Belize Tours & Adventures with Trained Jungle Guides

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Pacz Tours

Crafting Exceptional Adventures Since 1996

Belize Cave Tour
Experience An Extraordinary Cave Tour with Amazing Guide

Belize ATM Cave

Actun Tunichil Muknal (cave of the crystal sepulcher) – commonly known by its shorter name, Belize ATM Cave – is the crown jewel of all of Belize’s archaeological treasures.

The cave was profoundly sacred to them as a spiritual and ceremonial site. Deep inside are the signs of their presence,  perfectly preserved for over a thousand years: carvings, vessels, and the bones of human beings who were sacrificed to Chaac, the rain god.

There is a fellowship of travelers from all over the world who were led by expert guides into the darkness, the rushing water, and the quiet eternal repose of the Crystal Maiden. Come take a journey you’ll never forget with Pacz Tours.

Facts About Actun Tunichil Muknal

  1. The Meaning: Actun means cave in the Maya language. Actun Tunichil Muknal means “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher” or Cave of the Stone Altar.
  2. When was Actun Tunichil Muknal discovered? Local archaeologists discovered the cave in 1989.
  3. Cave explorers from Pacz Tours were the first to carry out a guided tour of this cave, in 1998 when it was officially open to the public.
  4. The Cave once featured on National Geographic’sAncient Maya Sacrificial Cave Revealed in Rare Footage” and Travel & Leisure’sWorld Creepiest Attraction
  5. From end to end the cave system is 3.1 miles long, with an underground river flowing eastward. All ATM tours stop at the Main Chamber shown on the map below.
  6. The Main Chamber contains over 12 skeletal remains, some believed to be children.
actun turnichil muknal cavemap
Map of the ATM Cave

Table of Contents

Actun Tunichil Muknal skull

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Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Description

Is this cave worth it?

Belize ATM Cave Tour to the Mayan underworld ranked #1 of all the things to do in Belize.  Located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve of the Cay District, the cave is about a 1.5-hour drive from San Ignacio. It is one of the many archaeological sites and Nature tours found throughout the country. It is not to be missed, even if you have claustrophobia.

On a caving expedition, National Geographic once documented and listed the ATM Cave as a sacred cave. Pacz Tours guide, Oscar, and a few others are specially licensed guides for the ATM Cave Tour.

Our team has worked with International and Belizean Archaeologists, Who have investigated caves since it was rediscovered. Our team has been leading a guided tour of the cave since it was open to the public in 1996.

Please note that when visiting the ATM Cave, there are no cameras allowed. For this epic Belize Adventure, you can request for us to send you photos.

The Cave Experience

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure as you embark on a day trip to the enigmatic Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave in Belize. Regarded as one of the most captivating tourist destinations in the country, this experience delves into the heart of darkness, where you’ll explore a world shrouded in mystery.

As you journey into the depths of the cave, you’ll be surrounded by the pitch-black embrace of the cave’s chambers, your way illuminated only by the flicker of your headlamp. Here, nature reveals its incredible artistry in the form of breathtaking stalagmites and stalactites, turning the cave system into a natural museum.

Yet, what truly sets this cave apart is its deep-rooted connection to the ancient Maya civilization, where it was used for human sacrifice and sacred rituals. The echoes of this fascinating history resonate throughout the cave, where you can still witness the haunting evidence of this past, including skeletal remains and precious Mayan artifacts.

The tour’s highlight, without a doubt, is the extraordinarily famous crystal maiden, a calcified skeleton preserved within the main chamber of the cave. This mesmerizing sight is a testament to the cave’s rich history and its role in the Mayan culture.

Here's what you need to know!

This cave will be one of the coolest things you’ve done in Central America. Claustrophobic? The cave may be out of your comfort zone and if you’re feeling nervous don’t let that stop you!

The ATM tour duration varies among tour operators. Pacz’s ATM Tour begins when you leave San Ignacio between 8 AM and 8:30 AM and return at 4 PM. You will spend about 3.5 hours exploring inside the cave. The tour is offered daily and is not doable if the cave is flooded.

PACZ Tours has a long history of exploring Actun Tunichil Muknal.

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Booking Cancellation Policy

  • Secure Online Payment Link
  • Tour is confirmed when a payment is received.
  • Cancellation must be made 48hrs in advanced to received a refund, less 4.5%.
  • Booking made less than 24hours, must be paid in full. Please read our cancellation policy for more information.

ATM Cave Tour Guide

Have A Bona Fide Guided Cave Experience

The guide is what makes or breaks this experience. Oscar Carbajal, our main and one the best Guides specializes in the ATM Tour. He does an amazing job helping and explaining while guiding you through the cave. Oscar has been guiding for more than 24 years

You will find the reviews of him on Facebook, Trip Advisor, and Google Maps helpful for his amazing guiding service and expertise.

How much water?

You will be doing 3 river crossings before you even get to the cave. Including one crossing that is in chest-high water, for someone who is 5 foot 6 inches. The water is flowing out of the cave at the entrance. You step into the river and swim (dog paddling) because of your shoes and life jackets, for about 30 feet.  That is if you are not a strong swimmer! After that, you’re in the ankle or waist-deep water.

How much climbing?

You will hike (it’s walking) to the cave entrance. Then once inside you are climbing over and through rocks inside. This is why the sturdy shoes are critical! Our guide will tell you exactly where to put your hands and feet. There are a few tight spaces that aren’t favorable to tall people! But guys over 6 feet has done the Belize ATM Cave Tour.

What to bring?

ATM Caves Pictures

Location and Getting There

Actun Tunichil Muknal is located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve in the Cayo District.

Accessible by Road with its entrance along with the Gorge Price high at Teakettle Village. It is about a 30-minute drive from San Ignacio Town.

Pacz Tour provides pick-up to places in and around San Ignacio for persons looking to visit the ATM Cave.

This is the meeting point for many in rental cars, to meet up with our guide and drive to the site’s parking lot.

Doing the ATM Cave tour from another destination

From Placencia or Hopkins – You can range to meet at Teakettle Village at the ATM Sign. We can also arrange transportation to and from the ATM Cave from these locations.
From Belize City – If you are staying in San Pedro or Caye Caulker. You will need to take the Earliest water taxi to Belize City. We can have transportation waiting to take you to meet our Guide at the ATM Cave Sign in Teakettle Village around 8:45 AM.

Prices vary by group size, and we offer various hiking tours and outdoor activities to cater to diverse preferences. Don’t miss this remarkable experience and the chance to unravel the mysteries of the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave.
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