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Belize ATM Cave

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is the door to the ancient Maya's underworld

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Actun Tunichil Muknal, also known as the ATM Cave or the Cave of the Stone Sepulchre, is one of the most prominent anthropological sites in Central America, rated as the number one sacred cave in the world by National Geographic. A visit to the cave should be on any adventurer's bucket list since there is a fair amount of challenge, mystery, and ancient history. ATM Cave can be explored year-round. However, avoid visiting the cave during the rainy summer period. During this time, river waters can rise, and the cave may be flooded. In this case, your tour might be canceled. Luckily, this doesn't happen very often, just once in a few years.

Actun Tunichil Muknal, located near the town of San Ignacio, can be reached by a 45-minute hike through the tropical forest in Tapir Mountain Reserve. On your way, you can see plenty of wildlife until you get to an hourglass-shaped entrance to the sacred Maya cave. All visitors will have to swim about 30 ft (10 m) to get to the first level. Further, visitors will be walking in water until reaching the sacred part of the cave filled with Maya artifacts. Over 1400 archeological finds have been made in the ATM cave, including pottery, tools, weapons, and vessels. One of the main highlights of the cave is the “Crystal Maiden” skeleton of a young Maya princess.

The tour to ATM cave lasts for the whole day and requires a reasonably good fitness level. Also, make sure to wear closed-toed shoes with a good grip and socks. Bring a towel, sunblock, and a water bottle. Some tour packages also include cave tubing on the underground river.

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