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“Awesome!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal
Tea Kettle Village, Belize
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Ranked #1 of 38 Attractions in Cayo
Type: Caverns/ Caves, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: This remote cave is filled with relics left over from the Mayans.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
san francisco
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

This is one of the best tours I've ever taken. If not *the* best. We had a wonderful guide from Maya Walks (you can reserve on line or in the town of San Ignacio) who told us lots of info about the Mayans. We had lunch on the hike in and then went into the caves. Absolutly amazing in there - swiming, climbing over rocks, checking out mayan ruins, human remains from 1300 years ago, beautiful crystals... simply amazing. Also amazing to think that little of it was roped off, even though its become a tourist destination. Highly recommend. Certainly a highlight of my belize trip!

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385 reviews from our community

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English first
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Best Thing to do in Cayo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2009

We did the Achtun Tunichil Muchnal with Pacz tours as recommended by our lodge (Crystal Paradise). We were picked up at our lodge by the Pacz tour van with our guide for the day and a driver. Our guide Francisco(?) was very passionate about ATM. Don't wear bug screen or suntan lotion - damages the fragile cave environment. He was very knowledgable and answered any questions we had. He had a good sense of humor but could be a bit abrupt at times. This tour was by far and away the most amazing thing that we did. Our group included two adults and 2 teens and all of us enjoyed it the most. It is truely hard to believe that they allow tours into this area. What an experience. Remember to take socks. If you haven't heard already, the roads in Belize leave a little to be desired, and takes a toll on the body on it's own. After arriving in the park, the tour starts with a 45 min hike across a jungle path including fording a river 3 times (only waist deep at the most in May). At the entrance to the cave we were given an amazing amount of detail about the site and what to we will see and what to do and not do. After gearing up, it was off into the cave. There is a 30 second swim at the entrance, then about 500 meters of heading upstream sometimes crawling wading, brief swimming through an amazing cave world. Then it is up into a split in the cave and to the artifacts. There is a staggering number of ancient artifacts which are in various states sometimes almost completely calcified into the rock. Again our guide provided thorough information regarding the artifacts at hand. Overall a tremendous tour. Thanks Pacz Tours.

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Houston, TX
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Best tour in Belize. A must do for all active travelers! Stunning!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

Our group completed this trip through Mayawalk tours. hey were pretty flexible and helped us out when my wife sprained her ankle and couldn't make the tour. They refunded some of our money (had to keep some of it to cover sunk costs of food, park entrance fees, etc) This was the absolutely best activity we did while in the Cayo district for a week. Martin was our tour guide from Mayawalk and was very informative, passionate, and courteous. He took his time and shared the Mayan story with us. He himself is Mayan and has studied the Mayan old-ways and culture for many years. He described in great detail all the ceremonial activities, the way they lived, why they did what they did, and what might have happened to them.

This can be a physical tour and I would not recommend it for kids who can't handle their own walking over jagged boulders, climbing ladders, wading across rivers, swimming, or exploring in the dark. You have headlamps, but it is still complete darkness all around. Martin led us into the Mayan ceremonial chamber in complete darkness with no lights!! It was amazingly dark, darker than anything I had experienced before. You have to swim a short distance to get into the cave (15 yards or so) after about a 45 minute hike into to get to the cave entrance. The hike isn't too strenous, but you do have to wade across a river 3 times. once in the cave, about half of the time is spend wading through the crystal clear, crisp water across boulders, through pools, through small crevices, up ladders, and into the ceremonial chambers. I don't think anyone over about 230lbs or so could even fit through some of the places that you have to go through, depends on your body type.

This is a must do for all who travel to Belize. You can save some money by driving yourself to the park entrance.

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Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
53 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Amazing place for fit and active people!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

The ATM is everything I had read about, an amazing place. The huge caverns, calcite stalagtites/-mites are breathtakingly beautiful. The government of Belize is doing a good job at providing limited access to this incredible site. There is Mayan pottery in many places, and they are marked off to insure that the visitors don't tread on them. And then there are the skeletal remains too! We learned a lot about the history and culture of the Mayans and the people who had used this cave.

The whole tour is an incredible experience. One does need to be fit and active, however! This tour is not for the faint-of-heart, nor claustrophobic, however, as you squeeze through some tight spaces, climb on ladders and ledges in some places. Guidebooks talk about the initial "frosty" swim, but we found the water to be a very comfortable, refreshing temperature. But this swim is not the only one! And you will be in the water for much of the time, wading, sometimes too deep to walk, so you swim some more. Wear sturdy shoes!! The rocks are sharp and slippery. Be sure to bring socks, that you don't mind getting trashed. You are required to take off your shoes and wear socks for part of the tour. It's best to wear clothing that dries quickly, not cotton, nor a bathing suit, or you will be chilly, because you're always wet.

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1 review
“Best one day tour I have ever been on”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2009

Its an unbelievable feeling walking through the cave. You walk up river taking the same path the ancient Maya did over a thousand years ago. I would also recommend staying at Pooks Hill lodge which is walking distance from the cave. This allows you to get there before anyone else and experience the cave on your own. We didn't see another group until we were on our way out of the cave.

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