Assistant Staff: Sol
I met with my guest at the hotel in Belize City at 6:30am, and picked up our breakfast boxes. It takes 1 hour and half to ATM junction and 30 more minutes to ATM by Maya Walk bus. You can buy some snacks and water at the junction.
The Maya Walk bus from San Ignacio had lots of guests from US. Guides explained about ATM and Mayan culture and history on the way to ATM. You can take a bus to the starting point for hiking to ATM cave. There is a public restroom, shower room and arbor for lunch. You mustn’t bring your camera to ATM cave so please leave it in the bus at the parking area. Also you should leave your belongings other than what you really need on the tour because you across a deep river. We had about 20 guests and separated into 3 groups. Our guide gave us helmet with light and life jacket. Then finally our hiking started.
This hiking includes acrossing 3 rivers in the jungle. The guide explain about various plants and insects during 45 min hiking. It rained heavily the last day, so the river got high that day. It is interesting that we have different environment in the great nature from day to day.
After 45 min walking, we reached a little bit open space. You can get rest, grab snacks and drink water that you brought. You should use the restroom here to prepare 3 hours cave exploration.
It takes a few seconds to the entrance of ATM cave. At first you swim 6-7m pool, and then move further inside with passing under the low ceiling and the narrow way. You can enjoy transparent fish, bats, and glittering stalactites if you play a searchlight on walls and ceilings.
One of our member played a searchlight above our head and we found a blue backpack. OMG it was the other guide’s and it meant that other people climbed the rocks! The rock wall was high and it seemed that we can’t climb, but we managed to do it with instructions from our guide.
This higher space was used for religious rituals by Mayan people, and it has no water. You have to take off your shoes it is better to bring your socks. There are so many pots used around 9th century and human remains sacrificed. It’s just like in a movie! Our guide explained about Mayan history and ATM cave on the way to the back.
The most preserved human bones remain in the back of beyond. It is said that it was 16-18 years old man and he was sacrificed. It looks bigger than usual human bones because it got limy.
After coming back and taking a shower, we had traditional Belizean lunch, rice and beans with stewed chicken and salad. It was really great after such activities!