Packed with Lisa’s borrowed waterproof camera, we boarded the tractor trailer and held on to the piles of tubes in the middle for our adventure.
Forget an ATV, I totally want a tractor for four-wheelin’. This tractor was bad-ass… it hauled 12 of us (10 guests and 2 guides) plus at least 14 or so tubes and life vests. We even crossed a few rivers on the Caves Branch property to arrive at the first cave.
Equipped with headlamps, life vests and tube, we walked into the jungle to approach the first of five caves we would float through.
Personally, Alex and I also brought our Nalgenes with water, bug spray, sun tan lotion, Pelican case and dry sack with a biner or two to tie it on us.
A short dip in the water brought us back out on the rock to crawl into the cave. Caves Branch owns more than 50,000 acres of property so the first two caves were all ours.
Alex wore a long sleeve shirt to protect from tube rash and sun. There wasn’t much sun at all (since we were mostly in the caves), but I did get a slight rash from paddling and rubbing against the tube. Yeah, yeah, I totally wore a tank top.
The caves were amazing. Take every second in… really… you sort of get rushed through the float, as Alex and I kept saying to each other. I mean, where we live, you always float the river with a sack of booze and just chill as the tide takes you.
Of course, there’s some navigation required. So, it’s important to stay with the group… in case you lamp battery gets low or your tube pops or something like that…
The waters in Belize are amazing – crystal clear blue. It helped a lot when I had to climb over a log and accidentally dropped the camera. That clear water sure helps when you are looking for dropped items.
The last three caves were open to the public. Apparently, when we went on Saturday, we happened to miss the cruise ship folk. We heard stories that when the cruise ships dock, the masses of people in the caves made it less appealing and took away from the experience.
We had a few random other groups join us during the last few caves, but it wasn’t too bad.
We did see a fishing spider in the cave somewhere… So, watch out for bugs and spiders….
At the end of the cave float, we deflated our tubes and hiked up the steps to where magically, our change of clothes were sitting in a van.
This was where we were ziplinin’ – Chukka Resort.
After we changed at the bathrooms/changing stalls there, we went towards the complex and had lunch.
Chicken, rice and beans with coleslaw and a plantain – what else? Oh, there was also some pineapple juice. It was all good, but not nearly as good as our roadside stop at P&L’s Place yesterday.
After lunch, our two guides geared us up in harnesses, helmets and gloves.
And we were off….
Five total zips down, in the jungle.
On the way, our guides pointed out some cool plants, like this crazy hanging vine. And our guide, Brandon, also played some familiar top 40 tunes to keep us upbeat.
Down the hatch. One guide helps each person in while the other guide catches you at the other end.
After everyone gets through, the other guide comes back over and we head to the next line.
I think the whole experience couldn’t have lasted more than an hour… It was quick and the steps all the way up and around made it easy – no hiking.
Would I do it again? Probably not… but I had fun the first time. I probably just expected more excitement and thrill? For parents – It’s great for kids! All the guides there were very focused on safety. *big thumbs up*
Cave tubing though – I’d do it again… if we could stretch it longer! I didn’t feel like we had enough time to enjoy our float. But come next time, it’s going to be an all-day thing, eh!