Our destination was the Calcehtok caves and the ruins at Oxkintok. We started our trip at 6:30 PM. It is easy to get there by just following the highway to Campeche. With a full tank of gas and some refreshments for the road, we took the picturesque route passing through the towns and villages of Uman, hacienda Poxilá, Chocholá, Kopoma and Maxcanú. You will find the cenote Chen Ha in Chochola.

Arriving to Maxcanu we asked some of the locals for directions to the village of Calcehtok. They very nicely pointed us in the right direction and we continued on our way. It was 7:34 PM when we saw the sign for Calcehtok. We turned left looking for a place to eat and just 100 meters away we saw a food stand with garnachas (fried corn dough with refried beans, grilled meat, lettuce, onion and chile habanero sauce.) What impressed us the most was the wonderful flavor… and the fantastic price. Just 2 pesos each, the owner, Doña Inocencia, served us quickly. After the fulfilling meal, we paid for 15 garnachas and three sodas and were then informed that the mayor of the village, Don Ruben, was at his store, The Star of the East. We walked over to visit him to ask where the caves are and if he knew of a place where we could camp. He showed us the way to the caves and told us there would be no problem if we camped there.

Arriving to the entrance to the caves, we got all our things out of the car and set up the tent for the night. The next morning we went back into town directly to Doña Inocencia’s place for breakfast where we ordered panuchos (fried tortillas with refried beans inside, shredded chicken, lettuce and chile habanero.) After breakfast we asked where we could find Jacinto Cuy Vega, an expert guide to the caves. He lives on Calle 23 No. 166 in a simple, small blue house. Upon arriving at his home, he told us he offers three different trips: the family trip that lasts about an hour; the adventure trip that is about two hours with some narrow passages where you have to crawl and some rope climbing; and the extreme tour that last five hours and is for those that like danger and emotion.

We asked for the adventure trip with a little bit of extreme and he agreed. So we started our trip that included having to crawl on the ground, climb some walls, slide down natural toboggan type slides, admiring the stalactite formations that let our imaginations run wild.  Honestly, it was an unforgettable experience that I highly recommend. Leaving the caves we headed towards Oxkintok located just 10 minutes from the Calcehtok caves.

At Oxkintok we ran into the guide Juan Huchim who took us to the Actun Usil caves. Inside the caves our jaws dropped in amazement when we saw the splendid cavern full of drawings and sculptures. Once again our minds flew as our imaginations took off seeing the Mayas doing the artistic drawings on the walls. When the short tour was over, the guide took us to the ruins of Oxkintok where he explained in great detail each part of the site.

After the trip, we returned to Mérida by the same route that brought us to these marvelous places. We recommend this trip to everyone and especially if you do it as an adventure as my two friends and myself did.

Editorial by Ricardo Basáñez
Email: [email protected]


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