Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

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Family at ATM Cave

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) is one of the most impressive and artifact-rich Maya ceremonial caves in Belize. It contains rare bloodletting altars used for sacrifices and over 1400 catalogued artifacts, including sacrificial human remains.

The ATM Cave, also referred to as the Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre, is home to the famous “Crystal Maiden” the intact skeleton of a young female that, due to a covering of calcium carbonate, sparkles eerily in the lamp light.

Visiting the ATM Cave

The ATM Cave is an extraordinary adventure tour with a rare opportunity to see an ancient Maya ceremonial site with skulls, pots, and altars–virtually untouched for centuries. The tour typically leaves at 8 AM from San Ignacio (your hotel location) and everyone usually gets back by 5 PM. It can be very challenging and usually requires individuals to do a lot of hiking, climbing, and swimming.

ATM is a wet cave – you swim into the mouth and then wade through ankle to chest high water before climbing to a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall, a towering chamber 350 metres in length and 50 metres wide and filled with artefacts and sacrificial remains. After this, another climb takes you to the stone sepulchre where the Crystal Maiden lies.

Things to bring on tour

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Light hiking shoes or other protective footwear
  • Change of clothes (Your clothing will get wet)
  • Hat and sunglasses?

Things to consider

  • Cameras are prohibited inside the cave
  • Children younger than 12 years old are not advised to go on this trip.

Tour price and what’s included

  • Per Person = $110 USD
  • Transportation to and back
  • Special certified Cave guide, park entrance fees and lunch.
  • ATM Park entrance fee
  • Lunch
  • Water and soda
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