"Into the Wild: Belize Adventure Awaits"

The magnificent ATM Cave ( Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave) is located on 455 acres in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve in the Cayo District. It was recently named the #1 cave destination in the world by National Geographic and is one of the “ Top Things to do” when visiting San Ignacio in Western Belize. The entire tour consists of river crossing, trailblazing, a bit of swimming, cave spelunking, and, most of all, learning about the ancient Mayans and their way of life. Be ready for a full day of fun, adventure, and history as you explore “Xibalba,” the Mayan underworld. 

 

The ATM Cave, “ The Cave of the Stone Sepulcher ”, was occupied by the Mayas from AD300, and by AD700, they traveled deeper into the cave to perform ceremonial sacrifices to their gods. In 1996 the cave was officially opened to the public and has since been one of the most popular tours in Belize. Apart from its century-old cave formations and cathedral-like ceilings, the ATM consists of amazing artifacts such as ceramics, stoneware, and skeletal remains. 

One popular skeletal remains of a 13-year-old boy known as the “Crystal Maiden” lays fully intact in the depths of the cave, which appears to be calcified by centuries of weathering and natural processes. Fourteen other skeletal remains are found in the main chamber. Some of them are children under five years old. These children were said to be the perfect sacrifices to the gods since they were young and pure.

Belize ATM Cave Tour

The tour begins early in the morning and finishes a bit after midday. Once at the parking lot, your guide will give you a life jacket and a helmet with headlights for exploring the cave. You are not allowed to take any cameras or phones in the cave due to past incidents where a visitor dropped a camera and cracked a skull. Another visitor accidentally stepped on another skull.

The 45 minutes trail to the cave entrance begins with a cool swim across a river, hiking under the jungle canopy, and wading across beautiful streams. In the Cave, you can walk, climb and crawl to explore each chamber and unique artifacts. 

Upon arriving at the upper dry chamber ( where you will see the crystal Maiden), all visitors should remove their shoes and wear socks to decrease foot traffic impact. About 3 hours are spent inside the cave, conducted by our licensed and well-experienced tour guide; then it’s back to the parking lot, where they will have a hearty lunch prepared for all our guests. 

Are you ready for a once-in-a-lifetime cave adventure? Claustrophobic? We would love to answer your questions about the ATM Cave. Join our daily tours and experience Belize at a whole new level. 



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