Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave Tour

Listing Type
Tour/Activity
Type of Tour/Activity
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Main Activity
Cave Exploration
Gold Standard
Yes
Departs From
Start Point
San Ignacio Town
Intensity Level
Moderate
$
120
/ Person
Trusted Provider
Gilroy A
Avg. Response:
1 hour
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About Listing
Features:
ATM Cave
Ancient Artifacts
Archaeological Reserve
Cave System
Nature Trails
Subterranean River
Belize Gold Standard Certified - Belizing.com

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 to our vehicles and sit to enjoy a local lunch before heading back to San Ignacio.
 
Suitable for:
Kids
Teens
Adults
Families
Groups
Couples
Recommended Age Range:
11 - 20
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
What is Included?
Things the supplier includes without any extra cost.
  • Entrance fee
  • Water, snacks, & lunch
  • Equipment
  • Transportation from San Ignacio
What to bring?
Recommended items to bring on the trip.
  • Towel & change of clothes for after the tour
  • Well-threaded sneakers & pair of socks
Rates
The base rates charged by the provider. This includes all taxes and applicable fees.
Minimum:
2 people
Minimum number of people.
Price
Unless otherwise indicated, prices are in US dollars.
Per
Price
Unless otherwise indicated, prices are in US dollars.
Person
$
120
Add-ons
The total cost of the options you choose will be added to the total cost of the tour.
Per
Name
Price
Description
PersonPickup
$
35
Pickup at Gaia River Lodge
Transportation
Is Transportation provided?:
Yes
Transport Info.
Important Transportation/Pickup Information
Air conditioned mini-vans. All tours depart from our office in San Ignacio. We offer local hotel pickup upon request. Out of town pick up is available for an extra charge. Please select the transportation add-on rate when submitting your booking request.
 
Availability
Schedule
Dates
Start Time
Duration
Daily8:00 AMwhole day tour
Provider
 (50)
Premium Provider
Belize Caving Expeditions is a local, Belizean owned Tour operator focused on providing the finest quality experience to our visitors. We are experts in Belize travel and adventure ... moretours; also venturing into neighboring Guatemala to visit the famous Tikal Maya site. Our team of friendly, local Belizean guides have been leading tours into the Belizean rainforest for years and are proficient in archeology, caving expedition, jungle trekking, and canoeing. We offer a wide range of tour activities to popular sites such as Caracol, Barton Creek, Crystal Cave, and our specialty tour - the world-renowned Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave.
Account Type:
Tour Operator
Gold Certified:
Yes
Service Types:
Tours | Activities
Payment & Cancellation
Cancellation Policy
Flexible
  • Cancellations made 15 days before will be fully refunded except for a service fee of 3%.
  • Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 70% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
Terms & Conditions
•A written cancelation is required in order for tour to be cancelled.
•A full refund will be done 30 days prior to the date of the tour
•Written Cancellation received 10 days prior to tour date a 20% will be charge.
•Written Cancellation received 3 days prior to Tour date a 50% will be charge.
•Written cancellation received with 24 hours of the tour date 100% will be charge.
•In case of a no show, up 100% will be charged (no refund)
 
10 reviews   0 comments
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Was the tour accurately described on the website? In other words did it meet your expectations?
(5.0 of 5)
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(5.0 of 5)
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(4.9 of 5)
Comfort
(4.8 of 5)
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Just brilliant!
We took our three young children (8, 6 and 3 years old) who had never been caving before. The walk to the cave was a flat, easy 45 min walk with 3 river crossings which were fun. The cave itself was incredible! A lot of water to swim or wade through to reach the artefacts and some narrow spaces to squeeze through. It was very challenging for the kids putting them well outside their comfort zones. ... more The guide was excellent helping the kids through the trickier parts. But the kids were triumphant and had the best day. Definitely the best day we have had in. Belize and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Belize.
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Amazing tour
We were quite many groups to leave for the cave but as the cave is twisted you don't really get to meet the other groups, except maybe when returning back. It's a beautiful experience, just need to mention ahead that's it's not for claustrophobic people nor people afraid of heights, or afraid of water that can't swim. Be aware that the poor level of fitness of some people (nothing is checked beforehand ... more may slow down the entire group but it's not a competition anyway. It's just a pity one can't take pictures anymore and that even the organisers can't take any for you. You really wish to keep a memory of that experience and grandiose cave. The lunch exiting the cave is quite generous and the team is doing all they can to serve you.
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ATM Cave Tour
The cave was amazing and the whole experience was made even better by our tour guide Patrick Warrior! He was amazing and extremely knowledgable! Lunch was delish! I highly recommend this tour!
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Amazing Experience!
We also were with Rafael who is so knowledgeable having the Archeological background on the cave as well. We loved the challenging experience of working our way in and out of the cave both water and rock scrambling. Some of the most amazing stalactites. The Mayan artifacts and interpretation of what may have been happening at that time was fascinating, this is where Rafael shone! Great Balizian meal ... more at the end. Highly recommend this adventure.
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100% worth every penny
Our ATM tour with Raffael was absolutely incredible. He’s an archaeologist who has extensive knowledge about this cave system, as well as the Mayan rituals and practices associated with it. It was incredibly interesting, and the tour itself was perfect. It was just challenging and physical enough (about 7km in total from start to finish), and a great length (about 4 hours total). The lunch after was ... more a traditional Belizian meal and the shuttles to and from were on time. The whole experience was seamless and SO enjoyable. We were in water for way longer than I expected, but it was totally refreshing and added to the experience. The $30 water shoes I bought for the hike were surprisingly great. Overall, fabulous experience.
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ATM CAVE
Great experience. Patrick was an excellent guide. No nonsense, but great sense of humor. The lunch was great and our driver super courteous. They were kind enough to pick us up at our Airbnb on the outskirts of town.
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ATM Cave Tour
I will never miss this experience ! Everything has already started wonderfully: Ben and his buddy picked me up at the hostel and it was a super fun car ride. We collected all the remaining visitors. I had my tour with Ben. Best Guide ! His humor and incredible knowledge about the cave, as well as plants and animals made this experience unforgettable ! I would always book this tour with you again. ... more Thanks for everything you 2 🌻 Annika * And the food: Unbelievably delicious! Just like the rum punch!
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ATM Cave Tour
To say that my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour would be an understatement and we feel that our guide, Patrick, made it very special with his breadth of knowledge and constant humour, referring to me as “a jolly good fellow”! He definitely has a sixth sense as he realised I was unwell even though I denied it and kept an eye on me throughout the tour. I would recommend this tour to anyone as ... more it really is an adventure with a very real sense of witnessing history when you arrive in the caverns where the human sacrifices were carried out. A must see if you are in Belize.
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Incredible
Our guide was very knowledgeable. Not only on the cave, but with plants and animals in the way in a well! Also, thank you to Edwin for picking us up!!! The food at the end was delicious, and well deserved after that journey. Not suitable for the faint of heart! You are in water most of the time, and scrambling around sharp rocks. The water wasn't too cold for us, and the air in the cave was very comfortable. ... more May be cold for some. Thank you to everyone involved! 💚 Be sure to say hello to the wolf spider waiting for you at the entrance.
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Awesome Adventure!
Fun easy trek through the jungle to the cave. We were honestly underwhelmed by the hike, but then we got to the cave. From the swim at the cave mouth through to the end, everything was Awesome. Even waiting in line for our turn at the next section of the cave was a plus because you get time to look around at the astounding caverns and rock formations. On the way out our guide led us through a few ... more optional, more clastrapobia inducing routes that were really fun and bumped up the x factor. One of the best tours any of our group have ever done. Only tip or word of caution we have is don't bother bringing a bag full of stuff, you won't get to bring it in the cave. They don't even want you to use bug repellant.
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