Actun Tunichil Muknal
Actun Tunichil Muknal is one of the most impressive and artefact-rich Maya ceremonial caves ever found, containing rare bloodletting altars used in sacrifices by Maya royalty and over 1400 catalogued artefacts as well as sacrificial human remains. The ATM Cave is home to the famous “Crystal Maiden” the intact skeleton of a young female that, due to a covering of calcium carbonate, sparkles eerily in the lamp light.
Actun Tunichil Muknal is one of Belize’s most impressive adventure experiences. After an hour and fifteen minute drive from Chaa Creek Resort there is a 45 minute hike that includes three stream crossings before you arrive at Actun Camp for lunch.
The ATM Cave is a wet cave – you swim into the mouth and then wade through ankle to chest high water before climbing to a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall, a towering chamber 350 metres in length and 50mteres wide and filled with artefacts and sacrificial remains. After this another climb takes you to the stone sepulchre (after which the cave is named) where the Crystal Maiden lies.
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. Chaa Creek has always taken an active interest in ensuring that Actun Tunichil Muknal remains as unspoiled as possible, and we are proud to be part of an ongoing effort to protect and preserve this invaluable piece of Maya -and Belizean - heritage.
The ATM Cave involves swimming and some climbing with a reasonable level of fitness. Please ask us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
ATM Tour Details:
Departures: 7:30 am
Duration: Full day
Habitat: Sub-tropical broadleaf forest and wet cave river system
Difficulty: Very Challenging
Fitness: Good to Very Good
Dress: Short or long pants and sturdy protective footwear - sleeve lengths optional
What To Bring Along:
Socks*, Hat, extra clothes, water, and insect repellant.
Note: Children under 8 are not allowed to do this tour.
* No cameras allowed in this cave!
Questions about the Belize ATM Cave? Call us at 877-709-8708. We'd love to help you plan your Belize Cave Tours.