Finally we arrived at the start point for cave tubing in the Blue Hole National Park. We quickly got ready by ensuring we didn't have any valuables on our person, nor anything we didn't want to get soaked. Our group of 11 grabbed inner tubes and headlamps and began the 30 minute walk through the jungle to the start point of the river portion.
Along the way we went through a cave housing hundreds of bats who were taking their midday nap. The only thing to fear there is getting some guano dropped on you. Rudy explained that Doritos chips include guano as an ingredient, YUCK!
Later we encountered a large termite nest. Rudy scraped a piece away reveiling hundreds of termites. He invited us to try them, and I've got to tell you they aren't bad. They actually taste minty, and include quite a bit of protein. Perhaps I'm a fear factor candidate afterall.
The river was the perfect depth according to Rudy, so we jumped in at the start point, beating the group of about 75 who booked on the ship. It was great having a small group. While floating down the river you immediately come to the large cave. The ride through the cave takes about 20 minutes as you gently float through. I wish I'd had more than my water camera because the pictures would have been outstanding with a flash and slow exposure setting.
Make sure you keep your feet forward on the small rapids do you can push away from any rocks. I'd also recommend water shoes or Teva type sandals.
Overall this was a fantastic experience I'll never forget.
You start with a 40 minute hike In the Rain Forest to the river tubing entrance. Along the way there is a stop for the dry cave exploration, where you can see different types of bats and cave formations.While cave tubing you explore the cave system and various formations by the glow of head lights. Then, float down stream over river rapids. Had a good time.
Che Chem Hah cave is a must see. It is a little climb up but not hard,just take your time.
The story of how this cave was discovered is interesting. The cave is full of intact Mayan pottery, the pieces have been left untouched the way they were discovered in 1989. You walk along the path in the cave with pieces of broken pottery at your feet. And like Tikal look for wildlife inside and outside of cave. You must have a guide to tour the cave. See my travelog pics
More than one tour outfit takes you to do such an activity. It may be a bit expensive but it is worth every penny. It was so much fun. I was a little depressed and this is what liften my spirits. Basically in the cave they take you to the water in certain spots is so deep that you have to float. The cave walls are too low for a boat to go thru so you will have to sit on a tire and float through.
As mentioned in the Accomodations and Off the Beaten Path tips, David from David's Adventure Tours is the best guide for this cave trip. It takes about 4 hours to go through the cave (although you can only go so far in the canoe because it becomes too narrow at one point) -- As stated in the Rough Guide: "He'll carefully and responsibly show you the astonishing Maya artefacts in the cave." You will leave San Ignacio and head towards the jungle -- a short walk through the jungle to board your canoe. You must have a guide or join a tour to do this trip. Make sure your guide has appropriate equipment -- lights are essential! Have fun!
Caving - Take some time to explore the caves that run through the mountains of western Belize. The Mayans thought these caves to be the enterance to hell and used them for cerimonial purposes, including human sacrafice. Archiologically, there are many spots that are amazing to explore. Geologically, these caves are some of the best you can find.
Cave tubing is a must! We started our day by hiking for an hour up the river. it didn't seem very long at all because we ate our way there. Carlos our guide from Casa Maya started off as a stranger and became our friend by the end of our trip to Belize. He taught us about the value of all of the plants in the jungle and had us tsting things and educting us about the importance of some of the plants to the jungle. We ate sugar cane, and say pinapples growing. We used berries to keep the bugs away (this was the only time we encountered mosquitos). Once a teh top of the river we tested our equipment and hopped into the river inside of a cave. I was too chicken to shut off my head lamp at first, but i eventually did it! It was so peaceful to listen to the river while it carried us slowly back down to where we started. inbetween two caves we stopped to have lunch and go for a dip. When we were done playing, it slowly started to rain, and then pour. We all just stood around and looked at each other...we were inthe rainforrest and here was the rain! After our day in the river we changed in the midlle of nowhere and went to find a great local bar to warm ourselves up! Carlos introduced us to Jackass Bitters. Ask any local about this!
Inside the cave there were vampire bats that flew around the ceiling and hung from the walls. This was the best picture I could get...
Mountain Ridge caves were one of the best activities..an hr of walking through the jungle with an intertube, then floating down river, through 5 different caves
There are many caves in Belize, as well as ruins, etc. But this cave is especially cool. Why? I don't know. I went there, and found it to be neat!