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“Fantasic place - get in before health and safety ruin it”

Actun Tunichil Muknal
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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave from San Ignacio
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Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour and Picnic
Ranked #1 of 74 things to do in Cayo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This remote cave is filled with relics left over from the Mayans.
Reviewed 15 August 2014

As another reviewer commented you would never be allowed to do this a home, that said it is a great experience and one that will probably be watered down over the years, they are already preventing you from taking cameras in allegedly because some clumsy tourist dropped one on one of the irreplaceable skulls. Get there soon!

My partner and I visited with his 2 teenage kids and we all agreed that ATM was the highlight of our trip.

From the car park you take a short trek (30-45 min) crossing a river several times when you get to the cave entrance put on your helmet and head torch provided by the guide and enter the cave by swimming across a small pool. If you can't swim request a life vest when booking the tour.

You are in the cave approx. 2.5 hours, we were the 2nd group in, but it was getting quite busy inside by the time we started heading out. The guide takes a max of 8 people, our guide was patient and highlighted things along the way.

Inside you paddle, wade and swim your way through the cave in one place things get a little tight (probably not ideal for the claustrophobic), but much of the time the cave is fairly spacious.

Just before you have to remove your shoes you have to make a small climb of maybe 10 feet, but take you time, the guides will help and you will be fine.

Taking your shoes off is designed to make you more conscious of where you put your feet thus avoiding standing on any relics, this seems to work quite well, especially as there are many pot fragments around. You have to climb a ladder to get to the part of the cave where the skeletal remains are, but this everyone managed just fine. After seeing the skeletons make your way back out the same way you went in.

You probably should be in good health to visit the cave, but you don't need to be particularly fit if you are able to walk 2-3 miles and be on your feet for around 4-5 hours you should be fine.

There are toilet (and shower) facilities at the car park, some toilets are being built near the entrance to the cave but are not open yet, here you have to use the bush.

Take a pair of socks to protect your feet when you have to take your shoes off.

2  Thank lI0ve2h0liday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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378 - 382 of 768 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2014

My wife commented many times "they would never let us do this back home... too many rules at home". That being said - you get to swim into the cave - climb over rocks - see pottery and skeletons up close - enjoy the history while exploring areas that are simply amazing. I'm so thankful that my wife and I are terribly unfit so that we can enjoy experiences like these. If you can swim, climb a few rocks, a ladder and not panic - then DO THIS! It's AWESOME!

1  Thank AnApple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

This is an amazing trip and a one that most of us have not experienced before.

I agree with most people here, it is a must see, as well as once-in-your-lifetime adventure.

We went from San Ignacio with PACZ tours, we had a great trip with them, but from talking to some of the many other tourists at the site, most of them are quite similar, I guess it mostly depends on the guide, how the experience will be in the end. They have a pretty good organized system that each group has at least some "alone in the dark" moments.
The trips starts with a short swim into the cave and then it takes about one hour until you reach the "temple". Its quite fun a good mixture of swimming, "climbing" and walking. The cave itself is impressive, since the artefacts are sort of "randomly" laying around, including many pots, and some human skulls and even full remains. Of course its not really random how eveything is positioned in the cave, but the guide will tell more.
On the way towards the cave and back one has to cross a river 3 times and will walk trough some rainforest. Many birds can be spotted and the lucky one can even see the national bird of Belize, the Keel-billed toucan.

5  Thank Lowyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

This cave was a definite highlight of our time in Central America. Unlike anything you will see anywhere else.

Use Carlos Panti, he was an amazing guide, supremely knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about the preservation of the area, wildlife and site itself. Great guy!

2  Thank RobDawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

My family (kids 8 and 10) took a total of 7 trips on our 10 days in San Pedro. This is the one they deemed their favorite. It's vigorous but breathtaking. Carlos and his guides were friendly, knowledgable and willing to work with us when we had to reschedule. Truly amazing and a highlight of our return to San Pedro!

4  Thank Rob R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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