Katun Ahau Tours

Account Type
Tour Operator
Gold Standard
Yes
Tagline
Belize Culture Tours
Languages
Languages spoken by staff
English, Spanish
Service Types
Tours | Activities, Shuttles, Private Guides
Tour Operator License
T0 092-085
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About Provider
Belize Gold Standard Certified - Belizing.com

Katun Ahau locally owned and operated Elias Cambranes in San Ignacio, Cayo Belize. With over 25 years of experience in small group tours to archaeological sites in Belize and to Tikal in Guatemala.

Elias is the only tour guide in Belize who is also licensed in Guatemala. While other tour operators will turn you over to a Guatemalan guide at the border when leaving Belize, Elias will be your guide from start to finish. All guides are licensed and certified with a focus on creating a safe and comfortable day trip during your vacation in Belize.
 
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Recommended By:
Kayla W
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Tours | Activities | Shuttles
Enter the exciting world of rivers that disappear into the underworld as you float on inner tubes with only headlights to light your way after a 1 ½ hr drive from San Ignacio. Spectacular ... morecrystal formations of million years in the making. Massive cathedral-sized chambers with walls of river-sculptured rock. Imagine the experience as you float through a subterranean cathedral. Turn off your lights, leaving you with the sensation of drifting in a black void of timelessness and into the sacred realm of the ancient Maya.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
 (1)
Silently glide back in time aboard a canoe equipped with powerful spotlights as you enter a sacred realm of the ancient Maya. Barton Creek Cave is part of a large riverine system and ... moreone of the longest subterranean archaeological sites in Belize. In addition to the natural beauty of its stalagmites, stalactites, and impressive calcite crystal formations the site contains a wide range of cultural remains deposited on the ledges above the river that dates back to 1200 years ago. Enjoy our snacks along with a quick swim, accompanied by waterfalls and the rainforest.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
 (27)
Most Popular
Discovered in 1989, this cave is a full five kilometers deep. Taking a journey into the Mayan underworld at Actun Tunichil Muknal, or the “Cave of the Stone Sepulchre”, will be one ... moreof the most enlightening, and unique experiences of your life. You will venture into the heart of the Cave with a licensed, experienced tour guide. This cave is not only geologically beautiful with its crystalline stalactites and stalagmites but also historically as it is a natural museum of ancient Mayan artifacts and a sacred offering place for the “Crystal Maiden”. Time spent inside the cave is 2 ½ to 3 hrs. Get an in-depth look at Belize’s Mayan culture.

Inside the dry zone where the artifacts and bones are located, all persons need to remove all shoes and walk-in socks to reduce damage. To see the Crystal Maiden you need to ascend a 13 ft ladder to reach the area known as the sepulcher.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
Experience Tikal as the jungle comes alive. Howler monkeys and spider monkeys and toucans all sing as the sun fights an ongoing battle with the clouds. When traveling from Belize, ... morereserve your stay directly with any of the three resorts that are located inside the Tikal National Park. After your tour, you are taken to your resort for your overnight. Our tour starts at 4 a.m. from your Tikal hotel's lobby. We then organize the return shuttle back to San Ignacio or Flores, Peten the following day. Discover the Tikal National Park and appreciate the jungle from the top of a Mayan pyramid.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
Recommended
Located across the Belize/Guatemala border, Yaxha (blue/green–water) has 500 buildings on 3 sq. kilometers. It was inhabited from 800 BC. to 1450 AD. and is located on a slope overlooking ... morea major lake of the same name. From the top of its temples, the view is water or jungle to the horizon, a view so unique since the Maya never built their cities near water. Yaxha is better than Caracol in architecture, setting, and wildlife, plus you don’t need to go on a dirt road for 2 1/2 hrs each way. It is one of the undiscovered sites, with no crowds, less driving, and flat walking. This is an excellent jungle setting for wildlife and culture. Want to experience a beautiful sunset? Depart at 1:00 pm to stay and watch the sunset from the top of the highest temple with a complimentary glass of wine!
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
Cahal Pech is located on a hill overlooking the town of San Ignacio. It contains 34 structures located around several courtyards. The tallest is 77 ft and two ball courts. Investigations ... morebegan in 1988 and revealed that the Cahal Pech was settled by 1200 BC. A carved monument discovered at the Cahal Pech is also the earliest carved stela for the eastern Mayan lowlands. Discoveries and excavations continue on both sites presently.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
Xunantunich was a classic period Maya ceremonial and residential center. This site is located along the western border of Belize with Guatemala on the Mopan River in the village of ... moreSuccotz. The core occupies a hilltop with six plazas that include temples and palaces. The most prominent rises 130 ft above the plaza called “El Castillo”. Vehicles use a hand crank ferry to access the site.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
Located deep in the Chiquibul forest reserve, Caracol is the largest known Mayan site in Belize and one of the biggest in the Maya world. Caracol was a classic period urban center ... morethat spread out over 55 sq miles with an estimated population of 150,000 inhabitants and causeways that radiated up to 5 miles from the center. The temple rises 41 meters above the plaza level with 100 meters of base area and to this day is still the largest man-made structure in the country of Belize. The drive to Caracol will take you through the scenic mountain Pine Ridge forest reserve, home of Rio On Pools & Rio Frio Cave.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
 (7)
Tikal National Park is located in Guatemala, 75 miles west of San Ignacio, or a 2 hrs 30 mins drive. Tikal is the most magnificent of all Mayan archaeological sites. Tikal has its ... morebeginnings around 600 BC and in the late classic period when the architecture excelled in all world capitals, the population was 100,000. The site is dominated by 5 enormous steep limestone temples that rise over 200 ft from the forest floor; only 2 are allowed for climbing. 3000 structures have been identified and 20% have been excavated. The park has an area of 222 sq miles and has had no human settlement for the past 1000 yrs. It is home to 300 species of birds, 5 species of felines, 3 species of primates, deer, anteaters, and snakes making it a true tropical rainforest experience.
Provider:
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
Contact Information
Similar Service Providers
Cayo Adventure Tours is a local Belize Tour Operator and Destination Management Company, guided by Christian principles, and focused on providing excellent service. Our main office ... moreis located on Bella Vista Street, in San Ignacio, Cayo. Our management team is headed by owners Michael and Maria Simmons who were born and raised right here in good old San Ignacio and have been involved in the Belize travel industry for more than twenty years.

As one of Cayo’s leading Tour and Travel Company, our specialty is arranging and providing travelers with the most exciting and enjoyable inland adventure tours Belize has to offer. Our area of expertise is mainly in jungle and river based adventures encompassing all of the ancient Maya civilizations in the region, the exciting caves of Cayo, the national parks/nature reserves of Belize, and our invigorating rivers and waterfalls.

Our team of naturalist guides have been leading tours into the Belizean rainforest for years and are proficient in Mayan archaeology, caving expeditions, jungle trekking, canoeing, and birding. We also partner with the best in the business to provide diving, snorkeling and other adventure water sports in our beautiful turquoise waters along the Great Barrier Reef, the longest barrier reef in the Americas. We like to think of ourselves as more of a family than a company. Our friendly and personable services, our promptness and reliability in the reservations process, our clean and comfortable vehicles, and our proficiency in the field are what make us stand out.
Account Type:
Tour Operator
Gold Certified:
Yes
Service Types:
Tours | Activities, Shuttles, Private Guides
37 reviews   0 comments
Overall
(5.0 of 5)
A truly spiritual experience
I’m torn for no cameras being allowed as it allowed us to fully experience the hike and cave without worrying about the best shot and yet words seem insufficient to describe what we saw. The cave formations were spectacular. Ian, our guide, was excellent and provided the story to go along with what we were seeing. We were an adventurous group so were able to return via the Devil’s Spine leading to ... more The Guillotine. If you can add this to your travel budget it’s worth it!!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Great Experience
Ben Cruz was a great guide. The hike and tour was everything we wanted and more. Ben was extremely knowledgeable and did a great job of gauging the skill level / comfortability level of our group. He even went out of his way to drop us off at our resort after the tour. Would highly recommend this tour as long as you are ok with some spelunking, swimming and tight spaces.
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Awesome experience
Elias was great! He is very knowledgeable and detail oriented. We felt comfortable wading through the water and tight spaces with his lead. Highly recommend!
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Unforgettable!
Our guide Ben Cruz was amazing. He picked us up at the hotel and from that point on it was like he was our own personal guide. The tour itself is like being in a live action version of The Goonies. You definitely need to be pretty active to complete it. You have to swim/wade through waist deep and some neck deep water and climb some pretty steep and treacherous terrain. Not for claustrophobics. It ... more was the highlight of our 11 day trip. The only sad part is we have no photos (not allowed) but only memories!
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Amazing ATM tour!
Once in a lifetime experience! Elias, our tour guide, was incredibly knowledgeable and super kind. The ATM cave is such a unique experience and definitely worth doing if you're in Belize. Elias is a remarkable guide for many reasons. First, he made sure we were there early, before the crowds. For most of the tour we were by ourselves which added to the majesty and wonder of the cave. Second of all, ... more Elias is so knowledgeable about Mayan culture and history. We loved learning about how the ancient religion intersected with the history of the region. Thirdly, Elias made us feel very safe while in the cave. He told us where to place our feet and hands while climbing up the boulders and if there was a hidden rock while swimming through the cave (so we didn't bang our knees!) Finally, Elias showed us such hospitality and kindness. We didn't have a ride back to our hotel (Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge) which is past San Ignacio, up a long & bumpy road. We also wanted to stop at a market for a few items. Elias took us to both the market and back to our lodging, saving us both money and time! We really appreciate his hospitality and expertise. All in all, an amazing adventure and Elias an excellent guide! Highly recommend!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Amazing - This is a must!
For me personally, this was a little nerve-wracking at times, but it was absolutely amazing and I am so glad I did it. I do have a fear of heights, am somewhat claustrophobic, and don't like being in water when I can't see what else is in the water. I am also not in the best shape - bad knees and ankles. All of these challenges were things I faced on this tour. Despite this, I still highly recommend ... more this tour because the experience was incredible. A review I read before our trip said to just do it even if you are scared. How true! My husband and sons also loved this tour. Elias was an awesome guide and was helpful and knowledgeable through it all. Thank you for an awesome time!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Incredible experience!
Our tour guide was Ben. He was incredibly knowledgeable and just generally a great guide. The tour was amazing, plenty of physical exertion, but well worth it. This tour is not to be missed
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Incredible Experience! Here's What You Need to Know
This was absolutely the highlight of our trip and one of the most incredible experiences I've had in travels around the world. I highly recommend, HOWEVER, I wanted to include some need-to-know information because there wasn't really a definitive guide that we could find for preparing. First, you should definitely be able to swim, not be scared of dark/tight places, and in relatively good physical ... more condition. It's exhausting and you do a fair bit of climbing. As for what to pack: For the actual trip you will leave everything except yourself and the clothes on your back in the car. I recommend women wear a one-piece bathing suit and shorts while men wear swim trunks and s hirt. everyone should some sort of water shoe - either a swim shoe or Tevas, Keens, Chacos, or even crocks (though they must fit ok with the strap) and socks. The socks are important because you do have to take your shoes off at one point to climb into the cathedral and walk through it and there are some sharp rocks! Then, bring a change of clothes (they say extra socks but if you have water shoes just take your socks off and let your shoes dry) and a towel. There are showers at the end but they're not super reliable. Most importantly ENJOY!!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Amazing must see experience!
We had a great time with our guide Elias. He was super knowledgeable and passionate about being a guide. The caves were beautiful and the artifacts were awe inspiring. Getting to the sepulchre requires some swimming and moderate climbing. There are also multiple routes so request the more difficult path if your group is up for it. We were very comfortable in moisture wicking shirts, swim shorts and ... more water shoes with socks. Don’t forget your socks or you will end up barefoot on the rocks!
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ATM Cave Tour - Once in a Lifetime Experience
This is such a unique experience that you can really only have here in Belize. Elias is friendly and so knowledgeable. The tour itself is a workout but not incredibly difficult is you take your time, watch each step and listen to instructions. Don't pass up this opportunity to navigate the refreshing cave waters and learn about Mayan history. Elias provided a delicious homemade lunch and refreshments ... more which really hit the spot after a nice little workout.
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Tikal Day Tour - Amazing Experience!
We were so pleased with our day tour from San Ignacio to Tikal. Elias picked us up from our airbnb and got us to the border while providing us with some history along the way. Once getting through to Guatemala, we met our guide Willy and our driver Ronnie who were very friendly and knowledgeable. 100% stress free getting to Tikal and we stopped at a wonderful shop along the way to get some souvenirs, ... more coffee and even local beer. The Mayan ruins were the real treat but it was truly a great experience from start to finish. Had an authentic lunch on our way back and were met by Elias to take us back. Very smooth from start to finish!
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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So grateful for this amazing experience.
Reading about this experience had me so excited, and if I am honest, a little terrified. The idea of trekking/swimming through water in caves in the only pair of sneakers I packed...it sounded uncomfortable if not a little scary. So hear me when I say: just do it. It was incredible - highlight of our whole trip. Our guide could not have been better and we learned so much. Was grateful for our early ... more start time and smaller group. Can't say enough good things. Thank you!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Great experience
Elias was a wonderful, knowledgeable guide. He was flexible on where we met the group since we had our own car, which was really nice. Also it was SO nice to not have too large of a tour group. We were able to take our time and Elias showed us really cool routes. Definitely recommend this tour!
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Life changing
We literally don’t have words to describe how amazing our legendary tour guide Ben and the whole ATM experience was! Relatively physically demanding but Ben does a great job at explaining the safest and most practical way to navigate the caves! Ben is also very knowledgeable and is extremely entertaining. Ben took the time to share his knowledge on things we expressed interests in. Ben is definitely ... more a master of his trade! In the caves I was with someone who wasn’t a strong swimmer but was capable of completing the journey a week after a hurricane passed through.
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You won’t regret it!
If you are in Belize you must take this tour! Ben was our tour guide, he was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and better than the rest. We arrived before anyone else so we had the entire cave to ourselves. As we were climbing back down the rest of the tours were just making their way up. There was a line of 40 people waiting to climb up to the cathedral. This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience
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ATM tour with Ben- BOOK NOW!
There are truly no words to articulate this experience! Ben was an outstanding & knowledgeable guide whose true passion is to educate and share his love for caving with others. ATM Tour experience was more than I could have ever expected. I would be blessed to get to do it again.
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A must if you're in Belize!
This was such a fun adventure. Our tour guide Ben was super knowledgeable about the surrounding area, the geology of the caves, and the history of the artifacts. I highly recommend this to everyone who wants some adventure while you're here.
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Barton Creek Cave
Carlos was a very knowledgeable about the history and anthropological theories concerning Mayan use of this and other caves in the region. We were not rushed, took a swim and did some birdwatching on the groundS. He was also prompt picking us up. Excellent service!
Review for Katun Ajaw - Barton Creek Cave
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Fabulous experience at ATM cave with Elias
My wife and I had the greatest experience exploring the Mayan underworld with Elias of Katun Ahau tours. We were staying in the beautiful town of San Ignacio and Elias picked us up and from the moment we started our journey, Elias taught us more about the Mayan culture in one day then years of geography classes. Then once inside the cave the experience was breathtaking, and even though Elias has been ... more in the cave literally thousands of times he made it feel like we were seeing things for the first time, which we were. When we completed our tour, Elias’ wife’s lunch was delicious and a must when visiting Belize.
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Amazing!
We had the best time exploring the ATM caves with Ben C. Highly recommend!
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Wow! What an incredible experience.
Just got back from a week in Belize and the ATM tour was the highlight. Our guide Ben, was so knowledgeable about the caves and the artifacts and went above and beyond to make sure we were safe and comfortable. He took great care to make sure we went at a pace appropriate for my level of fitness. It’s an incredible experience…something you can’t find anywhere else. Highly recommend.
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Experience of a Lifetime!
My family's visit to ATM was nothing short of spectacular! The site was breathtaking and the history of and within the cave was a reminder of how temporary life is and how much we should treasure every moment. Our tour guide, Elias, was well versed in the Mayas' history and took great care in explaining the symbolisms used in their rituals. I'm really glad we had this experience and I would certainly ... more recommend it to anyone interested in spending a day in nature in the belly of the "underworld"!
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Once in a lifetime experience
Informative, fun adventure. Elias took us through the cave and was a wealth of knowledge about the Mayans, their rituals, scientific theories and geology. He even helped us locate and observe the native bird species en route through the jungle since we told him we were bird enthusiasts. Highly recommend this tour.
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Amazing guide for ATM cave
We did the ATM cave tour and had an amazing time. Elias was knowledgeable, and expertly lead us with care through the cave system. The cave itself is rich in history and a mind blowing experience, and Elias was a wonderful guide to lead us. His wife’s picnic lunch was also fabulous. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
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Incredible experience!
My husband and I had SO much fun doing the ATM cave experience. The tour guide, Ben, was so knowledgeable and made us feel so safe the whole time (but still super adventurous!)
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Incredible ATM tour with Ben
We had a great time on this tour and it was definitely one of the highlights of our two week trip to Belize. Ben picked us up early from San Ignacio and drove expertly through some really sketchy roads to get us to the entrance of the park. He led us through the 45 min easy hike and supported my wife over two river crossings, which I really appreciated. It was an intense experience swimming and climbing ... more through the wet cave, but we felt safe with Ben’s leadership the whole time. He also conveyed a strong love and knowledge for the cave/jungle environment which impressed us. Took one star off for gear due to some confusion about what we should bring with us on the hike, and what we should leave in the car. All in all- fantastic experience- highly recommend the Katun Ahau tour company!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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all perfect
From the transfer to the tour itself a very good organization. We hat a Guatemalan tour guide with a lot of knowledge, very interesting tour and good explanation. Highly recommendation!
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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Incredible Cave Tour
I completed this tour with my 10 year old son. Ben was incredible--so knowledgeable and a clear love of his job. The cave itself is majestic, stunningly beautiful and undoubtedly worth the visit. We would absolutely do it again! Ben knows the cave so well and has a deep understanding and love of the history that it brings. It 10 year old said this was his absolute favorite thing we did in Belize--and ... more we did a lot! It was a magical experience for us to do together--thank you!!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Great Tour
Fantastic tour, Elias was so knowledgeable about the way of life, the struggles of the people and lots of info on their demise. Learned so much from him.
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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Wonderful Experience
Ben was our tour guide but he was so much more than that. His wealth of knowledge on rock formations and everything at ATM was outstanding. He picked us up very early and we were the first and only group there which made the experience even better. I can't swim and he made me feel very comfortable and safe. I am so glad I chose Katun and had Ben to show me ATM.
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Best Tikal Tour Guide
Elias definitely knows everything there is to know about Mayan ruins. We had a couple in our group who were more familiar with mayan ruins so they asked lots of questions before we got to Tikal which was a very good set up for everyone else because it gave us a lot of background info before the official tour started. There was no question Elias did not have the answer to. He was fun, organized and ... more really the best person to show you Tikal. He made the border crossing very seamless and because he has dual citizenship he was able to start and end with us. Lunch was ready with no wait time once we were done with the tour.
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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Outstanding
Our tour guide through katun ahau- Ben - was absolutely amazing. Ben was here on time and seemed excited to share about his country, the area, and of course - the cave and the rituals. Ben was open regarding all questions our crew had, even the critical ones. He was helpful and thanks to him we were almost the first group in the cave. He took his time explaining everything, has a wealth of knowledge ... more about geology as well as vegetation and wildlife. He spotted threats way before anyone else and took care of his group, making sure everyone has a great experience. Ben has experience as a cave rescuer and has come to this cave as a guide for 17 years. He has worked with the researchers here and shared a wealth of their knowledge. The truly most outstanding part about Ben was - he loves this place and it shows. he loves explaining and protecting it, making sure that his guests are careful and educated where others seemed careless (stepping on artifacts, bones, etc). Totally recommend this guy and will specifically ask for him when I book other tours in the area if at all possible.
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Tikal tour
Great guy and a wealth of knowledge. Made the border crossing an everything easy so we could just enjoy the visit
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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Great, safe tour!
When going into Guatemala, the primary concern was safety - For some reason, the US makes Guatemala seem like an unsafe location to visit. Going into the country through San Ignacio was just fine - Elias arranged everything from cars and shuttles, along with admission to Tikal so everything went smoothly. Tikal was an amazing place and we're so glad we went!
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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CAVE tour
This is an awesome tour, a must do. There is a lot of climbing and descending though. Make sure you have the stamina. Our guide Ben Cruz was amazing and very knowledgeable.
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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Great Tour with Elias
Elias was a perfect guide for our day trip tour to Tikal from St. Ignacio. He was very informative and professional. The transportation was clean and quick, and the tour of Tikal was absolutely amazing. Elias provided excellent commentary on our surroundings and was very knowledgeable about the area as a whole. Thanks Elias!
Review for Katun Ahau - Tikal Day Tour
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excellent experience with a knowledgable guide
Elias shared a wealth of knowledge of the Mayan history and religion and tied it in beautifully with our cave experience. At least two other guides passed our group as Elias helped me, and those I talked with after, understand the significance of the ATM cave to the Mayan. Well done Mr. C!
Review for Full Day Caving Experience at A.T.M with Katun Ahau
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