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Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Cave

Barton Creek Cave

star-5
18 Reviews
Free admission
San Ignacio, Belize

The Basics

During guided tours of the cave, you will navigate using a headlight to illuminate the crystal formations and dangling stalactites, while learning about its ceremonial history. Tours typically end with a refreshing dip in the creek. Inside the cave, Maya ceramics are found high up on ledges, along with human bones, including a child’s skull. Though much of the cave remains unexplored, many artifacts, including pottery and jewelry, have been discovered there.

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Recent reviews from experiences in San Ignacio

star-5
We had a great time experiencing the Beauty of Belize
Luis_R, May 2021
Full-Day Barton Creek Cave with Optional Zipline, Butterfly Farm Or Big Rock Falls
Tour was great! Everyone was nice and the views were amazing. Zip lining was a blast and jungle was beautiful. Dennis and William made us feel very safe and they were so professional. Our tour guide Giovanny was so informative, very nice guy. Highly recommend!
star-5
Caye Inland Expeditions
ahardy1115, Feb 2020
Xunantunich Maya Pyramid and Barton Creek Cave canoeing combo
Victor was the best guide we ever had! Such an amazing trip! We even saw a bunch of howler monkeys at the ruins.
star-5
BEST TOUR GUIDE EVER. Fascinating cave tour!!
Ashley_P, Dec 2020
Barton Creek Tour
Rudy was one of the most knowledgeable and kind people I’ve ever met. When he picked us up, he spent the entire drive to Barton Creek teaching us about the ecology of the jungle, about local culture, and about Mayan history. Every question we asked, he had an answer and often a story. Once we arrived at the cave, Rudy told us captivating Mayan creation stories that explained why the Mayans adventured into the caves and held the beliefs they did. His narration was so enrapturing that our entire group was silent for most of the tour. We saw several Mayan ceramics and one skull in the cave. Once we left the cave, we swam in the blue hole outside which was an absolute blast. I would 100% do this tour again, especially if Rudy was our guide.
star-5
Secluded and private
oparaola, Dec 2019
Barton Creek Tour
This is one of the least frequent activities around San Ignacio, and so there is a chance you'll be one of the only people on site. To get there, you'll have to travel on a dirt road across the Mennonite territory. Because of the road conditions and limited interest, we were escorted in a pickup truck and given what was pretty much a private tour. The cave was beautiful, and there are Mayan cultural remains you can spot from the canoe. Our tour guide, Rudy, had a hypnotic way of describing the cave environment, geology, and Mayan mythology. If you're looking for something like the ATM cave but would prefer not to have to go through the entire adventurous ordeal of hiking, wading, swimming, and enduring hours in soaking wet clothes, this is the perfect place to experience it!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • This is not recommended for those who suffer from claustrophobia or fear of the dark.

  • Wear swimwear and bring a change of clothes and a towel.

  • Some tours combine a visit to the cave with ziplining, or a stop at the butterfly farm and botanical garden or Big Rock Falls.

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How to Get There

All visitors to Barton Creek Cave are required to be accompanied by a guide. Tours are available from San Ignacio and usually include round-trip transportation. Equipment and guides are also available at the cave entrance without pre-booking. The cave is located east of San Ignacio on the Western Highway, off Chiquibul Road. It is difficult to reach in a standard rental car; 4WD vehicles are recommended.

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When to Get There

Depending on the conditions, a cave tour can cover 1 or 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 kilometers) in the rainy season or as much as 4.5 miles (7.25 kilometers) when water levels are lower. Belize’s dry season takes place from late November to mid-April. Some half-day tours offer a choice between a morning or afternoon departure time.

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Actun Tunichil Muknal

For a more intense cave experience, Actun Tunichil Muknal offers an adventure that requires a rain forest hike, three river crossings, swimming, and clambering over rocks as you wade through tunnels and passageways lined with stalactites and stalagmites. Although ATM is basically next to Barton Creek Cave, it’s a 45-minute drive to go there due to the lack of highways in Belize.

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