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by Ben the Grate
November 12, 2005
Most people visit Barton Creek on a day trip from San Ignacio, which costs around $30, not including admission to the site ($10 per person). But if you have your own car, you can drive out to the site, pay a few bucks to rent a canoe, and tag along with an already scheduled trip. Just ask the guide; he'll be happy to pocket the extra dollars and show you around.
The trip is usually undergone in a canoe, unless the creek is high enough to float in a tube. High-powered spotlights are loaded into the canoe, and you practice rowing upstream to the cave entrance.
Once inside, you'll paddle for 30 minutes through impressive galleries of stalactites and past a genuine human skull placed by the Maya to scare off intruders.
At some point your guide will stop and haul the canoes up onto dry ground, and you'll continue into the cave on foot with headlamps to view ancient Mayan pottery and ceremonial artifacts.
If you're planning on visiting any other caves in Belize, like Actun Tunichil Muknal, or cave tubing on the Caves Branch River, visit Barton Creek FIRST, as it will be more exciting for you.
If you're not planning on doing any of the more extreme caving trips in Belize, do yourself the favor of vising Barton Creek. It'll be something you never forget.
From journal It's UnBelizeable!
Los Angeles, California
April 26, 2005
From journal Belize: From the mountains to the beaches to the r
July 25, 2003
We were picked up in a large pickup truck. It had a metal framework over the bed, which is where we joined some other travellers.
This truck went over a number of dirt roads. We even had to get off the back of the truck and walk up hills. We drove through a river, just like an adventure movie. We saw a huge snake on the way --it had been tied up by some workers by the side of the road. Despite my love of reptiles, I resisted the guide''s offer to put it around my neck.
On the long ride there, we also saw a Mennonite community. It was very much like an Amish community, only I''m used to seeing these people in the farms of Pennsylvania, not the jungles of Belize! They were driving in a horse and buggy over the rutted dirt road, and it actually looked like the buggy might be able to handle it better than the truck we were in.
When we got there, we walked for a bit. We rejected the life-jackets as the water is shallow, and got into the canoes. I gave Alli the front seat, so that she can take pictures, and then, as it turns out, the person in the front is responsible for holding the canoes together inside the cave as well as holding the lights. My job is to connect the lights to a battery with jumper cables, as well as occasionally hold the two canoes together. I manage to snap a few pictures inside the cave.
This tour does get a bit boring once you''ve been in the cave and seen some of the broken Mayan pots and lots of stalagtites. Then you start thinking "My butt hurts" and "How much longer til we get out of here?"
The last part of the trip, after turning around, they tell you to turn out all the lights. You just sit in complete blackness. Then in the distance, you see a light. This light formed the shape of an angel or a woman, or for me, it resembled the Virgin. What you don''t realize is that you''re drifting slowly towards the cave mouth, and what you are seeing is the crack of the opening of the cave. As you draw closer, the brilliant greens of the river outside the cave are accentuated by the blackness you are leaving. The world looks so bright, and I felt so grateful for sunlight.
From journal A Week in the Jungle