Just in case some have misjudged you. The ATM tour I believe to be the very best tour in Belize. The morning will start out with a windy road passage through the Menninite Villages. About an hour drive you will come to a clearing and start about another hour walk through the jungle crossing streams as you go. You will be on a tour with guides. Usually a lunch break is had at the entrance site prior to entering the cave system.
Your guides are very well equiped for this adventure, carrying large duffle bags with stretchers, medical supplies, even morphine, its about 5 hours in the cave and not an easy walk, alot of climbing and transversing, squeezing through small spaces. We lost one of our group not far into the tour and she had to return to the parking lot, she should not have ever gone on the tour, being older overweight with a bad knee. The rest of us were lead to a safe spot to wait for our tour guides to saftly get her out. We were advised to turn off our lanterns to save the batteries, we did sitting in pitch blackness and had the best time scaring the shit out of ourselves with..WHAT IF STORIES!!! Our guides return about 30 minutes later, our friend was happy in the van reading a book while the Howler Monkeys invaded the parking lot.
We trucked through water climbed through holes in the rocks scaled a pyramid shaped rock formation and came up high into a football field sized areana.This is where our friend that was taken out husband slid and sliced open his leg. We were to far in to take him back so they put butterfy bandages on him, told him as soon as we got back to the ground level they would give him a morphine injection. So he stayed with us. The old hippie dreaming of morphine!!! Here we are told the stories of the drug induced celebrations that went on that lead to sacrifices, we saw skelatal remains going back well over a thousand years. Our guides pointed out pottery and drug devices, dfferent chambers with remains, the story telling was wonderful.
So I am amazed and confused, this site is very new, I believe it was discovered in 1987. Already people taking steps back to take pictures have stepped on and broken many artifacts.I heard they were going to stop people from taking photos but have no update. I am also amazed the place is open to the public..for a $90. tour.
So pardon my long story, I hope those that choose to go on this tour appriciate how special the place is, respect it, listen to the history and feel privlaged to be in such a special place...