ATM or Actun Chapat?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Dec 7, 2012 6:47 AM Last Post By: mamajosh
Dec 5, 2012 1:33 PM
ATM or Actun Chapat?I'm going to be in San Ignacio area Dec 10-13, and had planned to go on a tour of ATM, but now after doing some more exploring online I'm also intrigued by Actun Chapat. Anybody been to both? I think I will probably only have time to do one this trip, and I'm torn as to which would be the better experience. I haven't really been caving before, except to St. Herman's cave years ago but not on a tour, and not really very far in - it was more of a 'quick look.'
What are the major differences between the two? If you could only do one, which would you pick and why? Also, does one have fewer tight squeezes to get through than the other? I'm not too keen on the idea of having to be on my belly wriggling through spots like a snake if I can avoid it!
Thanks in advance!
Dec 5, 2012 11:54 PM
1I visited the ATM cave with a family group in 2009 and Actun Chapat (and Actun Halal) in August. They're both wonderful but very different. The both have nice but modest hiking; with ATM you wade a few rivers. ATM involves swimming and scrambling up boulders that have a creek running down them. When you get to the dry part of the cave there are skulls, pottery, and the complete crystallized skeleton of a young girl. There are some narrow places but nothing tight and a few climbs when it was nice that the guide was showing us where to hold and put our feet. Chapat has a few challenging climbs up and down and maybe 1 tightish place but now it's a tall place, not low. There are a few pottery bits and bones and a skull, but most of the artifacts were removed by archaeologists. The chambers are amazing, though - really gorgeous formations. There's a lake but we didn't make it that far in. My photos don't do it justice because there was so much moisture in the air it looked like it was snowing if I used a flash. Still, my photos of the 2 trips will give you an idea of what they're like - you can't go wrong. Happy trails!
Dec 6, 2012 1:14 AM
Dec 6, 2012 1:53 PM
3Thanks to you both for your answers! I think I'll just have to decide once I get there. Both sound interesting. I may be leaning towards Actun Chapat since from what I've read it seems like it might be a little less traveled?
Anyways, like Stacey said, I guess I really can't go wrong either way...
Dec 6, 2012 2:03 PM
Dec 7, 2012 6:47 AM
5I've only done ATM but it was incredible! I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie...Yes it was busy but it was totally worth it too. For me, the biggest shortcoming is not being able to take pictures (the rational for that is good with the artifacts having already been damaged by falling cameras). I would go again in a heartbeat. Then again, I'd go to Chapat too...this trip may have turned me into a caver...
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