Xunantunich Mayan Ruins and Cave Tubing from San Ignacio
Explore the ancient Mayan ruins with a tour of Xunantunich. Located about 70 miles west of Belize City, the archaeological site sits atop a hill overlooking the Mopan River and the Guatemala border.
This tour gives you a chance to witness the breathtaking ancient site as you travel through the extensive nearby cave system on an inner tube.
Xunantunich Is an Unforgettable National Treasure
The Mayan civilization built Xunantunich as a civic ceremonial center, possibly over 2000 years ago. The name means “Stone Lady,” which is a modern name given to the site due to tales of a ghost woman who haunted the area.
While you may not see a ghost, your tour allows you to climb the stone steps of the Xunantunich Mayan ruins. From the top, you get a panoramic view of the surrounding lush vegetation.
In this tour, you’ll see Xunantunich and go tubing through a large cave system. Lunch, sodas, and water are provided. Your tour also includes transportation, entrance fees, and a private guide. We recommend that guests bring hats, sunscreen, ponchos, bug spray, and comfortable walking shoes.
If you want to capture the beauty of the sites on this tour, don’t forget to bring a GoPro camera or a waterproof case for your cell phone.
Enjoy an Air-Conditioned Ride and a Short Hike
The tour starts with a short, air-conditioned drive on the Western highway. As you pass through the village of San Jose Succotz, you’ll notice small waterfalls from the Mopan River winding near the road.
You may even see locals doing their laundry while children swim in the river. The area includes many vendors selling handcrafted goods including blankets, hammocks, and various local souvenirs.
Browse their wares as you wait for the hand-cranked ferry to take you across to the other bank of the river. You’ll have time to see Xunantunich for yourself before tubing through the caves.
At the outpost, you’ll meet with your tour guides and receive your equipment for the trip. Each guest is issued an inflatable tube, headlamp, and live vest. You’ll also receive a briefing on basic orientation and safety for your tubing adventure.
You then start the 30-minute hike to the caves. Most of the terrain is flat but a few spots require you to wade through knee-deep streams. It’s a pleasant hike shaded by a canopy of rainforest foliage. You’ll also have tour guides with you, pointing out natural flora and fauna.
Go Cave Tubing Through the Mayan Underworld
At the end of the hike, it’s time to go tubing. You’ll begin your leisurely water ride at the entrance of the cave system.
Ancient Mayans would refer to the caves as the underworld, or “Xibalba”. The interior of the cave is darkly beautiful with calm serenity and a mysterious atmosphere.
Your headlamp will help highlight interesting features. Gaze at the intricate crystalline formations lining the walls of the cave and the various stalagmites and stalactites hanging from above.
If enough time remains and you’re ready for a little more fun in the caves, our guides may take a pitstop at the mini-waterfall and swimming area.
As you emerge from the falls, you’ll find yourself blanketed in sunlight. Soak up the rays as you free float downstream, pulled along by the small rapids and gentle current. Continue to drift down the river as you listen to the harmonious sounds of birds and natural wildlife.
The comfortable inner tube ride leads you back to where your tour started, providing a round-trip excursion to some of the most majestic sites in Belize.