Western Belize Regional Cave Project

Actun Tunichil Muknal


Useful Information

Location: Western Belize
Open:  
Fee: 2-week session USD 1050, month USD 1750.
(lodging, meals, transportation from airport, and daily travel to and from the site)
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: none
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1993 work of Dr. Awe featured in a National Geographic Explorer documentary film titled, Journey through the Underworld.

Description

As you might have guessed: Western Belize Regional Cave Project is not the name of a cave, but the name of a project. To be exact it is an achaeologic research project by scientists from Indiana University and the University of New Hampshire. They are studying the use of caves by the prehistoric Maya. Each year excavations in some caves in western Belize are made, and they always need volunteers. But the project is mostly a training for experienced participants in the techniques of speleoarchaeology. So it is intended mainly for students of archaeology. Beneath the excavation work the participants get lectures about Maya civilization.

The area has numerous caves, and each year some of them are excavated. In 2002 this are Actun Chapat (Cave of the Centipede) and ShowcaveActun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulchre). Other caves are Actun Uyazba Kab, Actun Yaxteel Ahau, CaveChe Chem Hah, Actun Halal, and Actun Nakbe.

This caves are not show caves. The caves are not dangerous or very difficult, still some experience and physical fitness is a must. The visit is "guided" and the trip is organized, although it is not a weekend trip. Definitiely an interesting experience for archaeologists and enthusiasts. Sort of semi-public.