Xibalba is the name for the underworld in Maya mythology.
It is described in the as a court below the surface of the earth associated with death .... and caves were the entrance to this world.
your journey back through time
as you enter
the realm of Xibalba and learn about a mysterious ancient Maya civilization
and the geological processes that shaped the region.
Millions of years ago seeping
rainwater and underground rivers began etching through soft
bedrock and outcrops. Today caves are to Belize like Swiss
is to cheese. The lime rock matrix that makes up much of
the country's landmass is riddled with caves and beneath
the surface can be found some of the most spectacular and
extensive cave systems on the planet.
Caves and the Maya
Caves are inextricably bound up with the history of Belize,
having been fundamental to the religion of the Maya. Vapor
clouds forming at the mouth of caves suggested to the Maya
that these were the places where wind and clouds were born.
Here dwelled the gods of nature and caves were
the portal between the tangible human world and the invisible
world of gods. It was here at the mouth of caves as
well as deep within the recesses that the Maya
performed their most sacred rituals.
caves do not have some visible sign of their past visitation
and evidence of their activities can often be found for substantial
distances inside these caves. Relics, principally in the
form of shards of pottery, are very common.
Now you might be expecting dank and claustrophobic
passageways, but you are more likely to find enormous chambers
and a subterranean world that is fast becoming one of Belize's
most popular attractions.
Underground rivers flow through
a number of caves - Some can be explored by kayak or canoe - Others are popular for tubing or wading with
it has now become standard practice among modern caver's in
Belize to name newly discovered caves from the Maya language. "Ac-tun" or hollow-stone, which
is the Maya word for cave.
Popular Cayo Area Caves