MS Adventures & Archeology

Account Type
Tour Operator
Gold Standard
Yes
Languages
Languages spoken by staff
Creole, English, Spanish
Service Types
Tours | Activities
Tour Operator License
TO 092-095
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About Provider
Belize Gold Standard Certified - Belizing.com

Mario Castellanos
Your Tour Guide
 
Mario is a native of Belize, fluent in English, Spanish and Creole language. He possesses a B Sc. in International Relations from the University of the West Indies (Upper Second Class Hons.). Worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize for 21 years and traveled widely also was teaching at a High School.

After 7 years of working as a tour guide for some of Belize's better known Jungle Lodges, Mario found that he can better serve his clients as an independent tour guide. This allows him to tailor each and every tour to the needs of his customers rather than being pressed into a time schedule designed to get the maximum people with a minimum effort to the most sites.

Mario Castellanos's tours will not only introduce you to all the famous sites of Belize, but you will also get an in-depth insight into the ecological aspects along the way.

From ruins, birding, caves to river tubing, Mario has years of experience in the field and will take the time you need and desire to have the most pleasant and educational experience possible.
 
Recommended By:
Grace P
Nathalie S
Bozena B
Listings Available
Popular Services
$
100
-
$
125
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (11)
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is a cave in Belize, near San Ignacio, Cayo District, notable as a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. There are several ... moreareas with skeletal remains in the main chamber. The best known as "The Crystal Maiden", is the skeleton of an adolescent (an 18-year-old girl), possibly a sacrifice victim, whose bones have been calcified to a sparkling, crystallized appearance. Recent studies, however, claim that the remains are male and not female.

The ceramics at the site are significant partly because they are marked with "kill holes", which indicate that they were used for ceremonial purposes. Many of the Maya artifacts and remains are completely calcified to the cave floor. 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.

Animal life in the cave includes a large population of bats, large freshwater crabs, crayfish, catfish, and other tropical fish. Large invertebrates like Amblypygi and various predatory spiders also inhabit the cave. Agouti and otters may also use the cave. These and many other species are quite common in river caves of this size in Belize.
$
140
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (1)
This full day of adventure begins early to arrive at the famous Mundo Maya site of Tikal in Guatemala. Located in the picturesque jungle of Tikal National Park, the site promises splendid ... moreMaya structures, a museum of intriguing artifacts and regularly seen wildlife such as troops of Spider Monkeys, Upon your request, we can include on our return, the jungle zip line ride.
$
95
-
$
110
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (1)
We depart early to visit one of the most impressive archeologically excavated sites in Belize. See the temple named Canaa, the tallest man-made structure in the country. Caracol was ... morebuilt by the Maya commencing around 300 B.C. and was prosperous until the 800's A.D. It is located on the Vaca Plateau in the Maya Mountains. Right next to the Chiqibul Forest Reserve. On the way back we make a stop at the scenic Rio On Pools to take beautiful pictures or take a swim in the refreshing water.

The Caracol tour is a Combo and includes on the way a visit to the Rio Frio Cave. This cave has a huge entrance and beautiful formations with the Rio Frio passing through it. You get an opportunity to take pictures and explore the cave.
Tours | Activities | Shuttles
The package deal can be arranged, including: Altun Ha, Baboon Sanctuary and Lamanai.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Cultural Immersion
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
Customized tours into this, our third largest national park in Belize, can be arranged to fit your adventure preferences. Hiking, horseback riding, or four-wheel drive entry are available ... morewithin the 16,000-acre high forested jungle park nestled in the beautiful Maya Mountains. Only Minutes from San Ignacio you can enter into the Maya sacred offering caves, swim in waterfall waters of Sakt’aj, Surrounded by the famous wildlife and birds of Belize. We are pleased to offer all-inclusive day trips or overnight camping.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
 (11)
Best Value
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is a cave in Belize, near San Ignacio, Cayo District, notable as a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. There are several ... moreareas with skeletal remains in the main chamber. The best known as "The Crystal Maiden", is the skeleton of an adolescent (an 18-year-old girl), possibly a sacrifice victim, whose bones have been calcified to a sparkling, crystallized appearance. Recent studies, however, claim that the remains are male and not female.

The ceramics at the site are significant partly because they are marked with "kill holes", which indicate that they were used for ceremonial purposes. Many of the Maya artifacts and remains are completely calcified to the cave floor. 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.

Animal life in the cave includes a large population of bats, large freshwater crabs, crayfish, catfish, and other tropical fish. Large invertebrates like Amblypygi and various predatory spiders also inhabit the cave. Agouti and otters may also use the cave. These and many other species are quite common in river caves of this size in Belize.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
Yes
 (1)
This full day of adventure begins early to arrive at the famous Mundo Maya site of Tikal in Guatemala. Located in the picturesque jungle of Tikal National Park, the site promises splendid ... moreMaya structures, a museum of intriguing artifacts and regularly seen wildlife such as troops of Spider Monkeys, Upon your request, we can include on our return, the jungle zip line ride.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Mayan Ruins and Archaeological Sites
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
St. Herman’s Cave was a sacred Maya ceremonial site in the Classic Period. The concrete steps at its entrance cover the original stone steps carved over a thousand years ago. From ... morethe cave, we take a 45-minute nature trail hike to the Blue Hole. This turquoise blue pool is surrounded by lush jungle, a great spot for birding and a refreshing dip.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
Water adventures on the Mopan or Macal Rivers. Enjoy the scenery of beautiful birds, wildlife animals, fish, and orchids under the shady trees the watchful eye of our local iguanas ... moreare looking at you.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
 (1)
Guided by experienced local fishermen, in a canoe or along the banks of the Macal, Mopan, or Belize Rivers, try your luck with a handline or fishing pole. Catfish or tuba are the usual ... morepan-sized catches, with even the game fish Tarpon in season.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Water Sports
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
 (1)
An opportunity to view some of Belize's most beautiful birds. There are close to 600 species of birds, including approximately 20 to 25% migrants. Cayo District is an excellent place ... morefor bird watching with locations such as El Pillar, Mountain Ridge, Spanish Lookout, etc. In addition for avid bird watchers, packages can be customized to include other excellent locations in other parts of the country such as the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Lamanai, Blue Hole National Park, Baboon Sanctuary, Jaguar Reserve, Guanacaste National Park, and Gra Gra Lagoon and other locations. Bird-watching tours can also be combined with other tours for eg Mayan sites and nature walks.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Wildlife and Nature Encounters
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
All-inclusive OVERNIGHT CAMPING adventures can be provided in your choice of several jungle forest areas. Horseback, hiking, or 4-wheel drive transport, it’s up to you.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
 (1)
In the late afternoons and into the night, many of the wonderful forest wildlife of Belize become very active. With a spotlight, flashlight, and motion camera, we can view the along ... moreour trail hike. Jungle forests only a few miles from San Ignacio are still the home of the monkey, Kinkajoo, Tapir, Deer, Koati, Agouti, Jaguarundi, Armadillo, Raccoon, Fox, Possum, Paca, Tyra, and others. This tour can be combined with several other half-day venues or included as overnight jungle camping.
Type of Tour/Activity:
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Gold Certified:
No
Contact Information
17 reviews   0 comments
Overall
(4.6 of 5)
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Great tour
Our tour was great - the guide, driver, and scheduling was easy. Company was responsive and allowed us to change after a cancelled flight.
Review for Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
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ATM tour April 28
What an amazing trip!! Would recommend our guide every time! Gonzo is and archeologist who is studying the site and gave us a different insight than I think we would have received with some of the other tours. The tour was physically challenging at times but he was patient with anyone struggling.
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Good Tour, not well-organized
I booked a tour to the ATM cave for a group of 7 people (2 families) and was told that one additional person will join our tour. A ratio of 1 guide to 8 people is the regular ratio, so this made sense to me. Unfortunately our group of 7 was split among 3 (!) other groups/guides when we got to the cave which was less than ideal and ruined our experience as we wanted to make memories together. Both ... more families got split up and the 3 kids also couldn't be together. We were first told to NOT take any water, then we were told we MUST take a water bottle each, leading to a back and forth between our assigned groups and cars and taking some water bottles that were heavier/larger than the smaller bottles everyone else received from their tour guides. It seemed to be a busy day with lots of guides/groups venturing into the cave and it took forever to reach the end/highlight of the cave as we had to stop many many times to let other groups pass by on their way out. It might be just the way it is, but some of us started to get light-headed without any food/water for such a long time. The trip out of the cave was soooo much quicker without so many unnecessary stops.
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Loved it!
Our tour guide was Lenny and we absolutely loved him. The tour was a once in a lifetime experience and we would highly recommend it.
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Jungle Night Walk
Mario and Diamond we’re kind people, but I’m not sure that Mario is very knowledgeable. The walk was not in a jungle at all, but was instead on someone’s limited farm. They had no laser pointer, which can be handy, or a spotting telescope.
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Sandra
Really good tour, Gonzo took care of us and gave us so much information about the caves and what went on in there . I only gave it a 3 for comfort as you can’t really be comfortable climbing rocks and squeezing through caves filled with water. Everything else was excellent
Review for Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
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Beautiful Experience - a must do!
Had an amazing time doing the ATM tour. Renan was our guide and had a huge wealth of knowledge and experience to share. He took his time with us on the journey in and shared a lot of the history and ritual with a huge amount of respect to the sacredness of the space. So glad we took the time to do this while in Belize! Very trustworthy folks as well —I accidentally left a bag in the vehicle afterward ... more and Mario met up with me to return it later in the day. Thank you for everything!
Review for Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
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ATM - Best Tour!
Once in a lifetime experience for a family with 2 teens. Orlando was a great tour guide and provided a rich narrative of the area, local traditions and history. Orlando picked us up at the hotel and drove to the entrance. The cave tour is only allowed with a guide. The tour is no joke. Be prepared and follow the required list of what to wear to maximize your experience. For the hike/cave tour wear ... more what you can get wet and hike in. Bring a towel and change of clothes for the end and we kept the change of clothes/towel/phones in the locked truck. We hiked to the cave entrance for 30-40 minutes with 3 crossings of the same river with ropes. The first river is 1 river is about 4 feet deep. You swim about 20-30 feet to the cave entrance and climb through the cave in water of varying heights and climb up rocks, narrow passages and tight fits. Beautiful cave interiors. The walk is brisk into about 1/2 mile into the cave. The final destination is where you must wear socks to see the Mayan artifacts and skeletons and sacrificial area. No phones are allowed so you are very in the moment. Don’t pack anything with you- it’s not needed and you need your hands and nothing on your back to squeeze through. Then hike back 30 minutes in reverse ending with the final river crossing. Bathrooms/changing rooms at the end. Amazing experience. Followed with a delicious Belizean lunch served by your guide and reflecting on what you just accomplished with your group. Best tour we’ve ever done.
Review for Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
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Very Memorable ATM Cave Tour
This was a unique experience. We had to hike to the entrance of the cave for 30-40 min, on the way wading through a river three times (water up to 5 ft. deep). We had to swim about 30 ft. into the cave and then waded in the river at varying depths and climbed over rocks for about a quarter mile. Water shoes with toe protection are highly recommended as the ground is uneven and has many stones! For ... more the last few hundred yards where there are the Mayan relics we had to take off our shoes and were only allowed to wear socks. Unless you are used to walking barefoot on rough sand or gravel, you should wear socks! Our guide Orlando was not only very knowledgeable about Mayan culture and the relics found in the cave, but also guided us in a way that we always felt safe. Overall it was a great experience!
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Great tour! Must do!
Mario stayed on top of the communication all the time. Our driver David was great and super friendly and our tour guy Manuel was funny and super nice. Amazingn experience; I'll recommend them 100%. No cameras allow so no pics. You'll have to do the tour yourself.
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Gorgeous experience and Amazing guides!
Mario and his brother was great throughout the excursion. Communication was clear and quick, and the experience was awesome. A must in San Ignacio
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Amazing experience
Our guide, Orlando, was fantastic!
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Fantastic Birdwatching
Mario took me out birdwatching during a recent trip to San Ignacio and had a great time. Saw many different species of birds including parrots and multiple types of Orioles. Mario is highly knowledgeable about the different birds and the areas they inhabit. Highly recommended.
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Awesome Day
What a fantastic day spent on the river fishing with Tony (guide). Tony knows the Macao river like the back of his hand which made the fishing excellent. Along with catching white peacock bass and tuba Tony’s knowledge of the birds and wildlife is top notch! I highly recommend enjoying this trip if you are in San Ignacio!
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David 👍
David made our last day in Belize the most unbelizeable yet. Lots of stories and histories shared while enjoying so much of Belize
Review for Caracol, Rio Frio Cave & Waterfall Adventure
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Far exceeded our expectations!
We'd been given a recommendation for cave tubing from a friend. The idea sounded cool and laid back, but it turned into something much better. The caves are wonderful, and they are explorable too! At points we'd leave our tubes behind and go spelunking. Exploring the caves felt very remote, unlike the ATM caves which at points are filled with other tour groups. You'll basically be free to look at ... more scattered Mayan Artifacts in a setting with no guardrails, display cases, handholding, or other tourists. Specifically in regards to our tour guide Mario with K'IN 'WINIK Jungle Tours (aka M&S Archeology Tours of Belize) we couldn't be happier. He's a great guide that makes it known from the get go that he likes answering questions and teaching people. We all felt very safe with him, and found him extremely trustworthy. He also gave us a ride to the airport after our expedition for a small amount extra. We'd recommend using him and his company for any/all of your planned activities.
Review for Jaguar Paw Cave Tubing
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Day tour to Tikal
The tour was fantastic. Sergio (tour guide) and Moses (driver) picked us up right on time at our hotel. We had to change vehicles at the Guatemala border, but both of them stayed with us after we crossed and continued on to the park. Once inside the park, Moses stopped when we came upon some spider monkeys so we could get out and take pictures. Sergio was very informative and was able to answer all ... more of our questions about the site, and has a great sense of humor. The restaurant where we ate lunch on the return trip was wonderful as well. All in all, an excellent day.
Review for Tikal Mundo Maya Site/Guatemala Shopping
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