Grottoes Loltún, Lol Tun Cave, Yucatan: An Underground Castle
Take a walk into Lol Tun (Grottoes Loltún) Cave, and it feels like you are walking into a grandiose cathedral or castle. It is a bit of a rough walk down and into the cave but it is well worth the effort.
There is a mysterious quality to caves. While the water drips and every small sound echoes in the vast cavern, your eyes settle on the gigantic icicles of mineral deposits drooping down to the ground.
Caves are fascinating in that it makes one wonder why the earth’s crust doesn’t fall into these enormous holes under the very ground we walk on.
Magnificent views surround you. The sheer size of the cave feels like a whole new world to explore.
It makes us think that this awe-inspiring underground would make a good book called Blue People of the Underground, or Green People of the Subterranean or something like that.
10,000 years ago the ancient Mayans used the Lol Tun Cave as a shelter. There are Mayan carvings and paintings inside the cave dating back to 22oo B.C. Lol Tun Cave is one of the most extensive in Mexico and is over 2 kilometers long. They have recovered bones of mammoths, bison, cats and deer. Paintings on the walls include human faces, animals, and geometric shapes. The Mayans used the cave clay to make their tools. There are even Mayan handprints painted on the walls. The first relief carving you see is of the Warrior Loltun (El Guerrero de Loltun).
Like an underground castle, Lol Tun Cave is amazing and delightful for any age.
It’s located 110 km. SW of Merida, and 10 km. South of the town of Ozkutzcab, through pleasant orange groves, but it’s not easy to find. Signs are misleading. We went up and down the same road 5 times, stopping to ask people walking or biking along the road where it was. Each one gave different directions back the way we came! You can negotiate the price of a friendly proud guide speaking either English or Spanish, and they will help you down the rough steps and slippery parts inside. Open daily 9-5.
P.S. You will definitely get lost in the Lol Tun cave (Grottoes Loltún) without a guide.