchants adventurers with its massive caverns adorned by stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and crystalline formations.

Also known as Mountain Cow Cave, this archaeological gem offers a captivating trek through Belize’s expansive Broad Leaf Forest, featuring a moderate yet thrilling hike of approximately 50 minutes.

As you venture into the depths of “Xibalba,” the ancient Maya underworld, you’ll encounter evidence of a flourishing civilization – fire pits, obsidian knives, ceramics, and even a human skeleton calcified in the limestone floor.

The cave’s spectacular calcite formations, created centuries ago, promise an astounding display, making this adventure a must for those seeking a blend of history, nature, and adrenaline.

Prepare for a journey where every step echoes the rituals of ancient Maya shamans, and each stalactite tells a tale of a bygone era.

5. Chechem Ha Cave

Chechem Ha Cave

Embark on a thrilling adventure at Che Chem Ha Cave, a stark contrast to the ease of Barton Creek, where one delves into a challenging journey.

Nestled near the Guatemala border in Belize, this cave demands a strenuous hike to its mouth, unveiling a wonderland of artifacts unparalleled in the region.

While the stalactites and stalagmites may not be the most dramatic, the narrow passages reveal the largest collection of ancient vessels, plates, and pots, adorned with original decorations.

As a ceremonial center honoring Mayan beliefs, Che Chem Ha serves as a gateway to the afterlife, adding a supernatural touch to the captivating tale of its accidental discovery in 1989.

Located in the Cayo District, near San Ignacio, this hidden gem offers not just a physical challenge but also a cultural experience, as the Morales family, who discovered the cave, welcomes guests to their home.

For those seeking a memorable Belize vacation, Che Chem Ha Cave promises an exhilarating blend of adventure, history, and culture.

6. Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve

Nohoch Cheen Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve

Explore the thrill of Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve in Belize, a haven for adventure seekers.

This reserve boasts an extensive network of limestone caves, offering the ultimate experience in cave tubing and zip lining.

Picture yourself embarking on a 1½-hour journey, hiking through lush jungles, and floating gently through 19 mesmerizing caves on an inner tube.

Illuminate your path with a headlamp, discovering eyeless cave fish, stalactites, and ancient Maya paintings.

Elevate the excitement with customizable full-day tours, combining cave tubing, ziplining, and exploring Xunantunich Mayan Ruins.

Mean and Dangerous Adventures, a tour operator, can help you set up your day of adventure with jungle ATVs, zip lining, and cave kayaking.

Whether you’re self-driving or seeking a private tour, Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve promises a day of daring escapades, making it the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers in Belize.

7. Cave World Adventures (Actun Chapat)

Actun Chapat Cave

Actun Chapat Cave in Belize offers an exhilarating caving experience with its massive underground system featuring crystallized rock formations, Mayan tales, and intriguing cave critters.

Located in Cave World Adventures, this adventure park aims to preserve Belize’s flora and fauna. The cave, aptly named “Centipede Cave,” holds Mayan relics, including pottery dating back to 1800 A.D., and serves as a ceremonial site with skeletal remains.

The exploration involves traversing chambers with high ceilings, darkened spaces, and a breathtaking skylight, believed by Mayas to be the entrance to the underworld.

Despite its moderate difficulty level, the geological wonders and ancient Maya modifications make Actun Chapat a must-visit, accessible with a drive from San Ignacio Town.

The cave’s mysterious depths, extending possibly over 6 miles, promise a unique adventure for those willing to delve into Belize’s fascinating subterranean world.

8. Rio Frio Cave

Rio Frio Cave - Mountain Pine Ridge

Embark on a thrilling adventure in Belize by exploring the mesmerizing Rio Frio Cave, a crown jewel among the country’s remarkable caving systems.

Spanning a quarter mile, this natural wonder within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve offers an awe-inspiring journey through fresh-water pools, cascading waterfalls, and enchanting stalactite formations.

As you stand before the cave’s majestic 65-foot-tall entrance, the anticipation builds for the breathtaking spectacle that lies within.

Perfect for first-time cave explorers, seniors, and families, Rio Frio Caves promise a less strenuous yet awe-inspiring adventure in the heart of Belize’s natural wonders.

9. Blue Creek Cave

Blue Creek Cave

If you find yourself in Southern Belize, don’t miss the captivating Blue Creek Cave, also known as Hokeb Ha, translating to “Where the Water Enters the Earth” in Maya.

The cave system, stretching about five miles from Santa Cruz to the village of Blue Creek, offers a breathtaking spectacle during the rainy season with rushing water, small waterfalls, and rapids.

The hike through the rain forest is a journey into pristine beauty, with diverse wildlife such as otters, iguanas, birds, fish, and bats.

In the dry winter season, guided excursions into the cave reveal a mesmerizing world of stalagmites and stalactites, with options ranging from one to four hours.

Whether you’re an adventurous cave explorer or prefer a leisurely swim in the cave’s entrance pool, Blue Creek Cave promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Belize’s Toledo District.

Accessible by car, bus, or guided tours, this natural wonder is a must-visit for anyone seeking a day of adventure and awe in Belize.

10. Flour Camp Cave (U’chen Tzub)

Flour Camp Cave

Explore Flour Camp Cave, a network of caves with numerous entrances and exits, brimming with Maya pottery and impressive stalagmites (rising from the cave floor) and stalactites (hanging from the cave roof).

Take a journey through time as you uncover caverns, chambers, and ancient Maya artifacts.

Following the cave tour, venture on foot or by ride to an intriguing, un-excavated Mayan Temple nestled amidst rainforest-covered ruins.

Noteworthy Park with Caves in Belize – St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park located in Belmopan, Belize is a captivating natural haven, encompassing over 500 acres, featuring the Inland Blue Hole (different from the offshore Belize Blue Hole located offshore at Lighthouse Reef) and notable caves such as St. Herman’s Cave and Crystal Cave.

Inland Blue Hole

The Inland Blue Hole, nearly circular, sits amidst the rainforest, formed naturally after the collapse of an underground cave, offering a refreshing swim spot.

St Hermans Cave

St. Herman’s Cave, accessible without a guide, showcases gigantic stalactites and stalagmites, while guided tours explore ancient Maya artifacts in deeper chambers.

The St. Herman’s Cave is located 20 minutes from the park entrance, following a well marked path.

Interestingly, St. Herman’s Cave is connected by an underground stream to the Inland Blue Hole.

Crystal Cave, mentioned earlier in this article, requires professional guides for exploration, featuring challenging passages, rappelling, and a deep chamber with dazzling crystal formations and ancient Maya relics.

The History and Significance of Belize’s Caves

Belize’s caves tell old stories. Long ago, people of the Maya civilization lived here. They believed caves were special places. Gods and spirits lived in these dark spaces. These beliefs made caves very important in their life.

The Maya held rituals inside these caves for many reasons. Some asked for good crops or rain. Others tried to please spirits or gods with offerings and gifts.

Many of these rituals left traces behind. Archaeologists found pots, tools, and bones in the deep corners of these caves years later. They even discovered a place where a royal person was buried deep within Actun Tunichil Muknal cave.

Exploring Belize’s caves today means stepping into this rich history! It is like taking a trip back through time and understanding how ancient cultures saw the world around them.

Every cave has its own story from the past that adds to its charm! So come see for yourself and feel part of an amazing saga etched in stone over centuries.

Adventure and Exploration Opportunities in Belize’s Caves

Caves of Belize Squeezing Between Rocks

Belize caves offer many chances for fun and learning. You can float down a river in the Barton Creek Cave. This is one of the biggest river caves here. It’s also got a lot of history to share!

Cave tubing is another thing you can do in Belize. You sit in a tube and go with the flow of the water through dark caverns.

From spooky to cool, Actun Tunichil Muknal has it all! This famous cave has secrets from the Maya people long ago waiting for you to find them.

You might see old pots or even scenes where princesses were buried!

Each cave gives a peek into an ancient world that’s still around today, if only we look below ground.

Practical Information for Visitors

Whether you’re planning a single day tour or a multi-day expedition through Belize’s caves, having knowledge about local transportation options will simplify your journey.

Pack essentials such as comfortable shoes, waterproof clothing, and protection for your camera or phone against the damp cave conditions.

Safety is paramount when exploring any cave system; always listen to the advice from experienced guides and adhere to marked paths to ensure an enjoyable adventure in Belize’s underground treasures.

Getting to Belize’s Caves

Here are some ways to get to some of the several different caves that Belize has to offer:

  • Fly into Philip S.W Goldson International Airport in Ladyville. It is the main airport in Belize.
  • Book a local flight from Belize City to smaller towns near the caves.
  • Rent a vehicle if you prefer to drive by yourself.
  • Take a taxi or bus for short distances within towns and cities.
  • Hire tour guides who provide transport as part of cave tours.
  • Many caves like ATM Cave, Barton Creek Cave are near San Ignacio town.
  • Local companies like Mean and Dangerous Adventures offer rides as part of their packages.
  • Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve has direct access from roads.

What to Bring

Belize Cave Pottery

Getting ready for a cave tour in Belize means packing the right stuff. Here is a handy list to help:

  • Light clothing and hiking shoes or good/comfortable shoes – Many caves in Belize require some hiking before getting to the cave.
  • Change of clothing – more than likely you will get wet when visiting a cave.
  • Camera – take pictures of the beautiful caves that Belize has to offer.
  • Towel – again, more than likely, you will get wet.
  • Swimming gear/clothes – many cave visits allow you to swim near by in a river or waterfall.
  • Sunblock – protect your skin while you’re out and about.
  • Water – make sure to bring plenty of water as you’ll be out walking and exploring the caves.
  • Snack – most tours will include food, but if you’re on your own, a snack will help you keep going as travel through the caves.
  • Bug spray – You’ll be traveling a lot through the Belize jungles where bugs and mosquitoes are sure to hunt you down if you’re not prepared.
  • Ziplock bags and bags – Use ziplock bags to protect items that can’t get wet and a plastic bags to place in wet clothes.


Belize is a land of hidden caves waiting for your visit.

Pack your bags, lace up your boots and start exploring.

Each cave will tell you a unique tale from the past. Your Belize adventure starts today!

What Makes Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave a Jaw-Dropping Cave in Belize?

Located in Belize, the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is a truly jaw-dropping natural wonder. This cave is steeped in both natural beauty and ancient Mayan history, making it an unforgettable experience for adventurous travelers. With its stunning stalactite formations, crystal-clear pools, and intricate Mayan artifacts, ATM Cave is a must-visit destination. Just remember to check the essential info before embarking on this breathtaking journey.


1. What can I see in the caves of Belize?

In Belize’s caves, you will discover lime rock formations, Mayan pottery, and other Mayan artifacts.

2. Are there guided tours for exploring these caves?

Yes, many hotels work with tour operators to get you to popular caves like the famous ATM cave. However, you can also get guided tours on location as well.

3. Can I learn about history while exploring these caves?

Yes! While caving in Belize, you’ll get to uncover parts of Maya history through ruins and spiritual ritual sites found inside.

4. Is it safe to explore the Caverns & Caves in Belize?

Safety is ensured through proper gear provided by adventure tour companies like Cahal Pech Adventure Tours as well as expert guides leading your jungle adventures.

6. Where can I book a stay during my trip to explore caves in Belize?

There are a number of lodging options including family hotels, luxury resorts or even popular beach resorts; all offering different amenities like free parking or pools.

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