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“See it now, before it's famous!”
Review of Actun Chapat

Actun Chapat
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Private Actun Chapat Caving Expereince
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Horseback Riding Tour to Actun Chapat Cave
Ranked #39 of 72 things to do in Cayo
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Owner description: Spend the day in the jungle and caves on this private caving adventure. Visit the caves of Actun Halal & Chapat seeing and visualizing the past when the Mayan's used these cave for their ceremonial rituals. Gaze at huge formations and rooms that were formed ions ago. Incredible/ mystical/ beautiful/ and mysterious. Located on my private property, you will ride in the Rover 6 miles over a track that once was used by chicleros. Not a "tour", more of a trip with new friends. After walking through huge chambers and rooms you will reach the "skylight". Here, with sunlight and fresh air streaming in you can satisfy your hunger with fresh-homemade burritos, and take a well-deserved rest. After exploring and enjoying the environment further, head back to the rover to enjoy an ice cold beer, soft drink or water. I like to share this trip with the people that enjoy doing something different, getting off the beaten tourist trail. It is a special place, one that should be experienced. Please email for details as this trip is NOT for everyone. It requires a sense of adventure, love of nature, a level of endurance and physical coordination.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“See it now, before it's famous!”
Reviewed 3 May 2011

Visiting Actun Chapat Cave is a great adventure. When we went, the theme song from Indiana Jones kept running through my head.
The cave is on land owned by Ken Dart and tours are arranged though his Belizean Sun Tours agency. Ken is passionate about protecting and sharing his cave. You WILL get instructed on how to behave underground, and need to take it to heart. Caves and archeological sites are fragile and irreplaceable- don't mess them up!
We met at his headquarters in the village of San Juan Succotz, about 5 miles from San Ignacio. We had a car and drove ourselves from Bullet Tree Falls, but I assume he could arrange for lodge pick-ups. The trip then proceeds with a wild thirty minute 4 wheel drive Land Rover ride through the jungle. I expected this to be kind of boring, but it was actually a lot of fun trying to hang on! For a gentler ride ask for one of the inside seats. One of our 10 year olds did and took on the job of warning us of upcoming hazards. The ride ends in a peaceful clearing where howler monkeys are sometimes sighted. We heard but unfortunately didn't see any.
The hike to the cave is on a narrow jungle track, mostly level, with a few gentle uphills. You actually go to Actun Halal Cave first, which is more of a shelter cave. It has two entrances, is lit by natural light and contains the remains of several Mayan stone walls. I didn't really hear all the details, as I was busy peeking into all the little crawlways leading off the main passage... Regardless, makes a nice break in the hike.
A few more minutes in the jungle and you approach the entrance of Actun Chapat. The cave itself is still being actively explored, but already has several miles of known passage. The passages are HUGE, 50 plus feet high, and often wider, carved by rivers long ago. The walking can be uneven, but was never particularly difficult. There are no water passages, which is great for rainy times, as Chapat stays accessible.
One of the best aspects of visiting AC is that it's a personalized trip, so we went to as many parts of the cave as possible- and there are many wonderfully decorated areas. Mayan artifacts are everywhere, mostly pot sherds as well as some larger pot rims, etc. Some of the rooms contain skulls and bones, which I found both fascinating and disturbing. Haunting even. I still can't help thinking about the families of the victims...
Anyway, we got suitably tired and made our way back to the truck where we enjoyed a meal of chicken burritos in the howler clearing. Thought about enjoying a Belikin or two, but stuck to water since I'd soon be driving back towards San Ignacio.
Actun Chapat is still off the beaten track, although I don't think it'll stay that way forever. Visiting is definitely more adventurous than going to Caves Branch or ATM, so may not appeal to everyone. But the reward is seeing a wilder cave, without the feeling that your every step is scripted and controlled. It was one of the highlights of our Belize trip and voted 'best cave in Belize' by our 2 ten year olds. And we went to a bunch- ATM, Jaguar Paw/Caves Branch, Blue Creek and Tiger (Toledo district.) Can't wait to go back and visit again!

Visited March 2011
3 Thank mdmss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
San Ignacio, Belize
Level 6 Contributor
276 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Amazing cave: Actun Chapat”
Reviewed 21 April 2011

Yes, very amazing! I've been lucky enough to have gone numerous times to see Actun Chapat and Actun Halal. Actun Chapat is an amazing cave, and has some huge chambers in it. Having been to both Chapat and ATM, I would think that ATM could easily fit in some of the chambers in Chapat.

The adventure starts out in a Land Cruiser going south of Succotz, which is 10 minutes from San Ignacio, for around 7 miles until you come to the end of the road, which is on Belize Sun Tours property. You then do some wild nature hiking, and come upon the minor cave Halal. You get to hear some great history of the cave.

Hiking a little bit more brings you to the main opening of Chapat. The opening is huge, and there are no tight squeezes. You go in around half a klick, and get to see how the water table has really filled up the cave in the past. There are some relics that you'll be shown along the way. Cave formations abound!

You eventually come to the second opening, which is above your head. Apparently the cave collapsed there, allowing sun to come in. I haven't heard yet if they will offer repelling in through that opening in the times I've gone. Near that opening is some amazing offshoots where you'll see huge stalagtites and flowstone. Take a camera!

There is a lake in the cave, and if the time of year is right, you can tube across it for some more exploring. We saw albino crabs and shrimp deep in the cave, and there were plenty of cool bats flying overhead. I can only assume the cave goes many miles back, and that there are more undiscovered openings due to the bats there. Can't wait to explore there again!

I'd recommend this for anyone who loves caves, hiking, and exploring.

Visited September 2010
3 Thank DrFeelAwesome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Totally Awesome experience”
Reviewed 16 April 2011

The day trip I took to Actun Chapat was one of the highlights of my life. Just getting to the cave parking area was an adventure. A ride through the Belizean jungle in the back of a Land Rover. The sites, the sounds, the smells, the bumps in the road. Having to stop to move felled trees made for an exciting beginning to the day. Once there, it was only a short walk to get tot he cave. Once inside: WOW! We wandered through from cavern to cavern, eating lunch under the sink hole. It was well worth the time and money spent and will definately go again the next time I am in Belize.

Visited May 2010
Thank Maryandshawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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