Its name is derived from two Maya words, LOL (flower) and TUN (stone). Located in the hilly Puuc region, 110 km. southeast of Mérida, these are the largest caves on the peninsula. They are also the ones that are the most studied. Evidence has been found here of human contact going back 7,000 years. Mammoth, bison, feline and deer bones have been found in the caves, along with fresco paintings on the walls.
The caves will amaze and delight even the most jaded traveler, and are a special treat for children. A special feature in these caves is the columns that can be “played” like musical instruments. When struck with the flat side of one’s fist, they strike two deep and beautiful bell-like tones. The caves seem to go on forever, and have not been fully and completely explored, even to this day.
The cave has been made more accessible for visitors with lighting on its paths. Your two-hour tour of approximately 1000 meters will take you from cathedral-like underground spaces, to dry riverbeds, beautiful glittering stalagmites that look like frozen fountains, and much more. At the end of the tour is a majestic collapsed vault.
The tour starts at the entrance of Nahkab, or beehive, where the famous bas-relief known as El Guerrero de Loltún (the Loltún warrior) is located, who seems to be emerging from the caves and is believed to be the God of the underworld. Another attraction of great interest is the cave paintings: on one wall one can see negatives of hands, on another there are more elaborate paintings representing faces, animals and staggered fret patterns. In the diverse halls, galleries and chambers – almost 60 m deep and extending over more than 700 m – diverse archaeological pieces, ceramics, stone artifacts, marine shells and petroglyphs have been found, corresponding to the Maya culture in its different stages of development.
For your own safety, you can only enter the caves with a guide. The bilingual guides do not charge for their services, so we recommend that you tip them.
Open: Monday to Sunday
Various tour schedules: 9 am to 4 pm
Entrance Fee: $124 pesos non-Mexican citizens, $92 pesos Mexican citizens
Guide Fee: This is something you negotiate with the local guides. The price varies between $500 to $600 pesos for a group.
Read William Lawson’s review of the caves (with great photos).