|Location:||On the edge of Lanquín, nestled in the foothills of a chain of mountains.|
|Open:||All year daily 8-16.|
|Fee:||Adults USD 2.60.|
|Light:||electric, bring torch anyway|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1966||cave explored by an NSS group led by Russ Gurnee.|
Lanquín Caves is advertised on the web to be smaller than Candelaria Caves. The Candelaria caves are of impressive size, but still this kind of comparison is not really a good argument to visit the cave. The cave contains a huge population of fruit bats. At dusk thousands of them fly out of the cave and into the night sky to feed.
This cave was already known to the Maya, and was a sacred place where religious offerings and sacrifices were made. 100m inside are original altars that are still used today for modern Maya rituals. This rituals include the burning of copal incense and the blood sacrifice of chickens. The locals still consider the cave to be a sacred place.
The cave has electric lights and paths. Still the floor is often slippery and walking shoes are a good idea. Also it is recommended to take your own flashlight. It has happened that the lights in the cave went off unexpectedly. Visitors with appropriate equipment, especially light, are generally allowed to visit the passages behind the developed part.
Lanquín Cave is the source of the Lanquin River, called Nacimiento del Río Lanquín. It is possible to swim in the spring and the river, and it is possible to camp at the mouth of the cave with a tent.
Near the town of Lanquín are the Lanquín Caves, from which the Río Lanquín rises. The cave is noted for its strange speleothems which have names such as the eagle and the tower. The cave whose ceiling hangs with thousands of stalactites, is dangerously slippery, although the hand rails are a help. The sight of bats flying out the entrance at dusk is impressive. Outside the cave you can swim in the deep, wide river, and camp for free.
Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.