Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave)
Cave of the Stone Selpuchre
The Belize ATM Cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave) is the most impressive cave in Belize and the Maya Lowlands. This Cave was a sacred place to the prehistoric Mayas of Belize who began using the entrance during the early classic period (300-600AD).
The most famous of the human remains is “The Crystal Maiden”, the skeleton of a teenage girl, probably a sacrifice victim whose bones have been completely covered by the natural processed of the cave.
When you enter the ATM Cave you will be required to do some swimming and
climbing. This is a predominantly wet cave with water levels ranging from ankle to chest height. The cave river system leads you through a labyrinth of dry chambers culminating at
the cathedral-like main chamber, which is 350 meters in length, 50 meters 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 of about 15 feet to get to the chamber of the Stone Sepulchre where you will see the skeletal remains of the famed crystallized maiden.
Guides are certified, well trained and experienced in speleological exploration, jungle survival, bush craft, and are well versed about Belize’s flora and fauna. Each is licensed by the Belize Tourist Board.
ATM Cave Itinerary
8:30 a.m. pick up at Lower Dover
9:15 AM Arrive at Teakettle Village – Entrance to Actun Tunichil Muknal:
10:00AM 45 minute hike to the cave (3 creek crossing on the way)
10:30 AM Snack & Restroom break followed by an orientation on the Cave History, Preservation & Safety
11:00 AM Enter Cave – tour lasts 3+ hours hiking in clear water streams and over boulders
2:30 PM Exit cave – lunch & restroom at Archeology Base Camp (Picnic Lunch provided), 45 minutes hike to van
3:15 PM Board your van to Teakettle & depart back to Lower Dover
ETA return time back at Lower Dover, about 4pm
What to Bring Along
You must wear closed toe water sandals or tennis shoes as rocks in the creeks tend to be slippery & toes are stubbed. You must also bring EXTRA SOCKS since a pair will be sacrificed in the cave.
Shorts & T-Shirt, dress light & comfortable – a change of clothes is necessary for the ride home.
Camera: Not allowed inside the cave or on the hiking trails.
Please do not wear any as it pollutes the inside of the cave as it washes off.
Please leave all personal & travel documents, valuables at the lodge.
Belize Government rules that they shall be only 8 person per group.
Please contact us early to arrange the best tour possible.