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Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
175.00 ft (53.34 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.00 km (2.49 mi)
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The Waterfall Cave Expedition is a tour offered by the Caves Branch Adventure Company that involves hiking through the jungle to access a cave stream system before climbing and jumping back down a series of six waterfalls lying deep inside the cave system. The hike is fairly strenuous, and it should be taken on by those with moderate hiking abilities or above. It begins with a shuttle from the hike's meeting point at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge to the trailhead. From here, a half-hour hike through the jungle leads to the mouth a large cave lying beneath a mountain in central Belize's highland rainforest.

At the mouth of the cave, hikers put on harnesses and helmets with lights, following the guides into the cave on a route that parallels a stream. The route passes numerous large and staggering cave formations with guides stopping to explain and answer questions about the processes and systems of the cave. Guides also lead hikers down a specific path to minimize disturbances to the cave ecosystem.

The route makes a gradual climb upstream, and hikers should expect to cross the stream on several occasions before reaching the first waterfall. Guides show hikers the best way to climb the falls, with the tallest being about 15 feet above the pool below and requiring a belay to safely reach the top. After climbing six falls, hikers get the opportunity to reverse their course and jump from atop each fall into the pool below.

Following the falls, guides lay out a picnic lunch inside one of the large cave chambers for everyone to enjoy. Vampire bats and blind cave-dwelling spiders are among the species seen on the hike. Tours typically begin at 8:30 a.m. at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge and return around 1 p.m. The expedition is open to all, but the route takes place on Caves Branch land, making the Caves Branch Jungle Lodge the sole outfitters for this expedition. For information on joining a hike, visit CavesBranch.com.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic cave formations. Jumping into cave pools.

Cons

Strenuous.

Trailhead Elevation

325.00 ft (99.06 m)

Highest point

485.00 ft (147.83 m)

Net Elevation Gain

160.00 ft (48.77 m)

Address

Hummingbird Hwy
Belize

Features

Near lake or river
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Geologically significant
Family friendly
Guided tours
Cave

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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