Grab your tube and water shoes and get ready for a true wet ’n’ wild adventure — a journey that starts with a mostly uphill jungle trek hauling your own professional-grade inflatable tube and includes fording a portion of the beautiful, green Caves Branch River.
The vigorous hike through the untainted rainforest followed by an exhilarating tube-cruise through the ancient river caves is one of my favorite things to do and available in few places other than Belize.
Along the way, you can take in exquisite examples of flora and fauna indigenous to the Central American rainforest while listening to a guide recounting the fascinating history of the region.
Around 40 minutes into the hike, your sweat-drenched body is rewarded with the refreshing sight of the entrance point where you will plunge into the depths of the chilly river to explore the cave system. The Branch River Cave was carved out of the foothills of the Maya Mountain by the powerful force of water over thousands of years. Gliding in a human chain through currents intermittent with small rapids, you’ll meander lazy-river style, dip and swish, and lunge through an underworld of interconnecting limestone caves with only your tube beneath you and a headlight to illuminate your path. Your guide will point out waterfalls, ancient ritual chambers, myriad stalagmites and stalactites, and unique cave formations. But no matter how awed, be sure to keep your mouth closed because there are bats hanging above your head!
Expect to lay prone in your tube to pass through low cave openings, and if you hear your guide yell “Bum!” make sure you immediately lift your derrière to avoid making contact with the rocky riverbed.
The highlight comes deep within the cave bowels when the guide instructs everyone to turn off their headlights.
Another fun place for cave tubing in Belize is the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal).
[Read more cave tubing adventure in Belize in Travel Post Monthly]
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