Barton Creek Cave
Cayo District, Belize
The trip starts with an adventurous drive towards the Mountain Pine Ridge area along the Chiquibul Road and through a picturesque Mennonite farm community.

Here your guide will row you deep inside Barton Creek Cave (about 1 or 2 miles depending on water levels). Sit back, relax and direct your 1,000 candle lamp at the amazing formations inside the huge cave believed by the Maya to be the Underworld, "Xibalba", (pronounced SheeBALba) the Kingdom of their Gods. Float under stalagtites, see ancient skeletons and pottery and prepare to be awstruck by cathedral-like caverns.

Marvel at the 5 million year old crystalline structures over 50 feet in length as your knowledgable guide explains the Maya's beliefs about the underworld.
Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Cave entrance Barton Creek Cave day tour
Barton Creek Cave Entrance Breathe in!

map of caves of belize

Barton Creek is a large river cave possibly over 4.5 miles long. (See map for location.) The cave consists of giant passages covered with numerous large speleothems over a navigable river. These features of the cave have made it a popular tourist destination. Research at Barton Creek Cave hopes to record prehistoric Maya activity at the site and to incorporate this information in the production of a report that can be shared with other archaeologists and interested visitors.

Recent investigations at Barton Creek Cave have provided a wealth of information toward our understanding of the importance of caves within Maya culture. An abundance of Maya cultural material has been discovered and is being analyzed from ten ledges located above a large subterranean river. Based on preliminary results, artifacts from these areas suggest the cave was used for a variety of purposes by the Maya including agricultural rituals, possible fertility rites, ritual bloodletting, human sacrifice, and lineage internment.

Excavations at Barton Creek Cave in 2000 were supervised by Vanessa Mirro, who is pursuing her M.A. at Colorado State University; Mike Mirro, a professional archaeologist working in the state of Wyoming; and Caitlin O'Grady, a graduate student in archaeological conservation at New York University.

belize caving

Please contact us for further information:
Global Travel Club
Tel: +44 (0)1268 541732 Fax: +44 (0)1268 541363

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