Barton Creek Cave

Category
Destination
District/Region
Cayo
Description
Highlights
  • Beautiful stalactites in Barton Creek Cave
  • Ancient Artifacts
  • Human Remains
About Location
Like all subterranean sites, Barton Creek Cave is a very fragile and sensitive environment, easily disrupted by human intrusion. It is the responsibility of all archaeologists, tour guides and visitors to preserve the site and ensure that it may be enjoyed by future generations. We ask all visitors to the site to help us preserve the past for the future.

Barton Creek Cave is part of a large riverine system and one of the longest subterranean sites in the country of Belize. Cultural remains, however, have only been found within the first kilometer from the downstream entrance. This kilometer long space contains ten ledges above the river with evidence of ancient Maya activity. The first ledge is located on the left just inside the entrance to the cave, and continues to roughly 30 meters beyond the Maya Bridge that straddles the river.
 
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Available Listings
$
99
-
$
112
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
BARTON CREEK is a living cave in that it is still growing and developing with 10ft of water flowing constantly throughout. The ancient Mayans believed that their Gods would reside ... morein such places and Barton Creek Cave in particular because of its abundance of water. The Mayan God Chaac (God of Water) was believed to occupy the cave, whenever the Mayas were going through a draught or needed a rain god for crops they would go into Barton Creek and sacrifice young virgins who were thought to be suitable gifts to the Gods. The Mayans believed the cave was an opening or gateway into the underworld and treated it with great fear and respect.

BIG ROCK FALLS: Deep in the escarpment of the Mountain Pine Ridge, Big Rock Falls is another of the area’s waterfall treasures. The tremendous view of water rushing over the huge 150-ft rock formations and plummeting into the deep perfectly round pool at its base provides a rush of excitement. You won’t regret stopping by to take a nice cold swim, which you will definitely enjoy regardless if you are on your own, with someone or with your family.
$
265
-
$
295
/ Person
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Provider:
Take a canoe ride back in time and discover the mysteries of the Maya. The ancient Maya worship their gods in this pitch black cave environment. A canoe equipped with powerful spotlight ... moreilluminate the realm of the spirits. Paddle your way in and explore a cave only accessible by canoes or kayaks.
$
85
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
This cave canoeing adventure is very mild yet very fun and educational. This cave contains the cultural remains such as ollas and human sacrificial remains that were left hundreds ... moreof years ago.

The Barton Creek Cave is located within the traditional Mennonite village so you do get to see this very interesting people of Belize.

This cave is rich with cultural remains that were once offered to Mayan gods in supplication for rain and good agricultural harvests.

Come to enjoy “ Xibalba “ from the comfort of your canoe.
$
75
/ Person
This tour starts with us driving through the small Mennonite community of Upper Barton Creek where you will have a glimpse of their traditional daily life. Once at the site we start ... moreoff by paddling through and exploring the mystical Barton Creek cave, an ancient site used by the Mayans for burial and ceremonial purposes. The jade-colored water runs for 4 miles inside the caves surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites. A tour of Barton Creek involves gently paddling a two-man canoe across the cave's still water, guided only by headlamps that light up the intricate stalactites and stalagmites that make up the limestone walls. You will also discover rock flows and cathedral chambers while observing Mayan pottery shards and the bone remains of more than 28 humans dating back to 200 CE. This is an amazing experience everyone will remember.
$
85
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Silently glide back in time aboard a canoe equipped with powerful spotlights as you enter a sacred realm of the ancient Maya. Barton Creek cave is part of a large riverine system and ... moreone of the longest subterranean archaeological sites in Belize. In addition to the natural beauty of its stalagmites, stalactites and impressive calcite crystal formations the site contains a wide range of cultural remains deposited on the ledges above the river that date back to 1200 years ago. Enjoy our snacks along with a quick swim, accompanied by waterfalls and the rainforest.
$
1,349
/ Person
Package Details Day 1: BELIZE CITY / ZOO/ CRYSTAL PARADISE RESORT After clearing immigration and customs you are met by your driver and transfer to Crystal Paradise Resort, optional ... morestop at the Belize Zoo. We check into our accommodations at Crystal Paradise after a short orientation. Tonight’s dinner includes a bottle of wine at .O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. /D

Day 2: BARTON CREEK
Most people find the canoe tour by torchlight through this cave unforgettable. Its large river passage and pristine formations are just two of the reasons why this appeals to both local and foreign visitors. Besides its natural beauty, the site is made even more interesting by the presence of a wide range of archaeological remains that were left there by the ancient Maya visitors. Visit the Green Hills Butterfly Farm and the swim in the Big Rock Falls. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort, B/L/D

Day 3: DAY 3: TIKAL OVERNIGHT
Breakfast at Crystal Paradise. Travel 1 ½ hr drive into neighboring Guatemala to visit a very important
Maya site. Located in the Peten lowland of Guatemala, this huge Classic Period Maya site, rich in jungle flora and fauna, is considered one of the world’s premier Archaeological Reserves. The park consists of 225+ square kilometers Guided tour of Tikal Maya site itself. Departure fee and park fee not included, US$20 + US$22/pp. O/N Tikal Inn, B/L/D

Day 4: TIKAL / CRYSTAL PARADISE RESORT
You will have breakfast and lunch at Tikal, all morning free to explore the area, afternoon transfer to Crystal Paradise Resort. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort, B/L/D

Day 5: MACAL RIVER CANOEING or HORSEBACK RIDING
Breakfast. Canoeing Leisurely canoe the Macal River as we view iguanas sunning themselves and an array of birds such as kingfishers, Wood-rails Mangrove Swallows and more. Stops at the Botanical Gardens and the medicine trail where we can learn about our local plants and their uses.

Horseback ride Enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of the Belizean countryside, while on your way to one or more of the attractions. If the water level of the river is low enough, you will ride over some hilly but scenic terrains and through jungle trails leading to great swimming hole.O/N Crystal Paradise Resort, B/L/D

Day 6: CHECHEM HA CAVE:
You will take a short hike through the jungle to this complex cave system was discovered in 1989 by the Morales. Exploring the caves will allow you to view large stalactite formations, intact ancient artifacts such as large storage vessels, plates, burial grounds and mysterious stelae. These Caves have been abandoned since the Pre-Classic 600 B.C – 800 A.D.

After the cave, you will be treated to a home-cooked lunch, served at the home of the Morales. After lunch, you may decide to hike down for a refreshing swim or simply sit back atop a hill and take in the view of the valleys. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort, B/L/D

Day 7: FREE DAY
Free day to canoe, explore the town, swim at the local pools, or arrange additional trips O/N Crystal Paradise Resort, B/L/D

Day 8: DEPARTURE
Breakfast and transfer to Belize City/Airport

***itinerary is subject to change once here due to weather conditions or unforeseen events***
$
599
/ Person
Package Details Day 1: AIRPORT/CRYSTAL PARADISE You will be met at the airport by your Belizean bird guide and transferred to your jungle lodge accommodations. Optional stop at the ... moreZoo (entrance fee not included, US$15/pp). We check into our accommodations at Crystal Paradise after a short orientation. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. L/D

Day 2: MACAL RIVER CANOEING OR HORSEBACK RIDING
Morning Canoeing on the Macal River. While canoeing we have the chance to see Neotropic Cormorants, Mangrove Swallows, Kingfishers, Gray-necked Wood-rails and other wildlife that frequent the riverbanks such as iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks and trees.

OR

Enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of the Belizean country side, while on your way to one or more of the attractions. If the water level of the river is low enough, you will ride over some hilly but scenic terrains and through jungle trails leading to great swimming holes.

Macal River Canoeing

Afternoon: BARTON CREEK CAVE / BUTTERFLY FARM

Morning: Most people find the canoe tour by torchlight through this cave unforgettable. Its large river passage and pristine formations are just two of the reasons why this appeals to both local and foreign visitors. Besides its natural beauty the site is made even more interesting by the presence of a wide range of archaeological remains that were left there by the ancient Maya visitors. Archaeologists believe that this cave was used for ritual purposes. This tour will be combined with a visit to the Green Hills Butterfly Farm. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 3: XUNANTUNICH
The partially-excavated and largest pyramid, El Castillo, stands at 130 plus feet above the main plaza floor, offering an impressive view of Belize’s Cayo District and nearby Guatemala. El Castillo is known for its frieze, a banded stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire structure. An impressive museum displays a three-dimensional model of the entire site and depicts the evolution of the Maya civilization. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 4: DEPARTURE
After breakfast you will be transfer to Belize City/Belize Airport. B/
$
1,459
/ Person
AIRPORT PICKUP/CRYSTAL PARADISE You will be met by your driver/ guide at the airport and transferred by van to Crystal Paradise. ... more
Dinner and overnight Crystal Paradise

Day 2: BARTON CREEK CAVES /BIG ROCK FALLS/BUTTERFLY FARM (FULL DAY)
After breakfast, we board SUV and drive over rolling hills through the Amish Community and across the river to the entrance of the cave. We arrive at the cave use facilities and canoe inside the cave for at least 2 km. Most people find the canoe tour by torchlight through this cave unforgettable. Its large river passage and pristine formations are just two of the reasons why this appeals to both local and foreign visitors. Besides its natural beauty, the site is made even more interesting by the presence of a wide range of archaeological remains that were left there by the ancient Maya visitors. Archaeologists believe that this cave was used for rituals. You have an optional stop at the Butterfly Farm, entrance fee for the farm not included in the package (US$15/pp. At the end of your day, you will stop at the Big Rock falls for a refreshing dip. Breakfast, packed lunches, Dinners and Overnight Crystal Paradise.

Day 3: CARACOL MAYA RUINS (FULL DAY)
After breakfast, we drive to Caracol as we traverse through the Mountain Pine Ridge area. The road travels over a series of creeks, through the lush tropical forest and pine forest, habitat for a variety of bird species. The highest canopy rainforest is home to several species of cats, as well as rare birds such as the Keel-Billed Mot Mot, Crested Guan, Great Curassow and Ocellated Turkey. A wide variety of orchids, vines, and trees are also found in the area. This site is home to the tallest man-made structure in Belize, Canna (sky palace), standing some 143 ft above the plaza floor. The discovery of Alter 23, which shows bound captives, indicates that Caracol was an extremely fierce and warlike center. This tour will be combined with a visit to the Rio Frio Caves and the Rio On Pools on the way back. Breakfast, packed lunches, Dinner and overnight Crystal Paradise Resort

Day 4: MACAL RIVER CANOEING (HALF DAY)
Leisurely canoe the Macal River as we view iguanas sunning themselves and an array of birds such as kingfishers, Wood-rails Mangrove Swallows and more. Stops at the Botanical Gardens and the medicine trail where we can learn about our local plants and their uses. Breakfast, Dinner and overnight Crystal Paradise Resort

Day 5: FREE MORNING/DRIVE TO PLACENCIA
Leisurely departure to Placencia as we drive on the scenic hummingbird highway over the Maya mountains and then on the coastal plains to the beach of Placencia. Breakfast and Overnight at Placencia Hotel

Day 6: SNORKELING TO OFFSHORE CAYE
After breakfast, we board a boat to offshore Cayes for snorkeling as we enjoy the hundreds of colorful fishes and much more. Overnight at Placencia Hotel

Day 7: FREE DAY
You can easily book fishing trip additional snorkeling/ Jaguar Reserve and or the Monkey River tour. Overnight at Placencia Hotel

Day 8: DEPARTURE
Land transfer to Placencia airstrip for a local fight to Belize Int’l airport to arrive 2 hrs prior to your int’l flight.
$
1,349
/ Person
Day 1: AIRPORT/CRYSTAL PARADISE You will be met at the airport by your Belizean bird guide and transferred to your jungle lodge accommodations. Optional stop at the Zoo ( zoo entrance ... morefee not included, US$15/pp). We check into our accommodations at Crystal Paradise after a short orientation. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. L/D

Day 2: BARTON CREEK CAVE / BUTTERFLY FARM
Most people find the canoe tour by torchlight through this cave unforgettable. Its large river passage and pristine formations are just two of the reasons why this appeals to both local and foreign visitors. Besides its natural beauty the site is made even more interesting by the presence of a wide range of archaeological remains that were left there by the ancient Maya visitors. Archaeologists believe that this cave was used for ritual purposes. This tour will be combined with a visit to the Green Hills Butterfly Farm. O/N Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 3: MACAL RIVER CANEOING OR HORSEBACK RIDING
Canoeing on the Macal River. While canoeing we have the chance to see Neotropic Cormorants, Mangrove Swallows, Kingfishers, Gray-necked Wood-rails and other wildlife that frequent the riverbanks such as iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks and trees.

OR

Enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of the Belizean country side, while on your way to one or more of the attractions. If the water level of the river is low enough, you will ride over some hilly but scenic terrains and through jungle trails leading to great swimming holes. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort B/L/D

Day 4: CHECHEM HA CAVE (POISON WATER)
This complex Belize cave system was discovered in 1989 by the Morales. Exploring the caves will allow you to view large stalactite formations, intact ancient artifacts such as large storage vessels, plates, burial grounds and mysterious stelae. These caves have been abandoned since the Pre-Classic 600 B.C – 800 A.D. After the cave, you will be treated to a home-cooked lunch, served at the home of the Morales. After lunch, you may decide to hike down for a refreshing swim or simply sit back atop a hill and take in the view of the valleys. Paradise Resort B/L/D

Day 5: XUNANTUNICH
The partially-excavated and largest pyramid, El Castillo, stands at 130 plus feet above the main plaza floor, offering an impressive view of Belize’s Cayo District and nearby Guatemala. El Castillo is known for its frieze, a banded stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire structure. An impressive museum displays a three-dimensional model of the entire site and depicts the evolution of the Maya civilization. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 6: DEPARTURE/ MARTZ FARM
2 nights at Martz Farm tree houses, deep in the jungle. Here you can go horseback riding, hike to nearby waterfalls, and more. B/L/D

Day 7: MARTZ FARM
2 nights at Martz Farm tree houses, deep in the jungle. Here you can go horseback riding, hike to nearby waterfalls, and more. B/L/D

Day 8: RETURN TO CRYSTAL PARADISE RESORT
Free day to book tours on own. Transfer to Crystal Paradise Resort to spend 3 days/2 nights and book activities on own O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 9: CRYSTAL PARADISE RESORT free day to book tours on own
Transfer to Crystal Paradise Resort to spend 3 days/2 nights and book activities on own. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 10: DEPARTURE – CRYSTAL PARADISE RESORT /AIRPORT
Breakfasts and transfer to Belize International Airport.
$
85
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
MAYA & MENNONITE CULTURAL VILLAGE TOUR Barton Creek Mennonites There are approximately 10,000 Mennonites living in Belize. Although originally of European descent and heritage, ... moremany Mennonite children and their parents have been born and raised in Belize, creating a unique blend of culture and spirituality. The Mennonites are much like the Amish, living a humble and religiously pious lifestyle. The Mennonites of Belize are peaceful, hardworking people and the more remote communities like Barton Creek retain a very traditional and simple way of life, relying on their knowledge and strength to farm and survive in the jungle with few modern amenities. Belizean Mennonites speak a dialect of German as well as the local languages or English, Kriol, and Spanish.

The communities are very conservative and the women wear bonnets and long dresses, while the men wear denim overalls and wide brim hats. The men may wear traditional suspenders and dark trousers. They use horse-drawn buggies for transportation and till their farm fields with horses. In the most remote communities, they still use horses to drive their sawmills.

The Mennonites of Barton Creek are very restrictive with their use of machinery and they produce many agricultural crops without any modern machinery. They are highly productive people and they produce honey, milk, eggs, poultry, beans, and other staple crops. Often confused with the Amish, the Mennonites are actually their own distinct religious group with strict Christian principals and their own language. They have many traditions and practices that date back hundreds of years, including arranged marriages. Come to explore this fascinating and reserved culture on a trip through the jungle and back in time to how things were before cell phones, cars, iPods, and even before electricity. San Antonio’s Womens Group Located on the road to the Mountain Pine Ridge, the village of San Antonio was named after St. Anthony of Padua when a Spanish Priest who visited regularly from the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen brought a statue of St. Anthony to the Village. The statue can be seen in the Catholic Church near the Village Square. Prior to the name change, San Antonio was known in the local Yucatec Maya dialect as “Osh Multun Kakab” which translates to “Three Mound Virgin Forest”. Today villagers simply refer to their village as “Tanah,” which is the Mayan term for “our home.”

This is a beautiful and productive community with various cultural activities throughout the year, especially in the months of June and December. June 13 marks St. Anthony Day and villagers celebrate for 13 days with traditional Mayan music, foods, such as tamales, and festivities. This is mainly an agricultural community and the local residents grow crops such as peanuts, corn, squash, and beans, much like their ancestors. There are currently three Women’s Groups in San Antonio. One group operates the community bakery, the other specializes in pottery, local jewelry, and embroidery, and the most recent group is making hammocks, embroidery, and clothing. Tour this lovely village and get a firsthand look at living Mayan culture. Local Mayan lunch included with your tour.
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