Inside the Mountain
We all felt like those wobbly-headed dolls after the 2 ½ hour bus ride from Oaxaca over bumpy roads and what seemed like a thousand topes (speed bumps). But the cave of San Sebastian de las Grutas was worth every jolt!
Huffing and puffing at 1700 meters (5577 ft.) altitude, we trudged up a steep hill and entered through an opening in the mountainside, followed a trail of about 400 meters (1312 ft.), and exited through an opening in the other side of the mountain!
The limestone cave has five rooms with heights of 20-70 meters (65-230 ft.) Giant stalactites and stalagmites are still being formed by acid rainwater dripping through and dissolving the limestone.
The cave system has several branches but only one of them has been explored. Guides with strong flashlights accompany all visitors, as there are no lights or handholds inside the cave. Depending on the size of the group, the guides supply some extra lights, but it’s a good idea to bring your own, if for no other reason than to improve your photography!
You could make the most of the bus ride by spending a couple of nights in one of the eco-cabins that are nestled among towering sabinos or tules (bald cypress trees). The park like area is great for hiking, bird-watching, swimming in a nearby creek, or just relaxing.
Following is a gallery of photos taken in and around the cave.