Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

Cacahuamilpa caves

Useful Information

Location: Parque Nacional Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. Sierra Madre del Sur, municipality of Pilcaya, located in the most northern part of the State of Guerrero, 52 km (32 mi) from Taxco on Hwy 166 and 2,5 km. from the village of Cacahuamilpa.
Open: All year daily 10-17, tours on the full hour.
Fee: Adults MXN 90.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=10,000 m, H=1,105 m asl
Guided tours: L=4,000 m, D=120 min.
Bibliography: (1994): Mapa Turistico Del Estado De Guerrero, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Ed. Planeta Mexicana, 1994
Anita Hoffmann, José Palacios Vargas y Juan Morales Malacara (1986): Manual de Biospeleología, Ed. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F. 1986, p. 16
(1987): Estado De Guerrero, Mexico, Guia Turistica, Ed. Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática (INEGI), México D.F. 1987, p. 17
Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, Guerrero, Booklet, with no publisher mentioned
no author (1995): Diccionario Porrua De Historia, Biografia Y Geografia De Mexico, Ed. Porrúa, 6th edition. México D.F. 1995. p. 520
Dominik Bilimek (1867): Fauna der Grotte Cacahuamilpa in Mexiko. Verhandlungen der k.k. zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 17.
Address: Parque National de Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, Domicilio conocido s/n, Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, C.P. 40391, Municipio de Plicaya, Guerrero, Tel: 01-721-1040155, Tel: 01-721-1040156, Tel: 01-721-1040160. E-mail: contact
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.


1835 discovered by Manuel Saenz de la Peña.
1866 Pater Dominik Bilimek made the first biospeleological visit to the cave. Maximiliano von Habsburg, an Austrian wine merchant, accompanied him. Bilimek collected and described for the first time numerous cave animals.
1920 opened to the public.
1922 F. Bonet surveyed the cave, length 1,380 meters.
1935 the first scientific expedition organised by the Secretary of the French Legation together with other important personages of the day.
23-APR-1936 declared a National Park.
1968 guided tours begin.
1987 National Institute of Geography and Computer Science surveys the cave, length between four and five kilometers.


The cave has been known for centuries and has been open to the public since the early part of the last century. It was first mapped in the 1920's and is essentially a level 2 km long passage of borehole dimensions (average about 40 m wide by at least that high) and is extremely well decorated in places with floor to ceiling flowstone or columns. Having it lit up for the tourist trip is really the only way to appreciate it.

Cacahuamilpa is perhaps the best-known cave in Mexico and has been occupied at since pre-Hispanic times. Excavations produced fragments of pottery. The cave was also known as Salachi; whereas the term cacahuamilpa means "sementera of peanut".

In 19th century the cavern was famous for the stories and anecdotes that enriched the regional history and that have stayed with us to the present time. As in the case of Don Manuel Saénz de la Peña, the famous shopkeeper of Tetecala, who hid in the cave in 1834, to escape the powers of justice.

Another story dating from the beginning of the 19th century recalls the case of an Englishman got lost in the cave and died of starvation. The dog that accompanied his master was sent to look for aid; but as nobody took any notice of the dog, so the dog returned to the cave to die along side his master. They were buried in the cave and a cross marks the site of their grave.

Tours leave the visitor's centre, on the hour, every hour. They are in Spanish, but if you phone ahead, an English speaking guide can be booked (at great expense).

The guides commentary emphasises the numerous speleothems: Dante's head, the champagne bottle, the elephant, the tortillas, Madonna with child, etc., but at the end of the tour you can return to the entrance at your own pace, a wonderful opportunity to take as many photographs as you like. Bring plenty of slave units as some of the chambers are very large and up to 80  m high.

Also at the visitor's centre there are restaurants, snack bars, and souvenir shops.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

The cavern mouth measures 21 m in height and 42 m in width. The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa is located under the Cerro de la Corona, a limestone mountain ridge. This karst area shows many other karst features. The whole area is protected by a National Park with 1,500 hectares.

Rather well known are the resurgences of Chontalcoatlán river and San Jerónimo river. They are close together and only 5 km from the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. But to reach them, the visitors have to walk two hours.