Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the links in this article.
Cave tubing in Belize is a popular activity that allows visitors to explore the country’s stunning cave systems while floating on inflated tubes.
Did you know that Belize is home to the largest cave system in Central America?
If you are looking for things to do in Belize that are both exciting and educational, look no further than a cave tubing tour!
The most popular place for tubing in Belize is the Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve, also known as the Caves Branch System, but there are also a couple of other ones, and we will cover them in this article.
The ancient Maya who lived in Belize thousands of years ago considered these caves sacred and performed various rituals and sacrifices in them, as they regarded them as the entrance to the underworld, also known as Xibalba, in the Maya language.
✅ Check my Belize travels tips for visiting the country
During the tour, you will float along on the river that goes through the limestone caves where you can observe the unique geology and spot some bats, while your guide will give you a history lesson and tell you about the Maya civilization, who used these caves for ceremonies.
Entrance to the caves is possible only with a guide who will walk you through the area and tell you about the history of the area.
What is cave tubing?
Cave tubing is floating in an air-filled tube along the river or stream. Cave tubing is a popular activity in Belize that offers a glimpse into the country’s culture and history, as you have a chance to see the caves that were used by the ancient Mayans for various ceremonies.
✅ Read: Honduras or Belize vacation?
Here’s what you can expect from a cave tubing tour:
- Location: Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve is in the Cayo District of Belize, near Belmopan, the capital of Belize. There are also some spots for cave tubing near San Ignacio.
- Cave exploration: You’ll start your adventure by hiking through the lush rainforest to reach the entrance of the cave system. The hike can be a bit strenuous, but it’s worth it for the beautiful surroundings and possible wildlife sightings.
- Tubing: Once you reach the cave entrance, your guide will give you a tube and a helmet with a headlamp. You’ll then float on the gently flowing river through the caves. The caves in Belize boast limestone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years, making for a surreal atmosphere.
- Wildlife: Keep an eye out for various species of bats, cave-dwelling birds, and other wildlife. You could also spot the occasional spider monkey or iguana along the riverbanks.
- Duration: Cave tubing tours typically last a few hours, including the hike, tubing through the caves, and some time to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Where do you go cave tubing in Belize?
You can do cave tubing at Barton Creek near San Ignacio and Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve, also known as Caves Branch, which also has opportunities for zip-lining and wildife watching.
Is cave tubing in Belize safe?
Cave tubing is a perfectly safe activity. Cave tubing tours are accompanied by a guide who helps you navigate the cave systems and make sure your experience is safe.
Consider a travel insurance for your trip to Belize
Consider World Nomads insurance that will protect you in case of lost or stolen luggage, accidents, hospital visits, and many other unforeseen events. Another option is Safety Wing, which is perfect for long-term travelers who plan to stay in Belize for a couple of weeks.
How long is the cave tubing in Belize?
A typical cave tubing tour lasts between 1,5-2 hours on average. Before you get to the caves, you will hike through the jungle, which usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on your pace.
Once you get to the river, you will grab an inflatable tube and start your journey on the river that meanders through the caves.
✅ Read my complete guide on where to stay in Belize
Cave tubing Belize tours
Cave tubing Belize price
A cave tubing tour usually costs anywhere from $50 to $100 depending on the type of tour and activities included.
➡️ Can I pay with US dollars in Belize?
Book best cave tubing tours in Belize
Best cave tubing tours include a pick-up from your hotel, and other activities like zip-lining and hiking.
Cave tubing in San Ignacio Belize
You can book cave tubing tours in San Ignacio at one of the local agencies on the main drag or online to save time. I recommend Viator, my go-to platform for booking tours in Belize and other destinations!
Cave tubing Belize San Pedro
You can also join cave tubing tours from San Pedro, but they will be more expensive, than on mainland Belize because you will need to cover a longer distance to get to your destination.
Cave tubing tours from San Pedro depart early morning and you arrive back late at night.
Cave tubing tours from Belize City
You can also book cave tubing tours from Belize City. This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of time, and want to make the most out of your visit.
Other fun places for cave tubing in Belize
Barton Creek Cave is a fun place where you can tube or canoe inside the cool cave that was used for sacrificing rituals by Mayans. The cave still has many artifacts, like pottery, and even skulls from prehistoric times.
You can explore the caves by taking a gudied tour, which has options for kayaking, cave tubing and zip-lining.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (also known as ATM caves) is one of the most popular places in Belize.
The cave is believed to have been used for human sacrifices by the Maya civilization. The artifacts found in the cave include pottery, stone tools, and ceremonial items which provide valuable insights into Maya rituals.
➡️ Learn about the best things to do in Belize
Apart from its archaeological significance, the ATM Cave is a stunning natural wonder. It boasts impressive limestone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites, making it a perfect for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Cave tubing in Belize: FAQ’s
Is cave tubing worth it in Belize?
Cave tubing is one of the most fun activities in Belize that allows you to explore the country’s impressive cave system while floating on an air-filled tube.
How much does cave tubing in Belize cost?
A guided cave tubing tour in Belize costs anywhere from $50 to 150 USD, if the tour includes additional tours like Mayan ruins or landmarks.
Is cave tubing in Belize scary?
Cave tubing is fun, but if you don’t like dark and narrow spaces, you might feel a bit uncomfortable at first when you float through the cave. Don’t worry, all tours are accompanied by licensed guides who will make sure you have a safe experience and give you a detailed overview of the area.
Where can you go cave tubing in Belize?
You can go cave tubing in Nohoch Che’en, an archaeological reserve made up of a network of limestone caves north of Belmopan, the capital of Belize.
✅ Book a stay at Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge near Belmopan, one of the most beautiful hotels in Belize with stunning views of the mountains and the jungle.
Where to stay in the area:
I recommend staying in San Ignacio, an adventure hub in Western Belize, which is also in the Cayo District. Many cave tubing tours depart from San Ignacio, which is very convenient.
If you want a central location, book a hotel near downtown San Ignacio. There are many hotels around Burns Avenue, the main street in the city where you can find tour companies and grab a bite.
➡️ Read: Best Hotels in San Ignacio
Luxury hotels in San Ignacio
Ka’ana Resort & Spa is an eco-friendly property and one of the best luxury hotels in San Ignacio, Belize. It has tropical gardens and is about 6 km from the archaeological site of Xunantunich.
Mid-budget hotels in San Ignacio
Falling Leaves Lodge is located near Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins. It has restaurant with delicious breakfast, free private parking, a bar, and a shared lounge.
Budget hotels in San Ignacio
Venus Hotel on Burns Avenue in the middle of downtown San Ignacio is one of the best places to stay in town. This property has a friendly staff who connected me with local tour operators and helped to book a tour of ATM caves.
San Ignacio also has plenty of hostels, like Yellow Belly Backpackers, where you can save money and mingle with fellow travelers.
Best villas in San Ignacio
If you want to relax, book a place a bit away from the center of San Ignacio. Villa Massis is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the nature about 20 minutes from San Ignacio.
How to visit Nohoch Che’en Caves Archaeological Reserve
A guided tour is the most popular way to visit Nohoch Che’en, but, some travelers also arrive at this place independently before hiring a tour guide on a spot.
Some tours also include a zip line, which is also nearby. The zip line consists of 6 zip runs and 9 platforms and makes for a fun addition to your cave tubing adventure.
Here are the best tours of the area:
A tour provides a helmet with a headlamp, and a tube, which you will need for your adventure. I also recommend bringing water shoes because the bottom can be rocky in some parts.
By car rental
Renting a car in Belize is an excellent idea if you want to explore the country on your terms and visit places like Nohoch Che’en.
The best place to rent a car in Belize City is Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), which has several car rental companies on site.
Where to rent a car in Belize City?
It has available cars and prices online, so all you need to do is type in your travel dates and look for the vehicle, that you want.
By taking a guided tour from San Ignacio
You can also take a guided tour from San Ignacio. But how do you get there?
One of the most popular ways to get around Belize is a private shuttle from Belize City to popular destinations like Placencia or San Ignacio. Private shuttle is ideal if you want to relax and not worry about the logistics.
Once you get to San Ignacio, you can find tour companies in the city.
➡️ Read my guide about hot to get from Belize City to San Ignacio
Tips for cave tubing:
- Carry cash – You should always carry cash while in Belize, as not everyone accepts credit cards.
- Wear comfortable clothing – Put on light clothing from dry-wicking material, as well as water shoes or sturdy sandals with straps.
- Don’t forget about sunscreen – But make sure you bring reef-safe sunscreen that doesn’t have any harmful chemicals that could be detrimental to the ecosystem of the caves.
- Bring insect repellent – Carry insect repellent because bugs and mosquitoes can be bad here
- Grab a camera – Put a GoPro and a waterproof camera in your bag to capture your adventure
- Wear moisture-wicking clothes – You will be wading and swimming in the water before you arrive at the underground exhibit where you will learn about ancient Mayan rituals and sacrifices.
Fina word: Is cave tubing worth it?
Cave tubing is one of the most important things to do in Belize as you float through the ancient limestone caves on an inflatable tube and learn about the Maya civilization. It’s a perfect activity for adventurous travelers, who are not afraid to step outside their comfort zone, but it’s also perfect for those who want to learn more about the histoy and culture of Belize.