Today’s general agenda: leave Las Cuevas —> ATM Cave —> tropical education center —> Belize Zoo
I am very tempted to use words like “amazing”, “incredible”, “jaw-dropping” to describe my experience today, but I think I should unpack my thoughts to give you a sense of why I am feeling exactly that way. Specifically, I am referring to our expedition into the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave.
As our pitstop between the rainforest and coral reef, we visited the ATM cave. Even before getting to the entrance of the cave, we had to cross three rivers. Certain parts of the cave required us wading in the shoulder-deep water and some climbing up tall, complex structures.
I remember I audibly gasped as I looked at the cave formations all around me. When light is shone on these formations, they look like thousands of crystals all glistening back at you. At one point, I even lost a sense of where I was because I was merely taken aback by the view.
As we venture deeper into the cave, we got a better understanding of how caves play a role in Mayan culture. Historically, priests of mayan societies were in the caves performing rituals. Since we were the last group to explore the cave that day, we were able to switch off our lights and just listen to the cave. There was absolutely no light, so my eyes could not adjust to anything. We switched our lights back on, and one of us went missing! I’m just kidding- everyone got out of the cave unscathed. And the craziest thing of it all? Turns out, we only explored about 500m of the 5.3km cave.
Unfortunately, we were not able to document anything with cameras, so hopefully you have been well convinced to go explore the cave yourself.