Barton Creek Cave – One Of World’s 9 Most Beautiful And Unusual Cave Destinations

Barton Creek Cave Entrance. Photo: Deanna Keahey/Flickr

Mother Nature Network has listed Barton Creek Cave in the western Cayo District as one of Nine Most beautiful and unusual cave destinations in the world. The article describes the cave in the Mountain Pine Ridge thus:

Another underground waterway that makes it on to many tourists’ itineraries is the Barton Creek Cave in the Central American nation of Belize. This cave was considered the “underworld” by the ancient Mayans who inhabited the area and was used as a burial place. Human remains can still be found inside the cave. It is this unique history and Barton’s amazing rock formations that make it one of the more interesting of all of Central America’s underground attractions. Barton is located in the Cayo District, a region of Belize known for its eco-tourism. Tour companies offer guided canoe cruises through the cave. Truly adventurous travelers can swim in the cave’s waters. The  unusual nature of these underground waterways makes Barton an attractive caving option, but it is the cave’s spectacular domed chambers that earn it a place alongside the world’s best cave destinations.

Barton Creek Cave Interior
Barton Creek Cave is great for cave canoeing

According to “Barton Creek is a large river cave possibly over 4.5 miles long.  The cave consists of giant passages covered with numerous large speleothems over a navigable river. These features of the cave have made it a popular tourist destination. Recent investigations at Barton Creek Cave have provided a wealth of information toward our understanding of the importance of caves within Maya culture. An abundance of Maya cultural material has been discovered and is being analyzed from ten ledges located above a large subterranean river. Based on preliminary results, artifacts from these areas suggest the cave was used for a variety of purposes by the Maya including agricultural rituals, possible fertility rites, ritual bloodletting, human sacrifice, and lineage internment.”

Reference: Mother Nature Network