Actun Tunichil Muknal
Actun Tunichil Muknal
5
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This remote cave is filled with relics left over from the Mayans.
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  • Sheri T
    Morganton, North Carolina3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t Miss This!
    The ATM cave is a truly unique and incredible experience! The travel to get there was totally worth it. There is a nice and easy path through the sub- tropical rainforest. We were worried it would be sweltering and filled with mosquitoes but it was actually cooler than the beach and no bugs bothered us. The adventure really kicked in once you enter the cave. Swimming and wading through the cool, clear water was amazing and the stalagmite and stalactite formations are stunning. The history is fascinating and being that close to the skeletons and cultural remains is like being Indiana Jones for a day. Our guide, Jam-Jam (Jamiere) was so knowledgeable! If your looking for an adventure on your Belize vacation- this is it!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 July 2023
  • Jessica Colindres
    Los Angeles, California10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) with Amazing Guide Jam Jam-Highlight of our Trip!
    This tour was, without a doubt, the highlight of my trip. Our guide, Jam Jam, made all the difference. He was patient, knowledgeable, and most importantly, he made us feel safe. Jam Jam walked us through every step of the tour, checking in with us to see how we were feeling, yet never making us feel weak or slow. He was enthusiastic about teaching us about the history and culture of the Maya civilization, and he made it fun. Even though I was initially anxious about how hard it was going to be, Jam Jam's guidance made it an enjoyable experience. We met at the Maya Walk Tour office and took a shuttle to the ATM site. During the drive, Hugh gave us a very detailed explanation of what was to come, which gave me peace of mind. If you're a worry wart like me, I suggest you take the shuttle to get all the details. Some people met us at the store on the corner of ATM didn't get the same information, such as when to expect getting wet, when to leave your water, when to change, and how long each section would take. Once we arrived at the site, we were able to take a water bottle with us up until we got inside the cave. At that point, we left it outside the cave. It was helpful to have a bottle that we could easily identify. The walk leading up to the cave was flat and easy. I wore cheap water shoes from Amazon and was comfortable both in and outside the cave. Shorts and a tank top were just fine. Don’t forget to bring socks for the part when you have to take your shoes off. After the tour, we were treated to a delicious lunch. Overall, it was a 10/10 experience, and I cannot recommend this tour enough. Jam Jam, if you ever see this, thank you from the bottom of my heart! The tour inspired me to continue to learn more about the Maya civilization. One side note: please remember to tip ALL your guides! They work hard to make your experience unforgettable.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 August 2023
  • Nicole R
    Collierville, Tennessee7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing!!
    Amazing! I was a little nervous at first about the tight spaces and cold water but didn’t have any problems at all. You can’t go to Belize without seeing the ATM caves! Only bummer is you can’t take pictures but I totally understand the reasoning.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 15 October 2023
  • KeriGreen
    Union Hall, Virginia30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Must Do!!
    We used M&S Adventures out of San Ignacio. Our guide Renan is an original guide back to when the cave was first opened and his context, passion and knowledge of the history and culture of the Maya people is so moving. The tour was so amazing. We are mid-50’s and not necessarily in tip top shape- and while there were a few moments of pause (I don’t like heights) we managed quite well! I wore leggings and a tankini top which felt like the perfect combo for a day of being wet. Socks with water shoes are also key. Tip your guides! They work hard!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 November 2023
  • bamboochuck
    New Smyrna Beach, Florida2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique experience
    I visited the ATM cave in Belize in March 2000. Program didn’t allow date so far back. It was shortly after cave was opened to tourists. It was certainly not what I expected on an unknown, at the time, place to spend a relaxed vacation day. It wasn’t relaxed by any standard, but turned out to be one of the most exciting, adventurous days I could have imagined. Had no idea what the day was presenting me. I expected a short hike into a local cave. Instead, I ended up wading, swimming, climbing into an enchanted world of the past where artifacts, cave structures and skeletons were bountiful. Truly a wonderful, once in a lifetime, experience.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 January 2024
  • roermobl
    Hampshire, United Kingdom97 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience
    Our visit was AMAZING. We couldn't believe how close you get to the artifacts, the cave is beautiful and very atmospheric, it didn't feel crowded (I think we were one of the earlier groups to go in), and our guide Basilio kept us safe and taught us lots about the cave and the Mayans who used it. It really was a once in a lifetime experience. A truly fascinating place. Regarding fitness levels, my husband and I walk 2-3 miles (on pavement) after work most days and are both a little overweight, and neither of us struggled. As for old injuries, I fractured my wrist (radial styloid, with associated soft tissue damage) about 10 months before we went and I was fine wearing just a light wrist support. For anyone worried about creepy crawlies, I only saw one scorpion spider (from quite far away).
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 March 2024
  • Brad
    Albuquerque, New Mexico383 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Mayan Cave Experience.
    Totally unique caving experience. There is a 45 minute walk/hike to the cave—each mile way, but it’s worth it. They, supposedly, only let in 175 people a day. The pottery, skeletal remains, formations, and adventure were fantastic. It is a long day.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 March 2024
  • jclperipatetic47
    Boston, Massachusetts44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Cave with Human Sacrifices: a Sad and Fascinating Story
    Actun Tunichil Muknal is amazing on many levels. Fording a river three times to reach its entrance and then swimming into a cave that gets increasingly dark is an experience beyond the everyday. My husband and I toured with Mayawalks and were lucky to have Hugh as our guide. Hugh is a font of knowledge about Mayan culture in general and about ATM in particular. My husband and I are on the older side (79 and 77) for adventures such as this one but we have remained active as we aged and were able to negotiate the water, the tight squeezes and the slippery rocks just fine with Hugh as our guide. The history of the cave with its human sacrifices was compelling. As a long drought set in, Mayans in the area tried to appease the rain god with various sacrifices with the final sacrifices being human. Hugh explained all of this in great detail. I highly recommend Mayawalks and consider yourself lucky if you get Hugh as your guide.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 April 2024
  • Caroline C
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE
    THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE! Truly, one of the highlights of our week in Belize. It was like 2 adventures in 1—physically scaling the cave was really fun (plus the three river crossings), but culturally and historically was a whole different experience. We learned SO much, had a blast, and all thought it was just incredible.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 April 2024
  • RasberryD
    24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible
    We did this tour in March 2024 with 2 adults and 2 kids aged 9&11. This was probably one of the single greatest things I have ever done on any trip, and I am fortunate to have travelled to many places. First off...if you do not go with River Rat and have Gonzo as your guide then you are not getting the experience that you deserve. He was above and beyond in every way. His knowledge is bar none when it comes to this cave and the history as well he knows the cave like the back of his hand.....so you may get to go in some areas that others don't know about. Just do yourself a favor and book with Gonzo at River Rat, you wont regret it. From the moment you start the hike the adventure begins. You are in rivers, swimming, rock climbing, spelunking....its the greatest adventure with the most beautiful reward of being able to see the relics left behind and having the privilege of being in the space of the Mayans. This is a must do for adventure seekers. I would recommend having some level of fitness and there is a lot of climbing and some swimming.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 April 2024
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles923 reviews
Excellent
874
Very good
33
Average
8
Poor
5
Terrible
3

RasberryD
Toronto24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We did this tour in March 2024 with 2 adults and 2 kids aged 9&11.

This was probably one of the single greatest things I have ever done on any trip, and I am fortunate to have travelled to many places.

First off...if you do not go with River Rat and have Gonzo as your guide then you are not getting the experience that you deserve. He was above and beyond in every way. His knowledge is bar none when it comes to this cave and the history as well he knows the cave like the back of his hand.....so you may get to go in some areas that others don't know about. Just do yourself a favor and book with Gonzo at River Rat, you wont regret it.

From the moment you start the hike the adventure begins. You are in rivers, swimming, rock climbing, spelunking....its the greatest adventure with the most beautiful reward of being able to see the relics left behind and having the privilege of being in the space of the Mayans.

This is a must do for adventure seekers. I would recommend having some level of fitness and there is a lot of climbing and some swimming.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caroline C
Charlotte, United States3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE! Truly, one of the highlights of our week in Belize. It was like 2 adventures in 1—physically scaling the cave was really fun (plus the three river crossings), but culturally and historically was a whole different experience. We learned SO much, had a blast, and all thought it was just incredible.
Written 6 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jclperipatetic47
Boston, MA44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Actun Tunichil Muknal is amazing on many levels. Fording a river three times to reach its entrance and then swimming into a cave that gets increasingly dark is an experience beyond the everyday. My husband and I toured with Mayawalks and were lucky to have Hugh as our guide. Hugh is a font of knowledge about Mayan culture in general and about ATM in particular. My husband and I are on the older side (79 and 77) for adventures such as this one but we have remained active as we aged and were able to negotiate the water, the tight squeezes and the slippery rocks just fine with Hugh as our guide. The history of the cave with its human sacrifices was compelling. As a long drought set in, Mayans in the area tried to appease the rain god with various sacrifices with the final sacrifices being human. Hugh explained all of this in great detail. I highly recommend Mayawalks and consider yourself lucky if you get Hugh as your guide.
Written 5 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave C
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
It's an incredible place
BUT at peak times it is way overcrowded.
We felt rushed through.
Groups of 8 or 9 behind us and in front of us.
Like a train of tourists
Avoid at peak times.
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Albuquerque, NM383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Totally unique caving experience. There is a 45 minute walk/hike to the cave—each mile way, but it’s worth it.

They, supposedly, only let in 175 people a day. The pottery, skeletal remains, formations, and adventure were fantastic.

It is a long day.
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roermobl
Hampshire, UK97 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Our visit was AMAZING. We couldn't believe how close you get to the artifacts, the cave is beautiful and very atmospheric, it didn't feel crowded (I think we were one of the earlier groups to go in), and our guide Basilio kept us safe and taught us lots about the cave and the Mayans who used it. It really was a once in a lifetime experience. A truly fascinating place.

Regarding fitness levels, my husband and I walk 2-3 miles (on pavement) after work most days and are both a little overweight, and neither of us struggled. As for old injuries, I fractured my wrist (radial styloid, with associated soft tissue damage) about 10 months before we went and I was fine wearing just a light wrist support.

For anyone worried about creepy crawlies, I only saw one scorpion spider (from quite far away).
Written 17 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine S
29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Please see my separate review for limpkin tours. This is an amazing site and a unique experience up close and personal with history, plus a great, but not scary, adventure. I especially loved seeing the shadow art. Really, you need to do this tour. Anyone from kids to the more mature should be ok to go, unless you have real medical or mobility issues. I am a very nervous person and, aside from a few initial jitters, was fine.
Written 22 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arjay2728
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
A must-see. Be aware that cave may not be accessible at times during wet season or hurricanes. What to wear: closed-toe water sandals (like Keen or Teva), thick-soled wool or synthetic socks (needed to protect cave floor and your feet when viewing skeletons). Calf-high socks best to protect ankles, best if you can wear them with sandals but can put in your pocket for when you need them. Swimsuit bottom or board shorts, or quick-dry pants with light swimsuit under it. Top depends on whether you get cold easily. I wore long sleeve rash guard with a short sleeve neoprene shirt over it and was comfy. Quick dry fishing shirt would work. You will be wet all day so no cotton anything. No sunscreen or bug repellent - don't need it anyway, to protect cave environment. Small water bottle is fine - hand carry. No need to bring a dry bag, you'll have to leave it outside cave. NO VALUABLES, NO PHONES OR CAMERAS. A couple ham-fisted idiots smashed a couple of skulls with their cameras so cameras are banned. This is a strenuous day - if you are very overweight, out of shape, or claustrophobic don't try it. The notorious ladder has been replaced with a metal stairway. Headlamps on helmet you will be given are adequate, don't need to bring any other flashlight.
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bamboochuck
New Smyrna Beach, FL2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
I visited the ATM cave in Belize in March 2000. Program didn’t allow date so far back. It was shortly after cave was opened to tourists. It was certainly not what I expected on an unknown, at the time, place to spend a relaxed vacation day. It wasn’t relaxed by any standard, but turned out to be one of the most exciting, adventurous days I could have imagined. Had no idea what the day was presenting me. I expected a short hike into a local cave. Instead, I ended up wading, swimming, climbing into an enchanted world of the past where artifacts, cave structures and skeletons were bountiful. Truly a wonderful, once in a lifetime, experience.
Written 19 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fearless36269639030
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
Very interesting tour through caves filled with water. No cameras allowed, as one person dropped a camera on a skull and broke it.
Written 29 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Actun Tunichil Muknal

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