Taking a journey into the Maya underworld at Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) or the “Cave of the Stone Sepulchre” for one of the most enlightening, epic and unique experiences of your life.
Leave the world of the living behind as you venture into the heart of the ATM Cave with your licensed guide. Recently deemed the #1 Sacred Cave destination in the world by National Geographic, the ATM cave is not only beautiful geologically with its crystalline stalactites and stalagmites, but also historically, as is a natural museum of ancient Maya artifacts, as well as a sacred burial place.
This is the final resting place of “Crystal Maiden,” an ancient Maya ceremonial victim, as well as the remains of 13 other sacrificed men, women and children. Your professional guides have led government officials, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, The British High Commission and US Embassy officials into the ATM Cave.
This sacrificial site is accessed by a 45 minute drive from our office in San Ignacio.
Here we enter the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve and park our vehicles at the ranger post. From this point on we are on foot, hiking through the jungle for approximately 45 minutes to the entrance of the cave. To access the cave we swim across a small spring- fed pool and wade into the dark underworld of the cave that allows us access the extensive underground maze of tunnels, passageways and chambers, climaxing in the ceremonial chamber housing stoneware, ceramics, the famed crystallized skeleton of the “Crystal Maiden”.
We spend approximately 3 hours in the cave at the guidance of our experienced guides.
Leave your cameras behind and experience the power of ancient spirits with your mind, body and soul. This is not only a physical adventure but a journey into the spiritual realm.
We enter back into the jungle world and hike to our vehicles where we relax and enjoy a homemade picnic lunch with water and soft drinks before driving back to San Ignacio.
Time-frame: 7:20am to 4:30 pm.
Difficulty level: Moderate (involved some easy swimming and life jackets are provided for non-swimmers, who will also be escorted by our highly trained guide).
What to bring: Hiking sandals or trainers, socks (for preservation reasons), extra set of dry clothing, extra sandals or flip flops, small backpack, liter of water, bug spray, snacks, swim wear with shorts.
Please note: Cameras are not allowed and only the guide will carry a dry bag into the cave.
Actun Tunichil Muknal