Cuevas del Masical

Cueva de El Masical

Useful Information

Location: San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Western Honduras.
4 km from Cerro Montuca, department of Santa Bárbara.
(14.921190, -88.340145)
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Cuevas del Masical (Masical Cave) is noted for its speleothems and is archaeologically relevant. The cave was named after a tree named masica which grows around the entrance in abundance. The tree was traditionally used to make nixtamal. The traditional preparation of nixtamal is cooking the corn grain, rest, rinse and grind. Unfortunately there are other caves with the same name in Honduras, so they are sometimes mixed up. It seems the Masical tree is quite abundant.

The cave was an indigenous ceremonial center and cemetery. According to tradition, the mysterious cave of El Masical is the infernal path of the demons who travel in the dark and tenebrous nights in a diabolical caravan to the cave of El Pencaligue, the sinister abode of the spirits of evil that sow fear and astonishment among the men who dedicate themselves to the night life. There is a stream that all those people who have disrespected the laws of nature and have dared to cross this creek have been trapped in the infernal tentacles of the colossal Montuca hill. According to the elders, the Indians who fought against the Spaniards to defend the Honduran lands used to hide in the cave of El Masical.

The cave was explored by numerous caving expedition. There was a survey and both biological and archaeological research. Some time ago some curious people from San Nicolas found clay pots and pitchers full of gold dust in the cave. The military confiscated them and now these relics are on display in the Hotel Honduras Maya.

You will not find this cave on your own, take a guide from the local village. The locals try to make the cave a show cave but have no funding. Nevertheless, there are activities, like a facebook page, and you should be able to easily get a guide. The location we give is only the general area, we do not have the exact location. If you read their description, its better not to try finding it yourself:

To get to this marvellous place you have to go along the road known as El Calichal, passing a ravine near the property of don Reinaldo Enamorado, known as Chito, and further on you will come to a river with very large stones. Whenever you go to the cave you always have to be accompanied. In 1988 a boy drowned in the same river when he came from fetching firewood, he was the son of Santos Colon. Passing the river and various obstacles such as sticks and stones and the anger of the waters, you reach a rock where you have to crouch down, it is dangerous, if you fall you can die. Still walking along the river there is a small climb and you reach the cueva de los encantos.