The amazing things you’ll do there, touring the ATM Cave in Belize will be, by far, the winner. It’s up there with the likes of tracking down the Ark of the Covenant and racing a mine cart through the Temple of Doom. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I did… and I did a lot of cool stuff in Belize.
However, exploring the ATM Cave in Belize is among not just the coolest things I did in Belize, but one of the most unbelizeable experiences of my life. And I once punched a Nazi mechanic into an air plane propeller during a quest to find the Holy Grail, so that’s saying something.
What is the ATM Cave in Belize?
So yes, Actun Tunichil Muknal is most famous as an archaeological site containing the skeletal remains of Maya human sacrifices, pottery, and other ancient artifacts. Everyone goes bananas over the fully intact skeleton from around 700-900 AD that literally sparkles because over time… science.
But for me, all that glitters was just a bonus. There could have been modern-day pencil sharpeners and an algebra exam at the end and I’d still list my day at the ATM Cave in Belize at the top of badass things I’ve done.
It’s been called “one of the best cave adventures in the world” and I can’t stress enough how absolutely true this must be. I haven’t visited all the caves so I can only assume.
Hike to the cave
After parking the van, you’ll embark on a 45-minute hike through the jungle to the mouth of the ATM Cave. Much of this hike is via a worn path, but you should know this hike also includes three river crossings of various water levels.
Some of these crossings only come up to your ankles, while others can be neck-deep. During my visit the ATM Cave in Belize, I visited during a drought and the highest river crossing I made was waist-deep. From what I’ve been told, this is not the norm.
However, where needed, there are ropes strung across the river to help you get safely across. If you’re picturing Arwen rescuing Frodo from the approaching Ringwraiths, calm down. You’ll make it. (More on the hike to the cave in a bit.)
After the tour
After exiting the cave, you’ll backtrack another 45-minute hike over the river and through the woods, to dry clothes and lunch we go!You’ll be given time to change into your dry clothes while your tour guides prepare a more-than-adequate lunch (with punch!) at the park’s picnic area.
There are real restrooms (with toilets and everything!) and changing rooms here.Then, you’ll board your van and head back to where you started. Driving through the beautiful Cayo district once more, though almost everyone in the van will be fast asleep.
How long is the ATM Cave tour?
Touring the ATM Cave in Belize is a full day excursion. You’ll meet early in the morning (7 or 8 or whatever time your company prefers) and you’ll get back to the office around 4 or 5 in the afternoon.Your tour guides will do an amazing job of, well, guiding you through the jungle and the cave. However, here are a few tips you should know before you go.