Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulcher) is one of the most impressive caves in the Maya world of Belize, named after a sacrificial chamber deep within the ATM Cave. This wet cave is located within the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve in the Cayo district.
- 9 hrs
- Available Days:
- Every day
- 7:30 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
Swimming and climbing are necessary to enter the ATM Cave. This is a predominantly wet cave with water levels ranging from ankle to chest height. The ATM Cave river system leads you through a labyrinth of dry chambers culminating at the cathedral-like main chamber, which is 1,148 feet (350 m) in length and 164 feet (50 m) in width.
In this area, you will spend about an hour to an hour and a half admiring with great care the many skeletal remains and artifacts; both pottery and stone tools. Toward the back of this chamber, you will climb a ladder to get to the chamber of the Stone Sepulcher where you will see the skeletal remains of the famed crystal maiden.
Actun Tunichil Muknal is a cave that the Mayans used for ceremonial purposes, dating back to around 900 AD. According to Maya lore, Actun Tunichil Muknal (known locally as “ATM”) connects the world of the living to Xibalba, the Maya underworld. This cave served as the site of human sacrifice – archeologists have uncovered the remains of 6 children and several adults inside the cave. Historians speculate that the Maya intended these sacrifices to appease the gods of the underworld.
Read more:Actun Tunichil Muknal
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Very cool experience!!
Excellent tour, excellent guide. Great experience. I could see how it would be a physical challenge if you are in less than moderate shape but if you can conquer any fear of heights/claustrophobia it is well worth the effort.
Best tour we've ever taken. We can't stop talking about it.
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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.