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Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio

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San Ignacio, Belize
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio

From $120.00

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon9 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

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

Ground floor of Elviras Building by Ervas Restaurant

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 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 Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Actun Tunichil Muknal 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 Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Actun Tunichil Muknal 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 Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Actun Tunichil Muknal 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 Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio.

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

5.0
star-5
91 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 91 reviews
star-5
Really interesting
Lana
, Aug 2021
Really interesting tour! Our guide Eric was amazing (very knowledgeable with 25-years of experience)!
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star-5
A must do in Belize
Mayne_C
, Aug 2021
Great experience with experienced guides. I’ve never done anything like that before, would totally recommend it
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star-5
A real adventure!
Emilia_W
, Aug 2021
Truly a not to be missed experience! The caves are almost indescribably fascinating with beautiful rock formations, crystal clear water and fascinating Mayan artifacts. Eric was our tour guide and he did a great job of balancing the serious and somber history of the caves with still keeping the tour fun and engaging. Going through the caves is a bit strenuous, with a lot of climbing and swimming, but he gave safe guidance on how to navigate through. This is really a must do in Belize!
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star-5
Must see
LISA_D
, Jul 2021
Such an amazing experience! Great combination of history with physical activity. The cave contained so many artifacts.
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star-5
Adventure and Culture
Adam_L
, Jul 2021
It is difficult to put into words how cool this tour was, as it it was one of the most unique travel experiences I have ever had. I don't think the tour was as strenuous as some of the other reviews have painted it to be, but it certainly isn't for the faint of heart or people who don't like confined spaces. Our guide, Gliss, was one of the best tour guides I have ever had as well. It was obvious how much Gliss cared about what we does and the cultural importance of the cave. The lunch and rum punch at the end of the tour were delicious and a great touch.
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star-5
Wonderful experience
Annalisa_A
, Jul 2021
Definitely the highlight of our Belize trip! This is a must see for any traveler. Our guide Edward was so knowledgeable and was such a well of information!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Experience of a Lifetime
Breanna_B
, Jun 2021
When trying to describe the magnitude of what this tour entails, it feels indescribable. We started out by getting picked up from our Airbnb. We drove about 40 minutes on the highway from San Ignacio, and then another 45 minutes so so on a very bumpy dirt/gravel road. We arrived, put on our gear and took the hike to the cave. We crossed three rivers, one neck deep, two ankle deep. This whole portion to the cave is a pretty leisure walk other than the river crossings. Once at the cave you jump right in to a pool of water and swim to a rock formation inside the cave. The tour descending into this cave for about an hour and a half to two hours. You are in water depths ranging from no water at all to water so deep you can’t touch the bottom through the whole duration of the tour. It’s incredible! There are parts you aren’t even sure you can fit your body through because the crevices are so small and there are parts so big you can’t even fathom that it is real! Near the end they ask you to remove your shoes to preserve the cave. I highly recommend wearing socks in addition to your water shoes. I thought this was not necessary until we were hiking on rocks for 30 minutes barefoot. There are many ancient Mayan artifacts and the last is the most breathtaking. This is one of the best things I have ever done in my life. If you are in Belize this is an absolute must. Our tour guide was Gliss, he did an amazing job.
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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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