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“Totally amazing experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of ATM Cave Tour

ATM Cave Tour
Belize
011 (501) 824-3740
Website
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Ranked #1 of 27 Outdoor Activities in Cayo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Totally amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I did the ATM tour in March 2012. We decide to do it based on the reviews which were very accurate. You have to walk/hike quite a bit and cross the river 3 times to get to the cave. Merely shoes that can go in water are useful and you do need socks for inside the cave. The tour is great, exciting, interesting and very much worth it. It does take almost the whole day. The crystal maiden is inside which is amazing. There is a lot of Mayan pottery as well. You do need to go with tour I think we used BZM which we booked ourselves just by walking into San Ignacio ourselves. Great prices much cheaper than through the hotel.

Visited September 2012
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English first
Ipswich, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“No way, in the UK. So just do it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Health & Safety would have a field day at this site. There is no way on earth that one would be permitted to experience this in the UK, unless you were a member of a registered caving club.

The experience involves swimming, climbing, crawling, and pretty much anything that would be considered dangerous in the west.

So, if you're lucky enough to be in this part of the world, do it! It's possibly one of the greatest experiences you'll have in your life.

Visited August 2013
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“You Will Be Proud That You Opted for a Challenging Mayan Ruin Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

My boyfriend and I used Amigos Jungle Tours out of San Pedro. They were wonderful, as they agreed to take us even if they didn't get another couple to complete the trip, and they took care of our airfare from San Pedro to Belize City and helped us find a hotel in Belize City at the end of the ATM trip, dropping us off there. (We planned it so that we would head back to Belize City on the day of the ATM trip before flying home the next day).

As others have written, I am surprised that you do not need to sign a waiver for this trip. In the US, you have to sign a waiver for a lot less. I was not injured at all, however, but I would avoid if you are not in optimal health. For myself, I had a stress fracture in my foot that took 10 months to fix (one bad doctor led to a long fixing process), and it had only been healed for a few months before going. That made me a little worried, especially at the point where they asked us to take our shoes off. But nothing went wrong; I would just recommend bringing socks for that part. We were wearing water shoes and didn't have socks. But it's been 5 days since the ATM trip, and my foot has not had any recurrence of problems due to last year's stress fracture. Walking around New York City streets has hurt my foot more than ATM cave did!

I was surprised to find that there is nothing to buy. It is not a commercial, consumerist nightmare the way that everything in America is. As a history teacher and aspiring PhD candidate in History and Museum Studies, it struck me as unsettling yet quite satisfying that there was nothing physical to take away with you--no actual evidence that I WAS THERE except your memories. There is NOTHING to buy. I was sure I would buy a book on the Mayans at the end or something like that. While it seems like a profitable missed opportunity for the Belize Tourism Board, there is something wonderful about experiencing something real and not buying a bunch of plastic trinkets about it afterwards.

It is hysterical watching the Ghost Hunters International episode on the ATM cave (Season 3, Episode 9: "The Crystal Maiden: Belize and France") having been there. Aside from recognizing the guide in the film (there are at present only 23 guides authorized for this cave) and the supernatural nonsense, you can identify how the TV/movie industry makes you feel like you are missing out on life. What do I mean by that? The episode significantly over-dramatizes the fright and difficulty of being in the cave. With a certified guide--which they clearly had--it would have been exciting, but not exactly as extreme as they make it seem.

Visited August 2013
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Austin, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“ATM with Carlos the Caveman”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

There is no better way to see the ATM cave than with Carlos the Caveman. Carlos gives an insightful, sincere and fun explanation of the Mayan culture on the journey through the cave. Respectful of the Mayan culture, with great explanations and theories of how this historical civilization existed, Carlos is the only guide for this amazing tour. And as a plus, he is both cool and funny! As all other reviews of ATM cave stated, it is a privilege to discover this unique and spiritual place and is not to be missed. Go with Carlos, you will not be disappointed!
Here is his contact info:
email: carlos.caveguide@yahoo.com
phone: 669 7619 or 669 5552

Visited June 2013
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Connecticut
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

I had never been caving before, although I do like fun and active activities. Oh, yes, this was quite fun and active! Really, it's one of the most interesting 4 hour activities I have ever done. Parts were quite challenging with climbing over rocks. I'm ok in that area and was fine. I'm not a strong swimmer but I was ok during the activity. Our guide, gonzo, is a phd archeology study so he was able to explain everything! I really really recommend this activity. It was fantastic!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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