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“Thumbs up for Cave Tubing Experience, Thumbs Down for Tour Company”

Butts Up Cave Tubing
Ranked #3 of 81 Tours in Belize City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy the ultimate Belize adventure, Cave Tubing and ATVing in the middle of the Belize rainforest. You couldn't ask for anything more in a half-day excursion. We are the only tour operator in Belize that can offer you this unique combination. Tours are specially designed for cruise ship passengers while Free Hotel Pickup and private tours are available for overnight visitors.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed August 28, 2010

We just got back from our cruise and we went on the X-Treme Cave Tubing Tour in Belize through Island Marketing. The Cave Tubing was an excellent experience, the company providing the tour was not. While the guides were awesome and worked their tails off to make our tubing experience great, there were some definite shortcomings with this company. The most glaring and the most important issue was they did not provide any helmets. I didn't even notice this at first but when we got to the river where we were going to put our tubes in, there were two other tour companies also waiting their turn to enter the river. Everyone had helmets on except our tour. 15 minutes later I realized how important helmets are. Deep into the cave when we hit somewhat fast moving water, we came so close to running into the cave wall that we yelled for our son to watch his head, missing the wall by mere inches. The cave lanterns they provided for us were so poor we couldn't see a thing. The other tours had very bright lights on their headgear and were enjoying the sights of the cave. The life preservers we had were very musty and stinky and rudimentary. Other tours had the back and front flotation squares. After the tubing experience we ate our provided lunch and that was actually very good. They also served some fresh local fruit which was also delicious . So in summary, we loved our guides, really, really nice and knowledgeable and fun but I would not reccommend the company they work for. Overall, it was a lot of fun. It was a long walk carrying our tubes, but the rainforest was beautiful and you spend at least 35 to 40 minutes or more tubing in the cave which was cool. It's worth the long bus ride and long walk. It's a good tour for all ages, we are in our 50's and our son and his friends are 20. They all had a great time, although It does require a healthy person with some stamina.

1  Thank martinirocks2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,326 - 2,330 of 2,618 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2010

We are an adventurous couple, and we were very much looking forward to our cave tubing experience. We independently arranged this as an excursion while in port on a cruise in March. CLARIFICATION: most of this post is not specifically geared toward cave-tubing.com (although that IS who we went with, and I do discuss them a bit near the end), it is more about our cave tubing experience in general, which would apply to any tour company.

First--when they talk about driving/hiking through the "rainforest"/"jungle"--it is not at all what you'd expect. To get to the "jungle", you have to drive through Belize was incredibly depressing, considering the poverty there. The drive is not at all beautiful--I might even venture to say that the Belizian countryside is ugly (hard to explain, but not at all something worth looking at).

We were lead to believe that we would drive for about an hour, tube for ~4 hours, and then drive back. We definitely did all of that driving, but we probably only got in about 40 MINUTES of tubing.

To make matters worse, the quality of the tubing was terrible. We didn't realize that going in March meant that you would be "tubing" in literally INCHES of water. I wouldn't so much call it "tubing" as I would "sitting in a tube while some unfortunate Belizian man pulls you over rocks and branches". The guides attempt to make it more fun by promoting their "butts up" slogan, but after a while it is just no longer enjoyable. I got gouged by one of the branches in the very shallow water and had a pretty serious bruise for quite a while, so watch out. To our guide's credit, he did as good of a job as one possibly could while attempting to navigate the low water levels, but it just wasn't worth it. In fact, it made me feel bad--as if I had hired a slave or something :-(

Perhaps if you went when the water level were higher, it would be a better experience. But here's what you SHOULD expect, regardless of the water levels:
-You will be "chained" together with other tubers, meaning that your feet are locked beneath someone else's armpits, and someone else's feet will be locked in yours (and thus in your face). I got over it pretty quickly, but my husband was uncomfortable with the situation (the woman holding his feet kept grabbing them...it was weird).
-It is not a peaceful ride down a river. You are chained together/floating with hundreds of other (drunk) cruise ship passengers. The drunk part wouldn't be a big deal, except for drunk = loud. Loud + caves = REALLY LOUD. Any chance of seeing wildlife is gone, and any chance of relaxing while floating down the river is out the window.
-You cannot really see while in the caves. They do give you lights to wear on your head, but it doesn't create much visibility. So basically, you're "floating" in the dark with a bunch of loud, drunk people.
-Despite what they tell you BRING YOUR SUNSCREEN!!!!!! Our guides INSISTED that almost all of our time would be spent in caves, and thus sunscreen was absolutely unnecessary. Instead, the vast majority of our time was spent exposed to the sun (including the 30+ minutes it took the guides to get our whole group chained up) and we got completely fried. Trust your intuition on this one...it is BELIZE afterall.
-When they call themselves "guides" that basically means that they guide you down the river--they don't teach you much about Belize, the "jungle" or anything else. While "hiking" (walking slowly down a dirt path) they stopped us at times to tell us about a particular kind of tree, but it was only a couple of times, and it wasn't overly informative. They do share some trivia with out about Belize on the bus, though, so that was nice.
-They will allow you to sample cashew wine on the bus. If you listen to anything I tell you, it's DO NOT DRINK THE CASHEW WINE. I don't mean to be rude, but it's beyond awful.
-They will stop at their dining area for you to eat after your tubing is finished. When we registered, they promised free lunch if you booked between X and Y dates. Luckily I printed out the website, because they seemed to think they hadn't mentioned any such promotion. Because I bought the copy of the website text, I got free lunch for our entire bus. It was stewed chicken and rice, and it was pretty delicious--if it weren't free, I would definitely pay for it.
-The crew at Cave-tubing.com is undeniably very friendly. If you do decide that you want to go cave tubing, I recommend them as a company. And if you want to cave tube, be sure to book your excursion independently (not through the cruise boat). We paid $45 per person, and I think they were charging 2x+ that much on the boat for the same tours.

We are an adventurous couple, and we were looking forward to a unique, exciting experience. We definitely should have gone to the Cayes instead and enjoyed the excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. We chose cave tubing because it was a more affordable and seemingly more exotic option, but in retrospect we should've spent the extra money for the guaranteed better excursion.

4  Thank ULTRANERDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2010

My family of four went cabe tubing and we didn't have such a great experience. The bus ride to the caves was terrible. Keith, nicknamed Speedo embarressed me infront of all the other guest. He argued with me over price. Cave tubing sent me an email stating one price and when I get there he tried charging me another. So keep your emails and print them and take them with you. I talked to the owner and he was great and handled the situation perfessional. However that should have been done from the start and it wasn't. The cave tubing experience was differnet. The caves were beautiful. The tour was not long at all. We went four wheeling before we did the cave tubing and I don't recommend that at all. The price was pricey and they don't let you go off by yourself, they run along with you. The tour was muddy and the view was beautiful, but very short. I recommend cave tubing, and if you don't do the four wheeling you get a longer tour of the caves. The tour guides that take you through the caves were nice and they pull you around. Have fun

Thank kimwsunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2010

My family and I just came back from our cruise on the Carnival Legend. The best part of our vacation was Cave Tubing and Zip lining in Belize. Our guide Dennis Hislop www.valuecavetubing.com was amazing. He picked us up right at the dock and took us to the caves. We also got an educated insight tour of the city en route. The caves are spectacular and we felt completely safe with Dennis. He has a great knowledge of all the trees and plants in the rain forest and was great with ALL our children's questions! Since our tour was efficiently run we had enough time at the end to got Zip lining. That was an incredible experience. Well worth the climb up the 121 steps! I would definitely return to Belize and would not hesitate to go on a different tour with Dennis Hislop

3  Thank SpragueFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2010

Given much of the information I received as a first time cruiser, I was nervous about booking a non-Carnival sponsored excursion. However, I was convinced after reading all the great reviews and the fact that the folks at cave-tubing.com will not take your money until the adventure is complete. This was not only reassuring, but true! My wife and I had a great time! We were pleasantly surprised to find our tour guides ready and waiting for us right outside the terminal doors when we arrived in Belize city. Notice guides, plural. There was a guide for every 5-6 people which really was nice once tubing. I had this picture in my head of my wife and I being the only two on the bus on they way to the park, not correct, we were just two on a bus of many from the Carnival Legend. I think there were around twenty or so other cruisers.
On the way to the park, Myles was our guide and gave us information on Belize in general, the areas we were driving through, and the people and culture in the area. They gave us a few shots of Cashew wine to loosen us up, it was quite tasty and is produced locally. He told us "how they do it in Belize!" He and the other guys were a lot of fun, it really seems that they enjoy their jobs and they all made us very comfortable through out the entire day.
Once at the tubing site, those who needed got changed, we left our things on the bus. Money included! No problem! They did not collect any money from us yet, we all found our stuff as we left it. We then walked through the rain forest out to the river. Nicko stepped in to tell us about some of the wildlife and plants in the area, ate some termits, you know normal stuff! We walked through a cave or two, and eventually made it to the river entrance. We got in our tubes and were set up in a group of five or six, not tied together, but ones ankles under ones arms. This kept us together down the river and especially through the few rapid areas, which were pretty calm. Richard was our navigator through the river and guided us away from the cave walls and made sure we kept on the correct path. The cave was very cool, we had headlamps so we could scan the top and sides. Once we exited the cave, we floated down river further then the other groups out on the river at the same time. There was a rock that we were able to jump from into the river where we exited, I felt like a little kid again. That is the closest I will come to cliff diving I suppose!
It does not end there. They then drove us to where their ATV adventure takes place. There they have a open aired hut where they served us a nice lunch of stewed chicken, vegetable rice and coleslaw. All quite good and really necessary at this time of the day. Also, perhaps the best bargain in alcohol on the entire trip was the Belekin Beer that they offered for sale. Got to have a Belekin!
After a quick lunch we got on the bus and headed back to Belize City and the port. The guys then made sure everyone enjoyed the day and only then collected payment and tips. I believe all were glad to give the guys a tip. They got us back in time to get back on board with a little time to spare.
All in all, we really enjoyed the entire day and would recommend it to anyone!

1  Thank aroy550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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