Zip lining and crystal cave tubing in Belize

By Catarina Redisch in the jungles of Belize

cave tubing

When we were recently in Belize, my sister and I had the opportunity to zip line again. I love that! This time we were also going to be cave tubing – in a crystal cave. I had no idea what that was, but it sounded exciting.

Zip lining

Belize, canopy

After riding a bus about one hour from Belize City, we arrived in the jungle. There, our group was divided into teams. Our team was the Water Bees. Zip lining was first. After a short demonstration, we headed for the first platform. When it was my turn, I had to get into the harness and bend my knees. Then off I went, towards the next platform.

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My sister was right behind. Since I’m a child, I didn’t have to brake, but my sister, who is no longer a child, had to. Braking during zip lining is quite difficult, so I’m glad I didn’t have to. At every platform, there was a man waiting to catch me and make sure I was hooked on the next line properly. We were about 50 ft. above ground, so it was a little scary, but all went well.

Crystal cave tubing

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After zip lining, we changed into swimming costumes and waited for our team to be announced. ‘Water Bees!’ Off we went to get our tubes, which looked like huge doughnuts. We were given helmets, life vests and head torches. While we waited to enter the cave, our guide told us heaps about the trees around us and it was actually quite interesting.

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In the cave, we sat down in the tubes two and two. I was first. So everyone would stay together, I had to hold on to the legs of the man in the tube behind me. At first, I didn’t like that, but I got used to it. We were all like a giant millipede, and were pulled along by our guide.

He told us how the Mayas used the cave as an underwater sea route hundreds of years ago. There is actually a river coming out at the other end of the cave, far away. There was also a Mayan sacrificial spot there, where they sacrificed human blood! You were only allowed to use your own blood, and it was a small place, so you couldn’t make really grand wishes there. No need for much blood then.

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He also told us heaps about the stalactite and stalagmite crystals that were all around us in the cave – about how these are alive and how long it takes for them to grow. Did you know it takes 40 years for them to grow just one inch? The formations we saw were millions of years old.

It’s very important not to touch the crystals, since they’re very fragile. Even if you barely touch the crystal, it can die. Also, you can’t scream or yell inside the cave, since the vibration can make the crystal fall, and if they hit you in the head, you could die.

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When we were halfway to the exit, we had a choice: either continue cave tubing or swim the rest of the way. My sister and I chose to swim and I’m glad we did, because that was more fun than just sitting in the tube. I do like to swim. The water inside the cave was quite cold, but that was lovely, since it was very hot outside.

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After the cave tubing, we were given a nice lunch: chicken, rice, beans and plantains – typical Belizean food.

Meanwhile, while we were hanging on by wires and sailing through caves in doughnuts, mum climbed a Mayan pyramid at Altun Ha and wandered around in Belize City. She’ll probably tell you about it…

Have you ever been cave tubing?

For more summery photo fun, hop over to this week’s Travel Photo Thursday.

About Catarina Redisch

The youngest kid in ‘travel with kids’, loves horses above all else.

22 Responses to “Zip lining and crystal cave tubing in Belize”

  1. Jackie Smith 11 July 2013 1517 #

    What a great report! I’ll be content to just sit at the computer and look at photos of both of these activities though. . .looks like you had a great time!
    Jackie Smith recently posted..“Gorging” Ourselves in Greece’s Mani

  2. Muza-chan 11 July 2013 1528 #

    The cave looks amazing….
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: D=Out – Psychedelico-Psychedelico

  3. Marisol 11 July 2013 1834 #

    Hi Catarina, what a fun trip! I didn’t do the Crystal Cave tubing when I was in Belize. It looks like a lot of fun. Now I wish I did it:( Looking forward to your mom’s account about her pyramid climbing adventure.
    Marisol recently posted..Dominica: The Hike to the Boiling Lake

  4. EverywhereAmy 11 July 2013 2005 #

    Love reading about your adventures, Catarina!
    EverywhereAmy recently posted..Photo Adventure : Sunrise Canoe Trip in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

  5. noel 11 July 2013 2039 #

    that looked like a fun day and tour, I love going into caves and its amazing how precious these crystal palaces are and fragile.
    noel recently posted..Travel Photo Mondays – #2

  6. Salika Jay 11 July 2013 2132 #

    I’ve done zip lining and loved it but I haven’ done cave tubing yet. Looks like so much fun. Love the cave photos and the last one.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Top 10 Amusement Parks In The World

  7. budget jan 11 July 2013 2355 #

    I love Catarina’s posts. Her description made me want to do the tubing, swimming and caving. That water looks delicious – especially as it was so hot outside.
    budget jan recently posted..Views from the Alhambra in Granada Spain

  8. Marcia 12 July 2013 0221 #

    I’d love to try cave tubing, Catarina. One of these days….
    Looks and sounds like you had a great time in Belize.

  9. Dan 12 July 2013 0452 #

    Looks like a lot of fun. The cave artifacts are very interesting.
    Dan recently posted..South Australia Highlights

  10. Audrey 12 July 2013 0544 #

    Ah, zipping through the jungle looks like so much fun! ;)
    Audrey recently posted..A Brief Holiday in Phuket

  11. My family has never been to Belize, so thank you for showing us what there is to do there. Ziplining and tubing in a Crystal Cave sound exactly like what my kids would enjoy. I’m a bit of a chicken, so no ziplining for me. That part with the human blood sacrifices sounds fascinating.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Parc de la Villette: A Kids’ Paradise in Paris

  12. Mette - Italian Notes 12 July 2013 1718 #

    Must have been exciting. Did they say how much human blood you’d have to sacrifice for what kind of wishes?
    Mette – Italian Notes recently posted..Caprese salad recipe

  13. eileen at FamiliesGo! 12 July 2013 1850 #

    it’s hard to think of things i find more terrifying than ziplining and caves– can’t even imagine combining them!
    eileen at FamiliesGo! recently posted..6 Adventure Trips To Take With Your Teens

  14. Debbie 12 July 2013 2257 #

    I have tried ziplining which was a lot of fun. I have not yet tried Cave tubing, but looks like it would be enjoyable. Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Debbie recently posted..Photo Essay: Oahu North Shore

  15. Cathy Sweeney 13 July 2013 0344 #

    Catarina, you are quite the adventurer! I went zip-lining for the first time in January (I was totally scared), but loved it. So I’d like to try it again. Never heard of cave tubing before, but the caves are amazing.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..The Four Seasons, Milan Style

  16. Andrea 13 July 2013 1657 #

    I love ziplining but have never tried cave tubing – looks amazing!
    Andrea recently posted..Miami Is For Lovers: Part Three

  17. SanPedroScoop 13 July 2013 1729 #

    Most fun ever…looks like you had a great time!

  18. Digital Nomads 15 July 2013 2011 #

    Awesome, loved the cave photos. We had the chance to do the zipline in Banos in Ecuador and it was so fun.

  19. Jarmo 16 July 2013 0921 #

    Zip lining and caves, always good fun! Definitely need to get to Belize when I’m around there next!
    Jarmo recently posted..Setting Sail on Lake Superior

  20. I’ve never been cave tubing, but it looks like a lot of fun. I didn’t know that if you scream that the crystals could fall – I didn’t realize they’re that fragile!

  21. Dan @ A Cruising Couple 28 July 2013 0807 #

    I did this too!! We missed out on the zip line (which looks sweet!) but we did do the millipede cave tubing. I was in the front as well and even though the stinky-river-water-feet-in-your-face was a bit distracting it was a super fun experience! It’s always amazing to me how long it takes these formations to form.

  22. Mary @ Green Global Travel 5 August 2014 1800 #

    This looks like an amazing experience! The nature there is beautiful, so this looks like a perfect way to get into it! Thanks for sharing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Blogging, the Green Travel Industry & The Future of GGT

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