Caves Branch Belize Underground River Running, Better than Tubing

Caves in Belize are One of Its Many Wonders

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Home > Belize Adventure Sports > Caves Branch Belizepicture of belize cave branch underground river

Cave Kayaking Adventure

Everyone knows about Belize cave tubing, but less is known about running this famous underground river by kayak, because so few companies have the equipment. Slickrock has been conducting this underground river tour of the Caves Branch River in Belize since 1991, using kayaks to explore this incredible underground river. The problem with cave tubing in Belize is that the runs have to be extremely short as this river is too shallow to allow an unimpeded float. Slickrock Adventures is the only company to use kayaks to run the whole section of caves.


We also have a web page about a caving trip that does not involve river gear.


Belize Adventure Week: Discover our full-week adventure vacation which includes this activity holiday.Caves Branch River rafting, Belize


Belize Caves Branch One-Day Trips


This one-day river tour is available only for groups of 8+ booking together, maximum 14. We do not sell this package to individuals. If you don't have a group of eight, you can sign up for Belize Adventure Week, our 8-night Belize tour package. We run the Caves Branch River on day three of this adventure itinerary.Caves Branch River Belize


Cost: $195 US pp, includes pick up and drop off in Belize City and lunch. No group discounts available.


Deposit: $75 deposit pp (8 minimum) is due to confirm your space.


This deposit is non-refundable. You may make your reservation by telephone, fax, mail, or e-mail. Checks, money orders, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted for all payments. The balance is due 60 days prior to departure.


When available: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday only, Dec - May.


Minimum and maximum ages to participate:

10 and 70


For families: We use whitewater, sit-on-top kayaks for everyone. The youngest person who may paddle themselves in a kayak is a 10 year old.


If the water ends up being too high to run the Caves Branch on the day you reserved, we will have to substitute another river of our choice on the day of the trip, because at some levels the river is unsafe. This does not happen often, but it does happen!



What to bring:

-1 headlamp for each person (important!)

-dry clothes to leave in the van to change in to after the trip is over

-2 quarts capacity water bottles for each person


-clothes on that can get wet

-good river shoes with high traction soles and ankle support


After a reservation is made: A Registration and Waiver of Liability Form is sent. The completely filled out form and the final balance is due 60 days prior to departure.


Cancellation policy: No exceptions are made to our cancellation policy for any reason. Your deposit of $75 pp x 8 persons is non-refundable. If we receive notice of cancellation 59-30 days prior to departure, 50% of total group trip cost will be retained. If we receive notice of cancellation 29-11 days, 75% of total group trip cost will be retained.; if notice is received within 10 days of departure, no refund will be given.


Unused services: No partial refunds or credits will be given for unused services such as meals or transport. Our trips are quoted as a package; credits are not given for services not used. No refunds will be given for any reason once the trip has begun.


Slickrock reserves the right to sell additional seats up to the 14 maximum to others who might want to join this tour.


Late arrival or departure: Any conditions out of our control that delay your arrival or departure may add to your cost; all extra charges caused by delays (catching up with a trip in progress) or any variations from the itinerary (early departure, evacuation) will be at the customer’s expense.


Related blog post (history of running the Caves Branch River):

Re-connecting with an old friend in the jungle

Ian Anderson's Caves Branch River put-in

Belize's Premier River Cave

The Belize Cave Branch River (view from the put-in, shown at right) flows through four caves on its course from the Maya Mountains to its confluence with the Sibun River. Slickrock puts-in near Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. If you are interested in Belize cave tubing, you may contact them; they offer cave tubing rather than rafting and kayaking. After the put-in you paddle through several miles of jungle and orange groves before arriving at a rugged section of hills that have eroded into what is known as karst topography.

Entrance to Caves Branch cave section




Huge white cliffs covered with vines rise dramatically from the thick jungle, and suddenly the river veers right into one, where we enter a river cave that soon envelopes us in complete darkness. (the mouth of the first cave is at left.) Using headlamps for lighting the way, the current takes us though the caves, which occasionally pass by openings into the jungle.


The portage on the Caves BranchThe second cave begins with a sump, where the water dives completely underground and leaves no passage. Here we must portage for a few hundred yards through the jungle to one of the windows mentioned above, where we can get back on the river and continue on. Dramatic openings covered with stalagtites and vines pass us by as we move in and out of the caves, and we stop at a tributary which joins the river underground and hike a short distance along this new cave.


Underground river tour, BelizeNo visitor to Belize should miss this fabulous one-of-a-kind experience! This truly has to be seen to be believed.