Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cave Tubing in Belize

I see you rolling your eyes. You know who you are. You're the one saying,

"Cave tubing, really? Isn't that the most touristy thing you can do in Belize?"

Yes, yes it is, but this is the Obligatory Blog, so it seems only appropriate to do the obligatory thing you do in Belize.

After flying through the trees on ziplines, we settle back into the van, and make our way to the cave tubing site.

We change into our swimsuits in the changing area. We then put our bags back into the van to be watched over by our driver. 

We pick up our tubes, and began the hike to the caves. Though it is a leisurely hike, it would be difficult for someone with a mobility issue. 

Oscar, our guide from Cavetubing.bz, stops us along the way to show us the plants that are still used as medicine, or to point out some wildlife. He tells us the story of a once beautiful, nearby resort, that is now abandoned. 

It is only at the end of our river float that Oscar reveals that he smelled a jaguar (they apparently have a distinct odor) during our hike. He didn't tell us at the time because he didn't want to scare us.

We set down our tubes, and enter a cave by foot. Knowledge about caves is dispensed, and we get to hear and see a few bats. 

Oscar gives us a chance to vote, majority rules. Since we aren't on a strict time schedule, we can go to the normal tube launch spot, or we can hike an extra fifteen minutes to an alternate launch point, giving us the ability to float through two caves instead of just one. The vote is 6:1 in favor of the alternate launch point (one of the young girls from the Iowa family we were paired with did not fancy an extra fifteen minute hike). 

It's the kind of site that leaves you breathless. 

The pictures turned out nice, but I promise they do not do the color of the water justice. 

The limestone creates the magical, aqua-blue water. 

After taking a few photos on the dock, we launch into the water. 

The tubes have bottoms, and backs, so the only part of you that really gets wet are your feet and hands. 

Our group gets tethered together, allowing Oscar to guide us like a floating train. 

It's interesting floating deeper into the darkness, watching the cave's entrance grow smaller and smaller. 

We have head lamps, so we can easily see the cave's interior formations. There are times when Oscar encourages us to turn off the lamps, plunging us into complete blackness. We float silently, able to better feel the chill of the air, and hear the drips and drops without our sight. The cave's size is immense, so there is never a feeling of claustrophobia. 

We emerge from the first cave into a fun bit of rapids, then float our way into the second cave. 

The second cave is larger, and longer than the first, and has the coolest feature, a cave waterfall. The sound of the waterfall echos off of the walls and ceiling. Oscar steers us towards the falls so we can run our hands through the water that splashes and dances over the rocks. I am overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the experience. 

We exit the second cave, and I'm a little sad because I know the adventure is almost over. 

There is still some impressive nature to behold, as we peacefully float down the rest of the river. 

It's so peaceful in fact, and the tubes are so comfortable, I nod off for a moment. 

We arrive back on dry land, stack our tubes, change, and then load back into the van. We arrive at Cavetubing.bz's headquarters, where we are treated to lunch. 

We start off with extra cold, refreshing, rum punch. The food is the same for everyone. Slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone chicken, rice and beans, and coleslaw. 

The food is delicious, especially after an active day. We are allowed to have as much as we want, and everyone gets seconds of the yummy chicken. 

Cave tubing was such a fun, cool experience. I feel sad for people who would skip it based on the fact that it is a touristy thing to do. Touristy or not, it was a day, and adventure we will always remember. 

Important Disclaimer: I read a lot of blog posts/reviews hating on the whole cave tubing experience. They complained that that the river was overcrowded, that the experience was rushed, etc... I think that we lucked out. We ended up going on a non-cruise ship day. Cave tubing is one of the most popular activities for cruise passengers. Oscar told us that they could have thousands of people come through on a cruise ship day. Since there were no cruise ships docked on the day we went, with the exception of passing two other small groups, we had the caves and river to ourselves. Though I can't speak for the experience with other companies, I thought Cavetubing.bz was top notch. They are a local, family owned company, that ensured that we had an incredible day. If you do go to Belize and decide to go ziplinging and/or cave tubing, I would highly recommend Cavetubing.bz. I would also recommend seeing if you can book the trip on a non-cruise ship day. 


  1. You are living quite a life! I want to go on all your adventures!!

  2. Thanks! I know it's pretty special so I'm not never going to take it for granted. I enjoy every moment on the adventures, even getting pelted with hail (coming up in Colorado posts)