A visit to Actun Tunichil Muknal, (ATM) Cave (CAVE OF THE STONE SEPULCHER) dubbed by Archaeologist from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC as the top sacred cave to explore in Belize and Central America will surely be a life-changing experience.
Your journey starts with an air-conditioned drive from Belize City to the TAPIR MOUNTAIN NATURE RESERVE ranger outpost in the Cayo District. Here, our LICENSED GUIDE will provide you with a helmet, headlamp, and life jacket if needed. After gearing up, you will hike, wade and swim through the beautiful trails and rivers of the Maya Underworld.
The trail includes 3 river crossings and a 30-minute hike, which will bring you to an hourglass entrance to start The Journey into the Mayan underworld at Actun Tunichil Muknal. From inside, the cave system spans approximately 3 miles with CRYSTALLINE STALACTITES AND STALAGMITES, jarring boulders, and freshwater streams from ankle to waist-deep.
After an hour of spelunking, you’ll arrive at the ceremonial area, and take a barefoot walk through a large football field cavern. The cavern hosts untainted Mayan history and ANCIENT MAYAN ARTIFACTS dating back 1-1000 AD, such as pottery (intact to completely shattered) tools, ceremonial items, and even the skeletal remains of 14 bodies (ranging from finger bones to skulls and other remains of Human Sacrifices).
The tour concludes at the main chamber where the calcified “Crystal Maiden” lies, believed to be the skeleton of a young woman who was sacrificed in a bloodletting ceremony to the gods.
Note: This trail entails a lot of hiking, swimming, and climbing. Wear comfortable lightweight clothing and shoes, or bring a pair of closed-toe water shoes. Sneakers can get heavy during the hike after getting wet. It’s good to have a pair of socks with you for the portion of the tour that is done bare feet as alluded to above.
All personal items must be left in the tour van at the parking (i.e. extra change of clothes, small towels, money, and cameras. Cameras and cell phones are prohibited.
Items you can have:
Note: You don't have to be extremely fit, but you should be able to easily hike, swim and climb. Wear comfortable lightweight clothing and shoes or bring a pair of closed-toe shoes.