Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize
Actun Tunichil Muknal Travel Guide
Belize has a cave system throughout its territory. Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is also known as ATM Cave, located in the heart of the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. It was not until the end of the Classic period (700-900AD) that the Maya entered the depths of the cave to conduct their ceremonies. Actun Tunichil Muknal means "Cave of the Stone Grave" and has received this name after the remains of a young Maya were found in a sacrifice chamber within the cave.
This cave is practically newly discovered and is one of Belize's natural and Mayan treasures and a highly valued tourist site for its importance and mysticism. The formation of caves consists of a series of holes, ending with a 300 by 50-meter Cathedral, where sacrifice ceremonies were held. Here you will see the place where sacrifices were made before the gods of the underworld. Visitors to this cave full of adventures have the opportunity to travel into the Mayan past and witness a living museum where human sacrifices and artifacts can be seen in their original context. The cave also contains two stelae where leaders cut themselves with obsidian blades to offer their blood to the gods.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave also contains many broken potteries. Together with the culture, history and formations, it creates an unparalleled natural museum. More than 2000 years of history are locked up in these impressive caves. The most famous remains are known as "The Cristal Maiden". The Mayans believed that caves were the entrance to the underworld; these caves meant power and fear to them. They made deposits of offerings in the caves to avoid drought or call for rain.
Excursion to Actun Tunichil Muknal
> Route from San Ignacio
The Actun Tunichil Muknal caves are located 45 minutes by bus or car from San Ignacio in Cayo District. This is one of the most impressive caves in the Mayan world.
We will take you on an unforgettable tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal. If you are adventurous, we will go deep into the cave, the deeper we get, the more recent the Mayan activities that took place in the cave. The Mayans did many activities in the cave, they believed that the caves brought them closer to the gods. Our experienced guides will take you through this network of caves that are Actun Tunichil Muknal, this adventure is for people eager to experience adrenaline, you have to be willing to take a special hike and journey into the Mayan underworld.
Location and Map
ATM caves are located 45 minutes by bus or car from San Ignacio, Cayo District.