Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio
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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio
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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio

1 day
With local
Instant confirmation
About this activity
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Actun Tunichil Muknal, Tea Kettle Village Belize

Considered one of the best caves of Central America, Actun Tunichil Muknal has been feature by National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in San Ignacio for the drive to ATM — a place where only Mayan priests and shamans could venture 1,000 years ago. Travel for 45 minutes along the Western Highway of Belize to Teakettle Village. It’s another 30-minute drive on a bumpy road south of the village to the Tapir Nature Reserve—a subtropical rainforest that receives at least 8 feet (2.4 meters) of rain per year.

Here, your experienced guide leads your group on an easy 45-minute hike to the cave. Walk along the bank of the Roaring River, which you’ll cross three times before arriving at the cave entrance, where a lovely pool awaits — especially refreshing on a sunny day. Depending on the time of arrival, you’ll eat lunch before or after your caving adventure.

To prepare your group to enter the cave, your guide provides a historical overview and safety briefing. After you’ve been outfitted with equipment and taught a variety of spelunking techniques, the real fun begins! The water passage allows you to splash and play as you wade through the water, which may come up to your ankles, knees, waist and even neck — sometimes requiring you to swim.

About five minutes into the cave, you’ll find your biggest challenge at the ‘breakdown’ — where slabs of rock form the passageway. Your guide will show your group how to go from one rock to the other and slide in between a couple of boulders. At one point, you’ll climb up to a ledge to enter one of the most attractive parts of the cave, where archeologists have recorded more than 1,000 pieces of pottery and 14 human sacrifices.

To explore this chamber, you’ll be required to remove your shoes (socks or bare feet are an option) in order to protect the natural surroundings, including impressive formations like rock columns, stalactites, stalagmites, citrines and flowstones. While exploring this living museum, your guide will share fascinating details about ancient Mayan rituals and ceremonies that once took place deep under the earth. You’ll learn how the Mayan priests took human offerings into the caves, displayed pots in symbolic ways and communicated with their gods.

Stop At: Hun Chi'ik Tours, Burns Avenue, San Ignacio Belize

After your spelunking adventure, your guide will transport you back to your hotel in San Ignacio.

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  • Bottled water
  • Lunch
  • Local guide
  • Use of all necessary equipment
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off within San Ignacio Town
  • Entry/Admission - Actun Tunichil Muknal
Not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off outside of San Ignacio Town
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum height requirement is 40 inches
  • It is recommended that you wear closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing that can get wet, a change of clothes and bug spray.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Hotel pick up and drop off is for hotels within San Ignacio town limits. For hotels outside of San Ignacio, a surcharge applies.
  • Pair of socks is required as portions of the cave shoes are removed.
  • No cameras allowed
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
5 | 2019-09-17

Thank you to Abraham, Fernando, and crew for this amazing day in ATM Cave. This is a must do excursion when visiting Belize!

Mandy H
5 | 2019-08-26

I have never been caving before and never had much of an interest for it, but this was apparently a most do in Belize so we decided to sign up for it. It was everything that I expected and more, an experience of a life time. And I loved our guide Glize! It is a little bit physically challenging in some parts and you should know how to swim. But if you’re even kinda considering it, click book and you will not regret it.

Christine C
5 | 2019-02-21

What an amazing tour. Jose and Abraham were awesome guides and made the tour even more special with some added bonuses I am not sure other tours do. What an awesome experience walking across three streams to get to the cave and then walking/climbing/swimming inside the cave. You are in the cave for almost two hours but there is lots to see and experience and Abraham stopped along the way to teach us about the formations, creatures living inside, the rituals and offerings and well um, the remains of the sacrifices left for us to see. Everything was well organized, from being picked up to the hotel, lunch and our drop off. I would recommend this tour operator for sure! What a great day!

Diana K
5 | 2018-07-02

This was a life changing experience. Words just can't do it justice! Patrick was our tour guide and he was knowledgeable, experienced and so entertaining. I would give him and the tour six stars if I could!

Brian S
5 | 2018-02-26

The tour was even more adventuresome than advertised and exactly what we wanted! Fording rivers and climbing through caves with a river was amazing.

5 | 2018-01-09

I cannot stop raving about Belize Family Adventure, the tour group that is in charge of the ATM trip. Our driver picked us up and if there were any questions, phone calls and emails were always answered promptly. Before leaving, each person is asked whether or not they have brought essentials like a spare change of clothes as you will get wet, but what a magical experience it is. It isn't as strenuous as I assumed. You can be in moderate health and keep up easily. Knowledgeable tour guides make the cave experience stress-free and effortless.

5 | 2017-12-28

Such an amazing experience! I didn't fully know what to expect, but this trip blew me away. I've traveled a lot and I've never experienced anything like this. Make sure to bring socks, the voucher didn't say that it should!!! They should change that. Luckily I wore them in my shoes anyways, but my friend didn't bring any. There a portion of the cave where they make you take your shoes off and walk barefoot for awhile to preserve the artifacts so just make sure to bring some! Be ready to get wet, you will!!!

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