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
What to Bring
Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant ,binoculars, and raingear if needed. Short or long pants and sturdy footwear, sleeve lengths are optional. Camera is prohibited inside the ATM cave. Water shoes are important and do not forget extra clothes to change and do not stay wet.
Transportation, entrance fee, equipment, guide, box lunch
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.
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.
Similar things to do
This 6-hour tour takes you two of Belize’s most interesting inland nature attractions – St. Herman’s Cave and the Inland Blue Hole. In addition to sightseeing, you’ll also get in some hiking through the forest and a swim in one of Belize’s prettiest swimming holes.To reach these spots, you’ll make your way through a lively jungle, where you’ll have the chance to see a huge variety of birds. Keep in mind that this hike is on the more challenging side, so make sure you’re ready for an active day.
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.
Cave tubing and a visit to the Belize Zoo will bring you face-to-face with Belize’s incredible outdoors. First you’ll visit the Belize City Zoo, which is known for its rehabilitation programs for endangered animals. Then you’ll head to the Caves Branch River, where you will ride on an inner tube through the ancient caves of the Maya