There are so many caves in Belize that its inhabitants joke that there is one under every home and that in each cave there will be found Mayan artefacts! This is a bit of an exaggeration, however journeying into this Mayan underworld is an incredible feast for the senses.
Taking a journey back in time is on the cards when you explore the incredible underground world of Belize’s underground caves. You will find that you learn so much whether it is about geology or even about the secrets of the ancient Mayan civilisation!
The cave systems of Belize have been honed from the rock for millions of years through a process of underground rivers and rain shaping their surroundings and eating away at the limestone over time. Known for arguably the most beautiful and spectacular cave systems on the whole planet, Belize has as much going on underground as it has on the surface!
Underneath Belize is a secret world of beautiful and enormous chambers. Some with underground rivers and some which can even be explored by boat rather than just by foot. Imagine taking a canoe or a kayak through a whole new underground world and you will understand what makes Belize’s subterranean world so popular.
The Mayans held caves very close to them with regards to their religion. They believed that clouds and the wind were born of these places and that the gods of nature dwelt within them. To the Mayans caves were a form of portal or mystical gateway between the realm of the gods and their every day human existence. Xibalba was the name which they gave these places and it was at these caves that the Maya performed their most intensely sacred prayers and rituals.
It is interesting to take a look around these caves in order to find evidence of these people being here. There are many relics and pieces of ancient property which can be found scattered within these vast and expansive places. As a respectful nod to the ancient dwellers of the land, most newly discovered caves are given a Mayan name.
There are many incredible cave systems to visit in the Cayo area such as Actun Tunichil Muknal which is a water cave discovered in 1989 and containing many Mayan artefacts. It must be noted that this cave system can only be visited by those who are physically fit. For those who enjoy tubing then a visit to Caves Branch is to be highly recommended. It is here at Caves Branch that you can try your hand at black drop abseiling which involves a trekk through the jungle where you abseil over 300 feet into a sink hole! For this you need to be quite fit and also not be faint hearted!
There is a wonderful subterranean world to discover in Belize. Enjoy!