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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM)

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Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM)

Visiting the Actun Tunichil Muknal while in Belize was the single best excursion I have ever partaken during my many years of travel. As a former Track & Field All-American I will admit I lost myself over the last few years, but have worked hard over the last twelve months by dedicating more time to becoming more healthy. By more healthy I mean limiting my “cheat” meals and working out four to five days a week. I was a little disappointed that I packed gym clothes and my resort lacked a gym. I wasn’t aware of the physical demands that were required to explore the Actun Tunichil Muknal but quickly I found out. A day spent at the Actun Tunichil Muknal is more entertaining and physically demanding then any gym experience. I was told to prepare for the day by wearing gym clothes that I wouldn’t mind getting wet. Even with this prerequisite I still had no idea of the day ahead of me.

A small disclaimer: If you are afraid of water or not prepared for a moderate or vigorous workout I would not recommend this tour for you.

When we arrived at the grounds we started off hiking about 200 meters until we ran out of ground and were facing a stream with the options of either swim across or go back. After swing across you hiked a mile or so before facing another stream that was waist deep and which we trekked across to continue our journey. This was about half of the journey and all together it was a 45 minute hike through the rainforest and several streams. This took place before we stood at the face of a cave that ran three miles long and sixteen feet deep. We were advised that it would take days to explore the entire cave. We spent the next hour swimming as well as hiking about 600 meters through the cave. Dodging sharp corners and climbing up ladders while discovering items that were sacrificed to the Gods by the Mayans. This Mayan archaeological site includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. At a certain point you even have to walk through the cave without shoes so that you do not mistakenly step on some type of artifact.
If you are looking for an interactive history lesson, Actun Tunichil Muknal is completely the way to go. Tell a friend, to a friend and I promise you will not regret it.

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