Actun Tunichil Muknal
A journey deep beneath the earth into Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is a rare chance to visit the sacred heart of the ancient Maya underworld. Once used for bloody human sacrifices, ATM cave was left undisturbed for more than 1,000 years. Recently named as the number one Sacred Cave destination in the world by National Geographic, ATM is not only beautiful with its enormous caverns and crystal stalactites but also impressive as a natural museum of the ancient Maya world.
The tour to ATM Cave begins at 7:00 am with departures from Placencia Village, Dangriga, or Hopkins. From there, participants will make their way to the ranger post at the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve by vehicle. Then begins a 45-minute hike through the jungle to reach the cave mouth and the transition from the world of the living to the sacred underworld of the Maya. Participants must swim across a spring-fed pool to enter the cave and then follow their guide through passageways, chambers, and a maze of tunnels to reach the ceremonial chamber where the Crystal Maiden, the bones of a sacrificial victim that have fused with the minerals of the cave, and a collection of ceramics, obsidian blades, and stoneware.
ATM Cave is an important archeological site, so no photography is permitted, and entrance is restricted to groups led by a licensed guide. The complete cave experience takes about three hours and will be followed by a refreshing picnic lunch with soft drinks.
Time: 7:am – 5:30pm
Cost: $195USD per person Departing Placencia, Hopkins & Dangriga
**Contact us for special deals on groups of 3 or more**
Belize ATM Cave Tour Testimonial
“I honestly had no idea what to expect when my wife and I signed up for the ATM Cave Tour. But once we got inside and entered the first big chamber, the sight took my breath away. As we got further and further into the labyrinth, I began to feel the spirits of the ancient Maya right there with us. It wasn’t easy to get all the way to the chamber with the Crystal Maiden, but it was definitely worth it. It’s amazing that such a place has the power to move your soul after so many thousands of years.”
-Donald Knapp, Ellis Township, Michigan