Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

8 Hours

Tour Duration


Tour Intensity

Min of 2/Max of 8

Number of persons for the tour

Brief information

The tour starts at 8 a.m. with a 1 hr. drive from San Ignacio to the parking lot. It is about 45-minute hike through the Tapir Nature Mountain Reserve (which is 6,741 acres of protected land) to the entrance of the cave. The ATM cave is an archeological cave located in the Roaring Creek Valley in the Cayo District of Belize. It is approximately 5 Km long and contains a perennial stream that passes through it. Several areas of remains of ancient ritual activity including a ledge with two stelae and a large chamber full of intact human remains, whole pots are also found throughout the cave.  The name translates to ” Cave of the stone Sepulcher” and was given in reference to the number of human remains found inside.

This cave was formed over several hundred thousand years by water erosion along the karstic limestone foothills which encircle the Maya Mountains. The cave was used by the Mayas in the late classic period between 700 – 900 AD, to conduct their ceremonies and rituals (bloodletting, food offering and human sacrifice) to please their Gods. The Main Chamber contains the skeletal remains of 14 individuals, approximately 150 ceramic vessels, and several grinding stones. From the 14 individuals, 6 are infants under the age of 3 years, 1 is a child of roughly 7 years of age, and the remaining 7 are adults ranging in age from their early 20s to approximately 40 years old.

Canadian geologist Thomas Miller first reported this cave in 1989. It quickly drew the attention of National Geographic, which produced a documentary on it in 1992 titled, “Journey Through the Underworld”. Belizean archaeologist and now Commissioner of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology in Belize, Jaime Awe guided the National Geographic team through the cave. The following year, Awe and his Western Belize Regional Cave Project (WBRCP) began full-scale archaeological investigations in the cave that ran as a research program and archaeological field school through 2000. The cave was opened up full-time for tourism soon after.

What to bring/wear

  • Good Hiking shoes
  • Bug repellent
  • Extra pair of socks to wear inside the cave (government mandatory regulations) 
  • Extra pair of dry clothing
  • Towel
  •  Extra water
  • Snacks
Important Notice:
Please note that cameras or other electronics are prohibited from being used inside the cave, due to past incidences where they have been dropped on the artifacts and caused damage. For this reason, they have been banned by the government.

What we provide

  • Transportation
  • Entrance fee
  • Lunch
  • Gear


Our Clients Reviews

  • star rating  Orlando was our guide for the ATM caves. He was an excellent guide and the tour was a really fun and interesting experience. Would highly recommend booking.
    - He... read more

    Anna F
    August 2, 2023

    star rating  We had Orlando as our ATM cave guide. He was a wonderful guide, and happily answered all my questions, made sure the group was doing ok at every turn, and... read more

    avatar thumb RebeccaB375
    August 22, 2022

    star rating  Orlando took us on an amazing trip to the ATM caves!! We enjoyed the day with him learning about the jungle, caves and history of the Mayan people. Orlando was... read more

    June 14, 2022
  • star rating  Have you ever walked away from something and said to yourself "WOW!! that experience could not have been any better and it's all because of the person who was gracious... read more

    April 16, 2022

    star rating  Excellent! Orlando explained the history and cultural relevance of the site! Highly recommend this personalized tour of this Underground Maya Ruin

    January 23, 2022

    star rating  We went on this adventure with an expert on the ATM cave who told us a lot of interesting facts and stories about its magical history. Any question we asked... read more

    December 25, 2021
  • star rating  Our trip to the ATM cave with Orlando from Katz Witz Maya Tours was nothing short of mind blowing!

    Orlando’s knowledge of every detail in the ATM cave,... read more

    November 26, 2021

    star rating  The ATM cave tour was the highlight of our week in Belize! Our guide, Orlando, was very patient and informative, giving us direction on where to place our hands... read more

    November 11, 2021

    star rating  We had an excellent time with Orlando exploring the ATM caves. He is a very knowledgeable tour guide and we felt extremely comfortable exploring the caves with him!! ... read more

    November 2, 2021
  • star rating  My 18yo son and I were guided by our new friend Orlando into an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives. We learned and experienced so... read more

    Jackie M
    September 7, 2021

    star rating  We had a great time and best experience ever exploring the ATM cave with Orlando. Breathtaking views, lots of adrenaline, swimming and crawling, surreal stalactites, and million years of history... read more

    September 6, 2021

    star rating  Orlando is super knowledgeable, funny, and has an amazing way of connecting you with the world he is showing. 10/10 will never use anyone but him in Belize.

    May 26, 2021