Belize is a country in the Western Carribean, bordering Mexico to the North, Guatamala to the South and North, and the Carribean Sea to the East. Its a small country, and if you venture out of port you’ll quickly realize a very modest one. The land is beautiful and varies from a tropical coast with white sands and palms, to mountains and a lush forests further inland.
English – official language. Spanish, Kriol, Mayan
The Crystal Cave gets its namesake from the crystals that crust the otherworldly formations that develop in this cave.
Mayan rituals, including blood sacrifices were performed in this cave, and many others like it for thousands of years. The cave is beautiful yet ominous. Mayan artifacts such as broken pottery and a grinding stone are displayed on the cave floor. The tour guides do an amazing job of telling the history of the cave as well as the science behind how the cave is forming.
Crystal Cave is a private cave at the Jaguar Outpost in the jungle of Belize. A short walk through the forest takes you to the cave entrance. Walking down the stone steps takes you from the lush humid trees into a cool dark cave. Equipped with headlamps and life vests you hop on a inflatable tube which is tied together with about 6 other people, and your guide swims in the underground river, pulling you through the cenote. The stalactites and stalagmites create to out of this world formations, created by dipping water over hundreds of thousands of years.
Cenotes are natural reservoirs that occur due to sink holes in the limestone. These reservoirs fill with water and are great for swimming. Apparently, they were also used in sacrifices to Xibalba by tying weights to a person and dropping them to the bottom.
Ziplining through the rainforest at Jaguar Paw was unbelievable. After gearing up, you hike back out into the jungle where you get the quick and dirty on how to zipline by the guides. From there you walk up steps to a platform and off you go. Flying through the tree tops was an epic experience. Although I didn’t see a monkey or jaguar, I felt like one as I zipped through the trees to each platform. It was nice to air dry from cave tubing and swimming in the cenote
The Jaguar Paw Outpost is located in the jungle, about a hour away from the port of Belize. A bus takes you through winding roads, from the dense city to the sparse planes, into the jungle. A second bus will take you over a very steep hill into the Outpost. Here there is a gift shop, a bar, food, a DJ, lockers and bathrooms. The food served to us at the outpost was a traditional Belizean meal of chicken, rice, and slaw. The chicken was marinated and slow cooked until it fell off the bone. Sitting under the green canopy of palms and vines with sunlight breaking through, made the food taste even better. I still think about this meal. The vibe of the Outpost is fun. The people coming in are all brimming with excitement, the DJ plays Samba music and the bar serves local beers, margaritas and coconuts. The staff are knowledgeable and ensure that you dont have to worry about anything except having a great time. We were even late leaving the Outpost and our bus driver made sure we got back to port on time. Granted we were hauling ass through the jungle in a school bus, but we made it. No worries.