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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio

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2 travelers
    What to Expect
    This full-day adventure begins with a pickup at your San Ignacio hotel. From there, drive 45 minutes to a turnoff at Teakettle Village, then another 30 minutes along a dirt road to reach the Tapir Nature Reserve. 

    During a flat, 45-minute hike through the tropical reserve, you'll encounter many native plant species and wade across the Roaring River three different times. At the entrance to the cave, you'll receive a safety briefing, and gear up with hardhats and headlamps. Enjoy a picnic lunch here either before or after exploring the cave, depending on what time your tour arrives.

    Your caving adventure will begin with a quick, refreshing swim across a pool of water at the hourglass-shaped cave entrance. Just a few minutes into the darkened depths, you’ll approach “the Breakdown” — the most challenging part of the adventure — where you will wade, swim, and scramble through rocky passages and squeeze through some tight crevices. Your guide will instruct the group how to safely navigate challenging areas. 

    While passing through various chambers, stop to admire massive stalactite and stalagmite formations created by thousands of years of water passing through the cave. Light from your headlamp will illuminate shimmering columns and dripping formations that resemble waterfalls and chandeliers. 

    To reach the cave’s highlight, climb up a stone platform to an expansive chamber where archaeologists discovered a treasure trove of ceremonial Mayan pottery and the remains of more than a dozen victims of human sacrifice. Most of these artifacts remain exactly where they were discovered, allowing you to get an amazingly up-close view. 

    For the grand finale, climb a ladder into the uppermost chamber of the cavern, where you can marvel at the famous Crystal Maiden — a complete human skeleton covered in a crystalline substance caused by natural calcification. 

    After spelunking your way back out of the cave, you’ll emerge into the sunlight and the cool water of the Roaring River, then prepare for the return hike and drive back to San Ignacio.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Traveler pickup is offered
    We provide complimentary pick up for hotels within San Ignacio Town, hotels outside of town, a small surcharge applies
    Departure Time
    8:00 AM
    • Bottled water
    • Lunch
    • Local guide
    • Use of all necessary equipment
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off within San Ignacio Town
    • Entry/Admission - Actun Tunichil Muknal
    • Gratuities
    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off outside of San Ignacio Town
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Minimum height requirement is 40 inches
    • It is recommended that you wear closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing that can get wet, a change of clothes and bug spray.
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Hotel pick up and drop off is for hotels within San Ignacio town limits. For hotels outside of San Ignacio, a surcharge applies.
    • Pair of socks is required as portions of the cave shoes are removed.
    • No cameras allowed
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Traveler rating
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    Popular mentions
    A very interesting and informative tour. Our guide was very well informed (I think his name was Fernando) it's worth noting that within minutes of starting this tour you will be wet upto your shoulders so bring adequate footwear- I wouldn't recommend flip flops due to lack of
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    After reading reviews we decided to go on this adventure. We are so happy that we did! Our guide was very informative. You should be able to swim short distances and be comfortable wading in water sometimes to your waist for short periods. There is some exertion climbing and a
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    Although it is definiterly not for those who are not moderately active, this was the highlight of our trip! Our guide was great and very informative, and we really felt like we were in Indiana Jones!
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    Really enjoyed our tour. The guide was super friendly, informative and professional. Made sure we were all safe and gave us lots of info about Maya culture, the caves itself and everything San Ignacio. Lunch was also delicious! We'd definitely recommend.
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    This isn’t the tour to pick! I searched for a few days, and came up with this tour because of the other reviews. Our tour guide was knowledgeable! You have to have be comfortable with some level of exertion, like the description states. It is a very long day, but so worth it.
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    Response from Edward A, Manager at Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave with Local Lunch from San Ignacio
    Responded 29 Jul 2019
    Wonderful to hear this tour made your trip - we strive to always make this tour as fun and enjoyable at the same time taking into account the safety and overall comfort of our group. Glad to have been part of this memorable adventure. best regards, Edward
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