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Over the millennia, as dozens of swift-flowing rivers bored through the soft limestone, the Maya Mountains became pitted with miles of caves. The Maya used them as burial sites, and, according to one theory, as subterranean waterways that linked the Cayo with communities as far north as the Yucatán. Previously, the caves fell into a 1,000-year slumber, disturbed only by the nightly flutter of bats. In recent years the caves have been rediscovered by spelunkers. Caves Branch Adventure Co. & Jungle Camp. First on the scene was Ian Anderson, owner of Caves Branch Adventure Co. & Jungle Camp. He and his friendly staff of trained guides run exhilarating adventure-theme caving, tubing, and hiking trips from a tiki-torchlighted jungle camp just south of Belmopan. 12 mi km] south of Belmopan, Mile 42 1/2, Hummingbird Hwy., Belmopan. 866/357-2698. 673/3454. www.cavesbranch.com.
PACZ Tours. PACZ specializes in tours to the spooky, wonderful Actun Tunichil Muknal near Belmopan. 30 Burns Ave., San Ignacio, San Ignacio. 824/0536. www.pacztours.net.
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