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Barton Creek Cave Tours and Activities

Barton Creek Cave
Among all the Maya caves in Belize, Barton Creek Cave is unique: a tall river cave that was once used for sacrificial purposes and can be explored only by canoe. The most striking feature is a stalactite so low, you occasionally will have to duck into the canoe to avoid getting struck. But the ride to the end is well worth it.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
Address: San Ignacio, Belize
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6 Tours and Activities to Experience Barton Creek Cave

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Xunantunich Maya Pyramid and Barton Creek Cave canoeing combo

Xunantunich Maya Pyramid and Barton Creek Cave canoeing combo

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Climb to the top of Belize’s second-tallest ancient pyramid and canoe to a sacred Mayan cave on this combo tour from San Ignacio. At the Xunantunich archaeological site, take in the views from atop the ‘El Castillo’ temple and see the ruins of royal palaces. A drive through modern Mayan villages takes you the entrance of Barton Creek Cave, once a sacred site for burials and ceremonies. The cave is only accessible by canoe, but it's a gentle ride, making this a great option for all ages and fitness levels.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$148.72
Price varies by group size
From
$148.72
Price varies by group size

Barton Creek Tour

Barton Creek Tour

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The Barton Creek Tour is one of the most relaxing canoe experiences where you will travel inside an ancient waterway canopied by cathedral ceilings as you observe numerous formations of stalagmites and stalactites. This tour is a half day tour and can be schedule at a time convenient to the guests (depending on the amount of persons booking the tour). Usual tour schedule for Barton Creek Tour: 8:30am 1:00pm
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$87.18
From
$87.18

Full-Day Barton Creek Cave with Optional Zipline, Butterfly Farm Or Big Rock Falls

Full-Day Barton Creek Cave with Optional Zipline, Butterfly Farm Or Big Rock Falls

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Canoe to the remote Barton Creek Cave on a full-day trip from San Ignacio with an optional zipline adventure, butterfly farm visit or jungle hike to Big Rock Falls.  Glide into a hidden cave entrance that’s surrounded by water, and explore a deep series of passages that were sacred to the ancient Maya. Use your headlight to illuminate crystal formations and dangling stalactites, and learn about the cave’s ceremonial history. Slip into the water for a cool swim, then finish your day with the adventure of your choice.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.21
From
$128.21
Taking safety measures

Barton Creek & Big Rock Falls

Barton Creek & Big Rock Falls

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Barton Creek Cave is a stream cave located near San Ignacio in the Cayo District. It was used by ancient Mayan people for ceremonial purposes and it was discovered in 1970 and studied by archeologists in 1998. As you enter Barton creek, you will enjoy the scenery of the Mennonite Community and their traditional lifestyle. During the tour you will see sparkling crystal formation and learn about the Mayan history, archaeology and geology. The tour consists of exploring 1 mile of the massive 4.5 long cave which is yet to be discovered. Big Rock Falls is a hidden gem located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve flowing over the Privassion Creek. It is a large cenote surrounded by big rocks and a small pool at the bottom. This tour is for both adventure seekers and relaxation lovers. You can climb boulders and plunge into the pool below or relax under the water fall and enjoy a water massage. MINIMUM 2 person
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.00
From
$135.00

Barton Creek Cave & Butterfly Farm

Barton Creek Cave & Butterfly Farm

Barton Creek Cave is a stream cave located near San Ignacio in the Cayo District. It was used by ancient Mayan people for ceremonial purposes and it was discovered in 1970 and studied by archeologists in 1998. As you enter Barton creek, you will enjoy the scenery of the Mennonite Community and their traditional lifestyle. During the tour you will see sparkling crystal formation and learn about the Mayan history, archaeology and geology. The tour consists of exploring 1 mile of the massive 4.5 long cave which is yet to be discovered. Our next stop is the Butterfly Farm which is located in Western Belize, it is rich in wildlife and vegetation and holds the largest live butterfly display in Belize. Guests can enjoy bird watching or learn about the different species of plants and animals. The day ends with a picnic lunch or souvenir shopping. MINIMUM 2 person
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$158.98
From
$158.98

Private Cave Canoeing from San Ignacio

Private Cave Canoeing from San Ignacio

Experience the essence of a meditative ambiance as you glide on a canoe through an underground cave system as the sound of the paddle on the peaceful waters harmonizes with your heartbeat. While canoeing through the cave see large crystalline formations, skeletal remains and other cultural artifacts.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Barton Creek Cave?