ATM - Actun Tunichil Muknal

Listing Type
Type of Tour/Activity
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Tour Type
Adventure, Cave Expedition
Main Activity
Cave Exploration
Departs From
Start Point
Belize City
Intensity Level
/ Person
Trusted Provider
Vitalino R
Avg. Response:
several hours
About Listing
ATM Cave
  • Skeletal Remains
  • History
  • Hiking, River Crossing, Swimming, Climbing
Belize Gold Standard Certified -

Actun Tunichil Muknal (the Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre), also known locally as ATM, is a cave near San Ignacio, Cayo District, notable as a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. There are several areas with skeletal remains in the main chamber.

Many of the Maya artifacts and remains are completely calcified to the cave floor. The ceramics at the site are significant partly because they are marked with “kill holes”, which indicate that they were used for ceremonial purposes. One artifact, named the “Monkey Pot”, is one of just four of its type found in Central America. The Maya also modified cave formations here, in some instances to create altars for the offerings, in others to create silhouettes of faces and animals or to project a shadow image into the cave. The cave is extensively decorated with cave formations in the upper passages.

Actun Tunichil Muknal cave was first entered by the Mayas in AD 300-600. It was not until the late AD 700-900 that the Mayas went deeper into the cave to perform their ceremonies. The cave was officially opened to the public in 1998.

The cave houses various types of artifacts from ceramics and stoneware to the remains of skeletons. The Mayas consider Actun Tunichil Muknal a highly sacred location, enclosing the famous “Crystal Maiden,” who was thought to be a sacrifice victim. After decades of weathering and natural processes, the surface of the skeleton appears to be covered with a geological sanded finish, which gives the maiden a somewhat magical fairy-dust appearance.
Suitable for:
Recommended Age Range:
11 - 20
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
Over 50
What is Included?
Things the supplier includes without any extra cost.
  • Explore the cave with an expert, professional, trained and licensed guide
  • All necessary equipment
  • Belicious Lunch along with a soda
  • 3-hour walking tour of cave system
  • Park Fee
  • Transportation to and from your hotel
What to bring?
Recommended items to bring on the trip.
  • Hard Grip Water Shoes or Tennis
  • Towel, extra dry clothes
The base rates charged by the provider. This includes all taxes and applicable fees.
2 people
Minimum number of people.
Unless otherwise indicated, prices are in US dollars.
Unless otherwise indicated, prices are in US dollars.
Special Instructions for Rates
No camera is allowed in the Caves
Is Transportation provided?:
Weekly on Saturday
We are so excited to announce to future guests that we are approved as a Gold Standard Tour Operator in the Tourism Industry. Our staff members have been practicing every guideline ... morerequired by the Belize Tourism Board in the new health and safety protocols presented by COVID-19. Would you like to experience The Spirit of the Natural Adventure? That is our goal here at My name is Vitalino Reyes, and I have been a Licensed Tour Guide in Belize since 1998 and have been actually doing tours since 1995. I would like for you to experience Belize as nature made her, as natural as possible. My tour company is Vital Nature and Mayan Tours, Ltd., and we offer tours for almost all attractions on the mainland. We can provide tours to Maya sites including Tikal in Guatemala, The Belize Zoo, “the best little zoo in the world”, Lamanai, caracol Mayan Ruin, River tubing, jungle walks, day and night, and almost anything on the mainland you are interested in. Cave tubing is my specialty and my favorite.
Account Type:
Tour Operator
Gold Certified:
Service Types:
Tours | Activities, Shuttles, Vacation Packages, Rentals/Charters, Private Guides
Know Before You Go
Virtual Audio Experience
Elias Cambranes, expert ATM cave guide from K'atun Ahau Tours, takes us on the first of its kind virtual audio experience of the ATM cave.
Everything you need to know before visiting the most sacred cave in the world. ATM Cave - or Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave - is a possible contender for Belize's most stunning attraction. ... moreLocated close to the town of San Ignacio, the ATM Cave is the most popular cave tour in Belize.
Payment & Cancellation
Cancellation Policy
  • 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.
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