Skeletons in dark caves you say well alrighty why not....
Actun Tunichil Muknal or to us Gringos shortened to ATM. This day trip was a little on the expensive side but said to be the highlight of Belize so without FOMO (fear of missing out) we had booked to go today. We set off at 830am arriving at our set off point at 930am. We trudged off into the jungle with our borrowed tacky jelly shoes and socks looking like right idiots. I Also had not thought of bringing any of my many dry bags with me so my normal day bag came along with me. Little did I know within the first few 100 metres there would be a river crossing which entailed a swim. Oh well one bag full of water at the other side. It was a refreshing start to our humid jungle trek. After 2 more river crossings we arrived at the cave mouth where we dropped all our bags, downing as much water as we could before our 3 hour long cave jaunt. With crash helmets and head torches alike we walked single file into an hour glass shaped cave opening over a river.
We swam into the cave and pulled ourselves upto the rock face within. As we stepped carefully into the dark shadows the light from the entrance gradually dimmed away. With our head torches on we weaved through low rock formations, waded in ankle, thigh then chest high, refreshingly cool water. In places the cave opened up into vast high ceiling rooms with only a slow flowing stream then it would shrink into a very slender crack in the rocks where you had to turn sideways to fit through.
At about 1.5 Kms into the cave we had to climb about 40ft up a rock face and then we had to take off our shoes to walk the rest of the way. This was so we did not damage the rocks and relics with our skin oils. The guide showed us shadows of the rocks which looked like Jaguars and an old lady which they believe were carved out by ancient Mayans. We saw hundreds of rock formations, stalagmites and Quartz. Truly amazing as they were formed over thousands maybe millions of years.
We then saw dozens of ancient pots and fire pits left in situ for over a thousand years. Two ancient human skulls were also still in tact nearby. Then the finale came where we climbed up a ladder into a cavern where a full human skeleton lay fully in tact. Apart from cut off hands and a severed spine. This young female was a human sacrifice to the gods. WOW
UNFORTUNATELY we could not take any photos as cameras were not permitted due to some plum a few years back dropping his/her camera on another skull causing a huge hole in it. Cheers then.
The route back out the cave was a bit more taxing and we had quite a few tricky spots to get out of but I enjoyed that part as well.
BRILLIANT EXPERIENCE highly recommend to anyone going to Belize (highlight of the whole trip so far)