Actun Tunichil Muknal – ATM Cave
Visit Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM) – dubbed by National Geographic as the top sacred cave to explore in the world – is sure to be a life-changing experience.
A drive through the Cayo District in an air-conditioned vehicle begins your adventure. Our guides will provide you with a helmet, headlamp, and life jacket if necessary. Then, in the beautiful Maya Underworld, you will be able to hike, wade, swim and wade through the trails and rivers.
You will cross three rivers and hike for 30 minutes to reach an hourglass-shaped entrance. The cave system spans 3 miles with stalactites, stalagmites, jarring boulders, and freshwater streams from ankle to waist depth.
We arrive at a ceremonial area and walk barefoot through a cavern the size of a football field after a leisurely hour of spelunking. Mayan artifacts dating back to 1-1000 AD were found in the cavern, including pottery (intact to shattered), tools, ceremonial objects, and even bones from 14 bodies (ranging from finger bones to skulls and other remains).
We end our tour at the main chamber, where the calcified remains of a young woman believed to have been sacrificed during a bloodletting ceremony are exhibited.
Note: This trail entails a lot of hiking, swimming, and climbing. Wear comfortable, lightweight clothing and shoes, or bring a pair of closed-toe water shoes. Sneakers can get heavy during the hike after getting wet. For the duration of the tour where you’ll be barefoot, it’s a good idea to bring a pair of socks along with you.
All personal items should be left in the tour van at the parking lot (i.e., extra clothes, small towels, small amounts of cash, or cameras. Cell phones and cameras are prohibited.
Items you can have:
· A small bottle of water or Gatorade
· Light snack (such as a granola bar) to grub on before entering the cave.