For those who love adrenaline and going underground, the Calcehtok caves are a perfect destination for discovering an underworld full of history and mysteries.

The Maya used to live in the caves, and during the Caste War they were used as a refuge and hiding place for the rebels. There are many stories to tell about these passages… it’s also said that the “aluxes” (Maya elves) lived there: more about that click here.

You should wear jeans and anti-slip shoes, take a bottle of drinking water, and bring a change of clothes. You should always go inside the cave with a guide; don’t go by yourself because you can easily get lost and there is no lighting.

There are tours for every kind of traveler: a family tour where you can walk along the passages and see Maya pots and utensils, and hear amazing stories from the guides. The prices are around $100 pesos per person in this package and they increase depending on the type of tour, with a duration of two to 6 hours.

Another tour is more adventurous: you will need to climb and crawl around to see cave paintings and other more hidden items. In the extreme version you will need to go through narrow spaces between the rocks, and pull yourself along on ropes: ideal for adrenaline lovers.

No matter which option you choose, the feeling will be the same: a combination of fear, magic, and an underground world like something from the movies. Coming back above the ground is like coming back to life after a mystical experience.

Just 15 minutes from Calcehtok, in the town of Maxcanú you will find the archaeological site of Oxkintok, unique because it has a Maya labyrinth that was used for rituals and ceremonies. It is one of the most ancient sites in the region. The entry fee is $50 pesos for nationals and foreigners; free entry on Sundays for nationals.

Complete this adventure by refreshing yourself in a cenote. Ask the locals in Maxcanú; there are many in the area, ideal for a day of exploring “Indiana Jones” style, right here in Yucatán.

Calcehtok caves are 70 km from Mérida, on the highway to Muna.

Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell


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