Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is Mayan for Cave of the Stone Sepulcher. This is a must do tour for visitors to Belize! The cave was created by water erosion of the karst limestone over a period of hundreds of thousands of years. It has been used by the Maya for nearly two thousand years for religious rituals.
ATM Cave is about 7 miles south of the village of Teakettle in the beautiful Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve in the Cayo district. Hike 2 miles through the pristine jungle crossing Roaring Creek three times to reach the cave entrance with your specially licensed guide. Don your helmet and head lamp and get ready to swim and clamber into the ancient Maya ritual world.The first part of the adventure is swimming and wading though the awesome array of stalagmites and stalactites and other limestone feature before reaching the Stella Chamber and the Main Chamber.The Main Chamber is about one kilometer from the cave entrance. To enter these chambers, you need to remove your shoes but wear socks . Your guide will show you and explain the amazing number of valuable artifacts used in Mayan rites. These artifacts include the skeletal Remains of 14 individuals, 150 ceramic pots, stingray spines and obsidian blades used for blood letting, grinding stones, whistles and dried remains of corn and other plant remains. These remain in place just as they were when they were discovered about 25 years ago. At the far end of the Main Chamber you will find the Chrystal Maiden, a young girl who was sacrificed as part of agricultural fertility rites.The tour leaves Placencia at 06:30 am and returns at around 7:00 pm. Wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking in water and bring a change of clothes for the drive back from the park entrance. Bring a camera (preferably water proof), binoculars and insect repellent.Fitness level required: Moderate with ability to swim short distances and agility to be able to clamber up and down and around rocks and obstacles.