Monitor The Largest Cave System In Central America - The Chiquibul Cave System
Concealed beneath the Chiquibul forest canopy, in the shadow of archaic rock walls, lie secrets of the ancient Maya alongside the preserved skeletons of historical animals - this is the Chiquibul Cave System. Note: This trip is only available February – May.
The Chiquibul Cave System is the longest known network of caves in Central America, and includes the largest known cave room in the Western hemisphere. The caves were carved out by the Chiquibul River which originates in the Maya Mountains of Belize, submerges underground and then re-emerges in Guatemala.
This vast system is made up of a network of four caves: Kabal, Tunkul, Cebada and Xibalba. Over 55km of cave passages have been mapped in the caves, yet there is much more to be explored.
All trips are organized in collaboration with the Institute of Archeology.
We leave San Ignacio bright and early, at 6:00 a.m., reaching the ranger base camp about 8:00 a.m. After a short rest, we embark on a 11/2 hour rugged drive on to the forest drop off point.
From the drop off point we embark on a one hour hike, traversing through lush primary forest, to the entrance of Kabal Cave. We continue hiking to the second largest cavern, known as the Chiquibul Chamber, and then head into the Great Sand Passage. After 2.5 hours of exploration, we return to base camp for a warm, scrumptious dinner and rest for the night.
Following a hearty breakfast we continue to explore more of the cave where Maya pottery still remains. We get an exquisite close up look of ancient Maya pottery that has been dormant in the darkness for over 2000 years. Following a surreal glimpse into the past, we head back to the campsite and refuel with lunch for the journey back to civilization.
Included: Travel, food and camping equipment.
Exercise Level: Moderate – Involves some hill climbing and a one mile hike. Travel time: 2 hrs
Items to bring: Bathing suit (swimming is optional), insect repellent, binoculars, cameras, comfortable hiking shoes and jungle clothing.