Belize country is not only for relaxed touring and idyllic Belize beach vacations; it is also a perfect destination for adventure lovers. Their numerous caves offer a great hiking experience that will reward you with stunning sights and wildlife in the end. Here are Belize's most popular caves.

Hokeb Ha Cave

One of the most impressive natural sites in Toledo is the Hoken Ha Cave in Blue Creek. The cave is a 20-minute hike from the village. Hike a well-marked path along het creek, until a clearing appears. Pass through the research station in the clearing finding the wide trail on the other side. In a few minutes, a 10-foot waterfall and the main cave entrance appears.

Long vines hang from the sheer rock wall above the cave mouth. The huge cave entrance is carved from the summit of a hill where the Blue Creek gurgles up from underground. The creek runs out the entrance of the cave, cascading over limestone boulders. Archeologists have found many Late Classic ceramics and an altar inside the cave, leading them to theorize that the Hokeb Ha Cave was specifically used for ceremonial purposes.

Tiger Cave

A 1 �-hour hike from San Miguel, Tiger Cave received its name from the villages after a dog chased a jaguar cub inside the cave many years ago. The hike to the cave requires a guide. The trail mostly passes through second growth forest. You will pass nearby corn milpas and jungle streams. Ask your guide to spot a jippi jappa plant, which grows wild in the forest. The freshly-picked white heart of the young plant is delicious.

The dark entrance of the cave squeezes through narrow elevated corridors leading to a wide interior camber. Large gaping holes in the ceiling of the cave emit shafts of sunlight into the dark interior. Over time, rain pouring through the gaps in the cave ceiling has formed smooth indentations on the limestone floor of the cave. No streams or creeks run through the entrance chamber. Deeper into the cave, you will have to cross water.

Laguna Cave

Laguna Cave is about an hour hike from Laguna Village. Leaving the village, you must cross a small stream. The first stretch of the trail lies over hilly grounds and through secondary forest. Cacao orchards are present along the way. Guides point out the jippi jappa tree and the jackass bitters. The jippi jappa tree is used for both food and crafts, while jackass bitters is a medicinal plant used to cure belly aches and malaria.

After trekking through tall forest for about half an hour, the gaping limestone entrance of the cave appears. A 12-foot-high ladders leads to the interior. Once inside, the ground slopes downward among stalagmites and stalactites. No streams or rivers flow through the cave. The ceiling of the cave has gaping holes where the forest canopy is visible. A 20-minute hike takes you to the end of the cave where there is another entrance.

There are guides available in the area to help you get through the hikes and treks. Ask your Belize hotel concierge for Belize vacation packages that include exploring these caves.