Ambergris Caye, Belize Archeology
Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is the doorway to Xibalba, the Maya underworld. This cave contains ceramics and human skeletons that have fused with the walls of the cave. The most famous of these remains is the Crystal Maiden, a skeleton of a young woman believed to have been a sacrifice. Her bones are now partially covered with the sparkling build-up of cave sediment.
This tour will bring you to the top of a Maya temple, and then to the entrance of the Maya underworld. The temple is inside the Maya city of Xunantunich, which is located near the border of Guatemala. Its name translates to “Maiden of the Rock.” After you ascend the walls of its temple, you’ll continue the tour to the Cave Branch River, where you’ll follow the river into a series of caves that had intense spiritual significance for the Maya.
On this tour, you’ll get to see two very different Maya sites. The first, Xuanantinuch, is the ruins of a compact but impressive Maya city. Here visitors can stroll around multiple plazas and temples. At the nearby Barton Creek Cave, you’ll see a cave that served as an entrance to Xibalba, the Maya underworld.
In the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave you get to explore both a natural wonder and an archaeological goldmine. ATM is a wet cave that the Maya believed served as an entrance to the underworld. They used it for ceremonial purposes, and left plenty of evidence behind.
Belize is a country of Maya history, diverse flora and fauna, and gorgeous rivers and streams. In the rainforest of the Orange Walk District, this tour combines these elements into one day’s adventure. The tour offers hotel pick up from Belize City, and even the two hour drive to the river is scenic and informative, with guides narrating the route.
This tour takes you from Ambergris Caye to the mainland, where you’ll set sail down the legendary Lamanai River toward a Maya ruin. Lamanai has sat, shrouded in jungle, for many centuries, and didn't get any attention from archeologists until the 1970s. But this tour truly isn’t about the destination – travelers should take this trip especially for the journey through the gorgeous surroundings of the Belizean jungle alone.