I arrived in San Ignacio on january 6th 2010 after a “short” 3 hour bus drive from Belize City. Total travel time from Caye Caulker to San Ignacio was 4 hours…

San Ignacio

The city is very small, and very close to the boarder of Guatemala in the east part of Belize. It is very safe and touristic. There are hostels, hotels, restaurants and tour operators all over the place… Cozy also…

But not too many activities within the city. The major tourist attractions are: the Cave Actun Tunichil Muknal and Caracol maya ruins. I chose to do only one of these, as I were on my way to Tikal in Guatemala, which is the largest Maya site in central america.

Cave Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM)

This cave and the trip is fantastic. I went with mayawalk tours and I can recommend them. The trip was USD 75 including a light lunch and trained – and very etusiastic and authentic – guide… I have been in caves before. Both in Venezuela (Dry), New Zealand (wet: cave tubing / blackwater rafting) and Mexico (diving: cenote diving) – so I had a good idea what this would be like. But I was wrong. This cave is amazing.

Firstly because of the size. Actually there are 3 caves with several chambers. Secondly because it is really adventurous: You start by swimming into the cave system, then walk in knee-high water and crawl over rocks and boulders to swim and finally climb a wall approximately 25 meters high – to enter magical and large caves/chambers with artefacts from the Maya culture…

A kind of combination of all my previous experiences with caves… And the magical part was, that is wasn’t touristic: No light shows, no glass montres with artefacts – they were exactly where the Mayans left them 1000 years ago.

Well, thats not quite true – another magical part was the mighty stalactites and stalacmites in the cave, the salt and crystal growing and all in all the pristine condition of the ecosystem in the caves…. A must do experience in my humble opinion.


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