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.
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.
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, canoe or
rubber boat - Others are popular for tubing or wading with
CAVES AND THE MAYA
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 - a place called Xibalba. 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.
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
is the Maya word for cave.
Cayo Area Caves
Caves in Belize offers the opportunity for a wide range
from moderate to adventurous excursions to
suit nearly any age and