CTurner's Travel Journals

CTurner

  • 26 years old
  • From California, United States
  • Currently in California, United States

Belize!

A blog of my adventures while studying in San Ignacio, Belize.

A.T.M.

Belize Belize  |  Jan 24, 2011
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 I honestly cannot imagine a more interesting, exciting, curious spelunking experience. 

January 23, 2011

A.T.M. - Actun Tunichil Muknal. Loook it upp. Today we went to this cave, which has justly received attention from National Geographic and the Travel Channel. I honestly cannot imagine a more interesting, exciting, curious spelunking experience. The cave is made of limestone and was created by the creek that still flows through the length of the cave. (Our guide told us that Belize is like swiss cheese. 80% of the rock is limestone, which is fairly weak and conducive to caves.)
We went into the cave about ¼ mile, swimming at some points, until we came to a large open area. It has the typical cave attraction of stalactites and stalagmites, but this cave has an even greater historical artifacts. Just a few centuries ago Mayans used this cave. They believed caves were the first level of the underworld, and sometimes made human sacrifices in these dark caverns. There are scattered pots, still in the place the Mayan’s left them and calcified human bones. The most famous skeleton is called the “Crystal Maiden” and is a complete skeleton of a teenage girl who was a victim of human sacrifice.
We went on a guided tour with a group of other people. Hiking to the cave I got to talk with one of the men who owns a home in Chile. He and his friends were all well traveled and I heard stories about Turkey, Brazil, Italy, India, Russia, and Switzerland. It was so neat! The man pointed out to me that most people that travel to Belize have been a few other places, because it is not generally ones first destination. I am glad it was mine, and that I can meet so many people from all over the world here. I struggled to choose my top destinations and concluded that my top 4 countries are: Chile, Italy, New Zealand and Nepal (or Northern India because one man said it is equally nice and attracts less tourists). It’s fun to dream..
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