Yucatán has impressive underground treasures, caves and caverns that will awaken your explorer’s spirit: true secrets of nature awaiting your visit. We have prepared a selection of five caves that you can explore, either with your family or friends. Join us and prepare your next weekend excursion.

1. Chocantes de Tekax: Zastuntunic

If you like extreme adventures, this is your chance to experience something unique. The “crystal caves” are full of beauty, as their interiors have mineral formations in the shape of waterfalls, that shine brightly when illuminated with your flashlight, hence the name. Of course, to get to them is a journey that will test your physical condition and desire for adventure, as you will first descend about 10 meters on a metal ladder, then 20 meters more on steps made of tires; then another wooden staircase (with the help of a rope), for a total of 50 meters of descent! Then you will have to travel another 3 kilometers doing a belly crawl until the cavern opens before you, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the waterfalls. It is a journey of almost 8 kilometers and takes about 7 to 9 hours.

How to get there: Located in Tekax, Yucatán, just an hour and a half on the MéridaChetumal highway.
Services: It has a service booth at the entrance where you can leave your belongings. Wear clothing that can get dirty, knee pads, gloves, and carry drinking water.

Contact: Facebook: Ecoguerreros Yucatán in association with Chac Bolay Tours; also with Mario Novelo Dorantes ([email protected]).

2. Sanahcat

This is a beautiful place where you can explore the caves, its passages, and caverns; an adventure that you can enjoy as a family because of the easy access to enter its depths and enjoy its waters, since there are springs inside the caverns and cenotes nearby to cool off

How to get there: Take the MéridaValladolid road, continue to Tahmek and then take the road to Hocabá and then Sanahcat, it is approximately a one hour trip. The caves are located 3 kilometers from Sanahcat with access via a dirt road.

Services: It has a tourist area with toilets, showers, rest áreas, and lodging cabins.

Contact: Facebook: Grutas de Sanah-cat, cel. 9881 03 95 83.

3. Balankanché

The Balankanche caves, located in the municipality of Tinum, once served as a Maya ceremonial center, so you will find objects of devotion and altars in its imposing interior that reaches more than 7 and 25 meters. Exploring by foot its large space takes about 30 minutes. You will be able to appreciate the throne of Balam as well as a large pillar formed by the union of a stalactite with a stalagmite resembling a great ceiba tree.

How to get there: From Mérida on the road to Cancun, follow the signs to Chichén Itzá; the caves are 6 km past the archaeological site: 35 km from Valladolid and 132 km from Mérida, 1 hour and 45 minutes by car.

Services: Open from Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm, with tourist services, parking, guide service and an admission fee of $146 pesos for international visitors and $109 pesos for Mexican nationals.

4. Calcehtok

These caves, also known as Actun X-Pukil, are among the largest in the Yucatán Peninsula. Because it has many tunnels inside, it is advisable to enter with a guide. More than 30 nearby caves have been discovered, and all are believed to be connected. Entering these caves will provide you with a unique experience in which you can appreciate natural formations with impressive resemblance to objects, animals, and faces. Remains of pre-hispanic material, animal bones, hunting objects as well as haltunes (stone structures to contain water) have been found in its interior. You will really feel in a parallel universe beneath these structures.

How to get there: 71 km from Mérida, the caves are located 20 miles northwest of Muna, near Maxcanú, approximately 55 minutes by car.

Services: It has guides that offer routes for beginners and experts, depending on the access paths, since in some it is necessary to climb with a rope or to crawl between the rocks.

5. Loltún

The most famous and large caves of Yucatan, whose name means flower (lol) and stone (tun). The peculiarity of these caverns is that by touching the stones they emit a somber sound, like an underground musical instrument. There are also cave paintings as well as figures of faces and animals in the formations of the stones. It takes approximately 2 hours to explore, and they have illumination so that you can more easily appreciate this underground treasure of Yucatán. Evidence of human settlements has been found, as have mammoth, bison, felines, and deer bones.

How to get there: Exit Mérida heading to Campeche until you reach Oxkutzcab, then turn 7 kilometers to the southwest to reach the caves. 119 kilometers from Mérida, approximately 2 hours by car.

Services: Open Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. Parking, guided tour services, restaurant and bathrooms. Entry: $146 pesos for international visitors and $109 pesos for Mexican nationals.

Remember in all cases to wear comfortable clothes, carry water and make use of the guides on the routes.

Live a unique experience in the depths of the Yucatán Peninsula!

By Violeta H. Cantarell

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