The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave tour begins with a trek that includes wading across three rivers. After 45 minutes, you arrive at the “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher,” one of the most impressive caves in the Maya lowlands. Located in the heart of the Belizean rainforest, in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, this cave was sacred to the Maya of Belize, who began to use the entrance during the Early Classic period. In later years, the Maya traveled deeper into the cave to conduct their ceremonies.
The ATM cave system consists of a series of chambers ending in a large cathedral, where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Here lie those individuals sacrificed to the gods of the underworld, which was known as Xibalba (pronounced shi-bal-ba). Visitors to ATM have the opportunity to travel into the past and witness a living museum, where skeletal remains and artifacts can be viewed in their original context.