We booked VIV Tours cave tubing trip online before we left Galveston on our Princess Cruise. We read the reviews here and felt comfortable booking a tour with them instead of a cruise ship tour saving us over $100. As it turned out, it was a great decision. We were met outside the pier by a VIV staff person and escorted to our departure area. We were introduced to our guides ( Kareem and Nadine ) and shown our air conditioned van. We paid our fare, loaded into the van, and were shortly underway.
The drive to the caves was about 45 minutes or so but went very fast. Kareem provided us information and kept us entertained the entire trip ... even though it was only his 2nd day on the job .. ( obviously not the case ) .. We were given our gear and led down a trail to the caves. The walk was between 30-45 minutes and was very informative. Kareem told us about all the plants and detailed their purposes. He took his time and our walk was very leisurely. As stated in previous reviews, we did not have to carry our tubes with us during this part of the tour. I remember commenting several times about how happy I was we chose VIV because everyone else from other tour companies, including the overpriced ship tour, was wagging their tubes. The walk was great, and Kareem made sure everyone was together and answered all questions. We were even treated to termite appetizers .. I passed, but some did not.
The caves were , at risk of sounding cliche, AMAZING !!. We were given our tubes close to the entry point and only carried them a short time. The tubes were perfect, head rests and netted bottoms as well as cup holders. The helmets had LED lights and provided adequate illumination. As it is January, the water was kinda cool, but we adjusted quickly. Our tubes were linked together as a group and off we went. The journey through the caves lasted about an hour and was very relaxing. The formations were spectacular. We even saw some insect bats hiding in the holes in the ceiling. After exiting the caves we continued uncovered down the river to the exit point after stopping briefly along the way for the kids in our group to have a short swim. We exited the river and carried our tubes the short distance back to the starting point..
They had clean bathrooms for changing clothes and there were the obligatory vendors selling trinkets, beverages, snacks and even renting water shoes ($3 per pair). Some people purchased lunch and ,as I understand, it was good. After a brief period ( approximately 3 beers worth and 1 to go) we were gathered up and started our return to the pier.
I will say that we enjoyed this tour very much and would highly recommend it to everyone visiting Belize. Everything went very well. I also will say that the staff was very friendly and helpful. Kareem was very entertaining and extremely informative (especially since it was only his 2nd day on the job). Thanks again Kareem, we enjoyed very much being in your company and hope very much to see you again !! You were one of the highlights of our trip !!
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