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ATM Adventure-Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

by Belize Caving Expeditions
per traveler Price is $95
Duration: {0} Duration: 9h Free Cancellation Free Cancellation No Booking Fees Print Voucher Print Voucher Offered in: English Offered in: English Picks up from select hotels Picks up from select hotels

Highlights

Rated #1 Sacred Cave by National Geographic

calcified human remains

Considered a living museum

Ceremonial altars, pottery and sacrificial victims

Intact skeleton of a sacrificial victim

Highlights

Rated #1 Sacred Cave by National Geographic

calcified human remains

Considered a living museum

Ceremonial altars, pottery and sacrificial victims

Intact skeleton of a sacrificial victim

Show less

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8:00 AM, ATM Adventure-Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in English, includes Food and Drinks

Duration 9h

Live Commentary in English and Spanish

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Total price is $95, taxes included

No booking or credit card fees

ATM Adventure-Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

Activity Location

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Meeting/Redemption Point
  • Belize Caving Expeditions Office

    Burns Avenue

    San Ignacio


Description

Welcome to the gateway of the Mayan Underworld. Actun Tunichil Muknal (cave of the stone sepulchre) is commonly referred to as ATM Cave. Located near San Ignacio, Cayo District, it is one of the most impressive Maya ceremonial caves containing rare bloodletting altars used in sacrifices by Maya royalty, and where calcified skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware have been found. The best known as “The Crystal Maiden”, the intact skeleton of a teenage girl, whose bones have been calcified over the years to a sparkling crystallized appearance.

The hike to the cave entrance through the lush Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve requires visitors to swim to the mouth of the cave and then wade through ankle to chest high water and once inside the magnificent cave, the exploration begins. The tour requires climbing and swimming as well as crawling through small spaces. The cave is extensively decorated with cave formations in the upper passages, a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall, a towering chamber 350 meters in length and 50 meters wide and filled with artifacts and sacrificial remains. Visitors remove shoes and explore the cave in socks only, to protect the artifacts on the cave floor. After this, another climb takes you to the stone sepulchre (after which the cave is named) where the Crystal Maiden lies. Photography is now disallowed inside the cave unless special permits are obtained.

This is an extraordinary Belize adventure and a rare opportunity to see ancient Maya ceremonial sites and altars as they were and virtually untouched for centuries. A visit to this site is truly profound and unforgettable. After this memorable adventure, we hike back and sit to enjoy a local lunch before heading back to San Ignacio.


Inclusions

  • guided tour of ATM

  • entrance fee

  • snack

  • water

  • lunch

  • equipment

  • transport within San Ignacio Town

  • Rum Punch


Exclusions

  • Pick up outside of San Ignacio town


Know Before You Book

  • Children minimum height of 40 inches

  • some level of physical fitness required

  • must be able to swim

  • 45 minute hike

  • no cameras allowed

  • 8 am departure from San Ignacio, return by 5 pm

  • 2 person minimum


ATM Adventure-Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave ratings based on 3 Verified Reviews

Verified Reviews

5 out of 5

5/5 Jul 6, 2019

Timely, accommodating, knowledgeable. Picked us from the hotel and dropped us back there. Tour guide was very careful about the squad's safety and we also had a great conversation with him. Lunch could be improved a bit especially in terms of salts replenishing drinks, we got a better one on the tour to Tikal. Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is easily one of the top 3 adventures of my life so far. Must do!

Swapnil G

United States