Actun Tunichil Muknal Tour

Belize offers a magnificent opportunity to explore “Xibalba”, the Mayan underworld. With a series of ancient ceremonial caves, some featuring human remains, pottery and crystal skulls, Belize has increasingly become the go-to destination for cave tours and cave tubing adventures.Our Belize Cave Tours include the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (popularly known as the ATM) and regarded as the #1 “Top 10 Sacred Caves in the World” by National Geographic, Barton Creek cave, and Caves Branch. Some cave tours involve hiking, swimming, wading and crawling, proving to be one of the most adventurous experience in Belize.After an hour drive from San Ignacio and a 45-minute walk along a jungle trail fording three river crossings, guests arrive at the ATM camp to rest and enjoy lunch. The real adventure begins with a swim into the cave?s mouth, still partially concealed by the overhanging jungle plants that kept it hidden for so many years. Actun Tunichil Muknal was perhaps the most important of sacred Belize caves, one in which the ancient Maya conducted elaborate ceremonies to appease their gods, and once inside, visitors wade along a shallow underground river before scaling ladders that lead to sacrificial altars still surrounded by jade axe heads, pottery, blood letting implements and other artifacts.

As you venture deeper, the skulls and skeletons of sacrificial victims compete for space with more artifacts and stalagmites while beautiful, multi hued stalactites adorn cathedral like ceilings.

The highlight of the tour is the famous Crystal Maiden, from which this Belize cave gets one of its nicknames. The intact skeleton of a young sacrificial victim has over the years been coated with a sparkling crystal carbonate, giving her an eerie sparkle that shimmers in the torchlight.

With its combination of natural beauty and the wealth of relics left behind from mysterious Maya ceremonies, a visit to Actun Tunichil Muknal is an experience guaranteed to leave you with unforgettable memories and a rare, in-depth look into the life of Belize?s ancient Maya.

Belize/Guatemala tours has been helping visitors discover Actun Tunichil Muknal since it was first opened to the public, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains preserved in its pristine state for the enjoyment of future guests. The Actun Tunichil Muknal tour requires a reasonable level of fitness, and you will be given headlamps and necessary equipment as well as the help of licenced naturalist guides who will assist you throughout this amazing journey into the fascinating underworld of the ancient Maya.

Tour Details

7:30 am

Full day

Very Challenging

Good to Very Good

Sub-tropical broadleaf forest and wet cave river system

Short or long pants and sturdy protective footwear – sleeve lengths optional

What to bring Along
Socks*, Hat, extra clothes, water, and insect repellant.

Note Children under 10 are not allowed to do this tour.

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