Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulchre) is one of the most impressive caves in the Maya region that is named after a sacrificial chamber deep within the cave. It has rare altars in front of which the Maya elite collected and offered their blood. This wet cave is located within the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve near Teakettle village in the Cayo District of Belize. It is an hour and fifteen-minute drive from Chaa Creek, after which there is a 45-minute hike. The hike includes three stream crossings and takes you through the 6,700 acre. The trail is flat, clean and shaded. At the end of the hike you arrive at the Actun Camp where you will have a picnic lunch before entering the cave.
When you enter the cave you will be required to do some swimming and climbing. This is a predominantly wet cave with water levels ranging from ankle to chest height. The cave river system leads you through a labyrinth of dry chambers culminating at the cathedral-like main chamber, which is 350 meters in length, 50 meters in width. In this area you will spend about an hour to an hour and a half admiring with great care the many skeletal remains and artifacts; both pottery and stone tools. Toward the back of this chamber you will climb a ladder of about 15 feet to get to the chamber of the Stone Sepulchre where you will see the skeletal remains of the famed crystallized maiden.
Departures: 8:00 am
Duration: Full day
Habitat: Sub-tropical broadleaf forest and wet cave river system
Fitness: Moderate to good
Dress: Short or long pants and sturdy protective footwear – sleeve lengths optional
What To Bring Along:
Hat, extra clothes, water, insect repellant, and waterproof camera.