Tich Hulz, also known as Tiger Cave, San Miguel Cave, Jaguar Cave

“This is actually cool.” I said. Bolon lead the way back and forth, over ancient drip formations that created layerd, shaggy pools of stone, and large columns and ribbons of rock.

The ancient Maya used caves for ritual ceremonies. The cave, or “actun” was a place closest to the underworld: a place for the dead and a pathway to darkness. I understood this at Tiger Cave, both intellectually and physically. I thought, “If there realy were a place on earth that you would wander and feel completely scared and lost, this could be it.” Fortunately, I had a guide, a lamp and a sturdy pair of shoes.

Manuel Bolon, our guide to Tiger Cave

Bolon at the entrance to the cave.

“Turn off your light for a moment.” We practiced the requisite “what to do if the lights go out” drill, where your guides asks you the safest course of action. “Sit still!” I blurted out. I could see how stumbling through the cave would lead you down a perilous path. “Its really dark.” I echoed, stating the obvious. It was in fact, the darkest black I had ever seen – a complete lack of light.

I could not see my hand in front of my face. Sitting still is exactly the right course of action in an emergency. In that moment. Fear and peace rushed through me. We turned our lamsp back on.

We climbed out and a sense of relieved accomplishment filled me.

“I have a lot of respect for you. You could really lose your way in there.” I said.

“Yes. We require that you have a guide.” Bolon said calmly with ease and mastery. I was happy to jump into the cool river pool below the path, and feel the sunlight in my face.


Tiger Cave is about 45 minutes from downtown Punta Gorda. Trips can be made though Bruno Kuppinger at Sun Creek Lodge that includes lunch and a great post-hike swim.

For more great pics of the cave check out :

1.) Fellow Road Warrior, Norbert Figeuroa’s post on GLOBOTREKS

2.) Belize Caving Expeditions from the Southern Wales Caving Club