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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio

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San Ignacio, Belize
19

From $120.00

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icon9 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Journey into the heart of the Mayan underworld at the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave. Departing from San Ignacio, this guided, action-packed 9-hour tour kicks off with a 45-minute, physically intense jungle hike through the Tapir Nature Reserve to the entrance of the cave. Swim, climb, and spelunk your way through astonishing caverns into the depths of the cave, where you’ll get an up-close look at artifacts and offerings used in ancient Mayan ceremonies. Round-trip transport and riverside lunch are included. Please note this tour isn't recommended for those with a fear of enclosed spaces or heights.
  • Go spelunking with an expert guide in the cave, featured by National Geographic
  • Swim along water passageways in the cavern and climb up a rock ledge
  • Witness Mayan artifacts and ritual offerings unearthed by archeological excavations
  • Complimentary lunch, bottled water and round-trip hotel transport included
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Bottled water
Lunch
Local guide
Use of all necessary equipment
Hotel pickup and drop-off within San Ignacio Town
Gratuities
Hotel pick-up and drop-off outside of San Ignacio Town

Departure Point

6 Far W St, San Ignacio, Belize

Departure Time

8:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
This full-day adventure begins with a pickup at your San Ignacio hotel. From there, drive 45 minutes to a turnoff at Teakettle Village, then another 30 minutes along a dirt road to reach the Tapir Nature Reserve. 

During a flat, 45-minute hike through the tropical reserve, you'll encounter many native plant species and wade across the Roaring River three different times. At the entrance to the cave, you'll receive a safety briefing, and gear up with hardhats and headlamps. Enjoy a picnic lunch here either before or after exploring the cave, depending on what time your tour arrives.

Your caving adventure will begin with a quick, refreshing swim across a pool of water at the hourglass-shaped cave entrance. Just a few minutes into the darkened depths, you’ll approach “the Breakdown” — the most challenging part of the adventure — where you will wade, swim, and scramble through rocky passages and squeeze through some tight crevices. Your guide will instruct the group how to safely navigate challenging areas. 

While passing through various chambers, stop to admire massive stalactite and stalagmite formations created by thousands of years of water passing through the cave. Light from your headlamp will illuminate shimmering columns and dripping formations that resemble waterfalls and chandeliers. 

To reach the cave’s highlight, climb up a stone platform to an expansive chamber where archaeologists discovered a treasure trove of ceremonial Mayan pottery and the remains of more than a dozen victims of human sacrifice. Most of these artifacts remain exactly where they were discovered, allowing you to get an amazingly up-close view. 

For the grand finale, climb a ladder into the uppermost chamber of the cavern, where you can marvel at the famous Crystal Maiden — a complete human skeleton covered in a crystalline substance caused by natural calcification. 

After spelunking your way back out of the cave, you’ll emerge into the sunlight and the cool water of the Roaring River, then prepare for the return hike and drive back to San Ignacio.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum height requirement is 40 inches
  • It is recommended that you wear closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing that can get wet, a change of clothes and bug spray.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Hotel pick up and drop off is for hotels within San Ignacio town limits. For hotels outside of San Ignacio, a surcharge applies.
  • Pair of socks is required as portions of the cave shoes are removed.
  • No cameras allowed
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Belize Family Adventure

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.

Still Have Questions?


Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "This whole part is shoes forbidden, so definitely bring socks even if you’re wearing water shoes the rest of the time." See review
  • "Bring a change of clothes if you go since you will get wet!" See review

Reviews

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star-5
80 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 80 reviews
star-5
Don’t miss this cave spelunking adventure!
Joseph_T
, May 2021
This is a must do during your trip to the Cayo District of Belize if you are able-bodied. Belize Family Adventure did a great job of handling this tour. Our guide Eduard and driver Edwin could not have been more informative and friendly. Swimming, spelunking, and climbing in the ATM cave was challenging and exciting...at times you feel like Indiana Jones in there! To top it off, the traditional Belizean lunch after the hike back to the van was one of our favorite meals in country. We highly recommend this tour!
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star-5
Great Tour
Daniel_B
, May 2021
I did 2 cave tours with Belize Family Adventure, and both were great. The ATM cave is a must see if near San Ignacio. The tour was informative, and the meal they provided was delicious.
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star-5
ATM Tour
Mac_N
, Apr 2021
The ATM Tour was amazing! This is a must do if you’re visiting Belize. Our guide, Abraham (Mayan descent) was extremely knowledgeable and proud of his heritage. He gave us great insight into the Mayan culture. The tour consists of hiking a short distance, crossing 3 streams and wading(swimming) through the cave to the ceremonial chambers where you will find pottery and skeletons of the deceased. I highly recommend this tour.
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star-5
Amazing!
mrjeremygrant
, Feb 2020
If you are in Belize this is a MUST DO! The whole experience was absolutely incredible. Shuttle arrived to pick us up right on time at our hotel, stopped for snacks on the way to ATM. Our guide, Patrick, was super knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. It's about 30-40 minute trek through the jungle across 3 rivers (2 knee deep and 1 requires light swim) to the cave entrance. Once inside you get to scramble across rocks, swim and climb to get to the artefacts. I'm afraid of heights and the minimal amount of vertical climbing you do isn't bad at all. Highly recommend!
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star-5
Unforgettable-Must do!
adeljalabi
, Jan 2020
One of the coolest experience we have ever done! This is an absolute must do in Belize, it really exceeded our expectations. I've been to many impressive caves around the world, but nothing compares to this! The fact that you get to explore and hike through an almost untouched cave is remarkable. Swimming and climbing rocks inside the cave to get to the area where all the artifacts and human remains are was a surreal experience. I was a little worried it was gonna be difficult ( climbing and heights aren't my thing) but it wasn't bad at all. You definitely need to be somewhat in good shape, as you will be walking, swimming (mostly shallow water) and climbing rocks for 3-4 hours straight, but the climbing part was easier than I expected. Shutout to our guide Abraham who was simply amazing. He was friendly, super knowledgeable and overall a really interesting guy. He did a wonderful job explaining everything to us and most importantly, made us feel safe the entire time. He was attentive to everyone in our group (we were 8) and really made our day a truly unforgettable one. Thanks Abe for everything!
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star-5
Adventure, history, nature!!
Karla M
, Dec 2019
This is a fabulous experience! You get nature with a walking through the jungle and seeing the caves. You get history because you get to see Mayan sacrificial sites and relics. And you get adventure because you go through the cave system in water and climbing! We enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone with an adventurous spirit and who is a bit fit!
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star-5
Completely worth it
Andi S
, Nov 2019
I read a lot of the reviews about this before booking it. People said things like it was an Indiana Jones experience, the caves were incredible, and the guides were fantastic. They were all correct. The experience was unforgettable. The drive is about an hour and a half and the last 45 minutes or so is very bumpy, but our driver Jeremy was really good and kept it as smooth as possible. Once you arrive at the site there are facilities to change into your “wet” clothes, which are definitely needed. The hike starts out by wading through a river which varies in height based on when you go. In late November, it was about 4.5 feet deep. The hike to the mouth of the cave is very easy - pretty much flat, and beautiful. And the cave itself - wow. There’s a deep pool you have to swim across to get in. Life jackets are offered but I wouldn’t recommend if you can swim - they definitely just will get in the way the rest of the time. It’s an easy and short swim. The caving itself... is phenomenal. About half of it involves being in some amount of water as you’re trekking through the underground river. It varies from ankle deep to neck deep in places and in my opinion makes the whole experience even more incredible. Imagining the ancient Mayans make the same journey is really powerful. A note: there are some sharp rocks, and you will have to scramble around a fair bit. You go slow and it’s not incredibly strenuous, but I would prepare for an active day. The tour culminates in the part of the caves where the Mayans performed most of their sacrifices (that still remain, at least). This whole part is shoes forbidden, so definitely bring socks even if you’re wearing water shoes the rest of the time. The Mayan remains are incredible and our guide Glis was great about explaining the significance and meaning of their placement, type, etc. Overall, it’s a long day but every single part is 100% worth the effort. Even if you have only one day in this part of Belize, I would highly recommend doing this. You will not regret it.
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star-5
Worth it!
BSchmidt96
, Nov 2019
This trip was worth every penny! There was one person in my group that was afraid of heights and one person that was claustrophobic but we all got through it okay and very much enjoyed it! Abraham is a great guide, and the lunch was great too! I was extremely satisfied. I would highly recommend it.
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star-5
Another Great ATM Cave Experience
KLLayton
, Sep 2019
Thank you to Abraham, Fernando, and crew for this amazing day in ATM Cave. This is a must do excursion when visiting Belize!
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star-5
As fascinating as all of the reviews indicated!!
martya2016
, Sep 2019
Our guide - Patrick - the "Chocolate Man" - was EXCELLENT! The cave - from the easy hike in, the initial "swim" in, the amazing - by headlamp - cave "experience", history, artifacts - AWESOME! And pretty tasty lunch - with a little rum punch after... a FUN day!
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