Actun Tunichil Muknal (cave of the stone sepulchre) is commonly referred to as ATM Cave. 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 is “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 not allowed in the Cave. This is an extraordinary Belize adventure and a rare opportunity to see ancient Maya ceremonial sites and altars as that have been virtually untouched for centuries.
Lunch is served following the adventure, before heading back to your San Ignacio Guesthouse.
COST: $105 usd/person
DURATION: 7-8 hours
DIFFICULTY: Moderate (involves some easy swimming and life jackets are provided for non-swimmers, who will also be escorted by our highly trained guides)
MINIMUM HEIGHT: 40 in.
INCLUDED IN COST:
• Entrance fees
• Round-trip transportation
• Tour guide
WHAT TO BRING/WEAR:
• Hiking shoes/trainers (will get wet)
• Socks (mandatory for preservation reasons)
• Extra set of dry clothing, extra sandals/flip flops
• Small backpack
• Liter of water
• Bug spray
• Insect Repellent
• Swim wear with shorts
(Please note cameras are not allowed & only the guide will carry a dry bag into the cave).
NOTES: This Adventure is subject to high water levels from time to time throughout the year and may be replaced with another tour.
ATM Cave Tour
More than 30 days before tour = 100% refund
20-30 days before tour = 50% refund
10-20 days before tour = 25% refund
2-10 days before tour = 10% refund
Day before tour and day of tour = no refund.