Now, this is a cave that comes only in history books, but is now open for exploring, down in Belize. This link takes you through the cave vicariously and then gives you the info on how to get there; where to stay, and all that...if you have some moola. This is really something!
Ernie Coffman wrote:How long has this been public, anyway?
This cave's been known for a long time; in fact its probably one of the best known in Belize. Exploration goes way back, I think it was first surveyed by Tom Miller and friends in the 70s or 80s. I was on a trip in 1985 that connected and mapped the upper entrance. Tours have been run there for at least ten years, I think. The deepest cave in Belize, Actun Box Ch'iich', is also nearby, though not well known.
Wow, there was no beaten path to the entrance when we where there!
There's some conjecture that the famous skeleton - the one at the end of the video - is an accidental death rather than a sacrifice, from its posture. There are other bones that are neatly stacked beneath the skull that are more likely ritual burials. Maybe. Dunno.
Last edited by ian mckenzie on Jan 17, 2008 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I believe the show on discovery channel is going to try and figure out if the bones were sacrifices and such. I am not really too sure I have never seen the show before but I saw the preview the other day and right away thought about this post.
My mother has been to this cave. I've been studying geology in college for five years now, go out with my local grotto as often as I can, and she goes on a vacation to Belize and visits the cave. And rappels into a 300 foot sinkhole nearby. It breaks the heart.
I know this is an ancient thread, but I just happened upon it and would like a bit more information. For those of you who have been to this cave, what tour operators did you use? I'm going to Belize in February and would like to explore options for going to this cave.
Thanks, Ian. Google is always my first stop, so I have indeed been down that road and have been gathering what information I can find. I've read a lot of good reviews on the cave itself, but haven't found much about the tour operators. I was just hoping that someone here might have some advice based on their personal experience.
Hmm, been there a couple of times but not commercially, although we saw a number of tour groups. From what I saw a year or two ago you will get exactly the same tour inside the cave no matter who you go with, this is set by the ministry of archaeology. The ministry also charges a fee of something like 75$ per person which the tour operator pays them. Beyond this cost the more you pay the more luxuries you will get (transportation, lunch at the entry and such). Due to the oversight for this operation (unlike some small local caves) I think you will get pretty good service no matter who you go with. The price is a bit steep but I would have to say it is worth it. As a caver the trip can still be a bit interesting if the water level is high (you swim and wade upstream a ways before the pretty stuff). Unless it has changed they also require you to wear only your socks on the flowstone and rimstone areas. I wouldn't bother arguing things like lint, the tour operators are just following orders and won't be inclined to listen to you.
I think the entrance shot in the article is a different cave. On the way to the skeleton is the skull cemented in the floor that is pretty interesting. Though I heard that someone took it's two sharpened front teeth. This is a great trip and well worth the money.