Mexico has many natural attractions that fascinate those who visit them and those who admire them through photos. Among those attractions are the Cacahuamilpa Caves.

These caves form the most famous cave in Mexico, so much so that it is visited by tourists and by specialists who go to study its fascinating geological and topographical structure.

Keep reading so you know everything you can find in this majestic natural monument of Mexico.

What are the Cacahuamilpa Caves and where are they?

They are a National Park located in the Sierra Madre del Sur, between the municipalities of Pilcaya and Taxco de Alarcón, north of the State of Guerrero, near the town of Cacahuamilpa.

The national park covers an area of ​​1,598 hectares and achieved Protected Area status in 1936 by decree of President Lázaro Cárdenas.

The main attraction of the caves is the large number of rock formations that have adopted curious shapes along a huge gallery with 19 rooms that have been illuminated for greater enjoyment and comfort of the public.

How to get to the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

If you go by car from Mexico City, you have three options to go to the caves: via Cuernavaca, via Toluca or via Chilpancingo. The first is the shortest. By the Toluca route it is possible to reach the national park via Ixtapan de la Sal and by the Chilpancingo route, via Taxco.

Depending on the route chosen, the route can be between 150 and 260 km.

How to Get to the Cacahuamilpa Caves from Mexico City by Truck?

The shortest route from Mexico City to the caves is via the road to Cuernavaca and then to the national park, with a distance of approximately 150 km.

It is also possible to go to Cacahuamilpa by truck along the Toluca – Ixtapan de la Sal and Toluca – Chilpancingo – Taxco routes, whose routes are 185 and 260 km, respectively.

The most comfortable way to go to the national park from Mexico City by bus is to take the subway to the Taxqueña station (south terminus of line 2) and board one of the units that go to the caves. The approximate price of the ticket is 150 MXN.

Read our definitive guide to the magical town of Ixtapan de la Sal, State of Mexico

How to get to the Cacahuamilpa Caves from Acapulco?

The distance between the coastal city of Guerrero and the caves is 290 km, for a journey time by car of more or less three hours.

To go from Acapulco to the caves by truck, you have to take a unit to Taxco. This Magical Town is located 25 km from Cacahuamilpa and the buses make the journey between Taxco and the cave in just over half an hour at a price of 20 MXN. The combis charge 40 MXN.

Read our guide on the 15 best hotels to stay in Acapulco

How to get to the Cacahuamilpa Caves from Cuernavaca?

The capital of the state of Morelos is located 69 km from the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa and there are three possible routes of almost the same route:

  • Via Alpuyeca (149 km).
  • Via Amacuzac – Mirador (152 km).
  • Via Puente de Ixtla – Michapa (146 km).

The trucks that depart from the Central Terminal of Cuernavaca to the caves charge 65 MXN.

How is the weather in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The climate in Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park is very pleasant, with an average annual temperature of 22 °C.

The hottest months are April and May, when the average mercury reaches 24 °C, while the coldest period is December – January, with an average temperature of 19 °C.

In winter the temperature can drop to 13°C, while in the hot months it can rise to 33°C.

The rainiest season is between June and September. The rest of the year rainfall is scarce.

What to do in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The main activity in the caves is to admire the stalactites and stalagmites that have acquired capricious shapes.

A fun activity is kayaking down the rapids of the Amacuzac River during the rainy season.

The rafting route is 3 km, ending in one of the national park’s caverns that is not regularly open to the public, where the rock formations are shaped like melted candles.

This activity is organized by the adventure tourism operator Terra 3, based in Cuernavaca.

Other excellent occasions to get to know Cacahuamilpa are in May during the Alarconian Days and in November during the Silver Fair.

These two events take place in the nearby Magical Town of Taxco de Alarcón and their programming includes musical concerts in the caves. Two celebrities who have sung at the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa are Miguel Bose and Andrea Bocelli.

The caves have a cafeteria, souvenir shop , restrooms and parking.

What to see in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The rock formations of the caves are distributed throughout the 19 rooms that make up the great gallery. The multicolored lighting in the halls creates surprising effects on the rocky structures.

The rooms have lighting and have been identified according to the colloquial names given to the striking silhouettes of the rock formations, among them.

The names of the halls are: El Pórtico, Los Enamorados, Aurora, Los Thrones, El Pantheon, Plaza de Armas, El Volcán, Pedregal del Muerto, Elephant Trunk, La Bottle of Champagne and La Gloria y El Infierno.

The halls have widths greater than 42 m and heights that exceed 20 m. The length of the gallery was blocked by a landslide and according to local legend its total length is several kilometers.

The distance traveled by visitors is 2 km, to which must be added the 2 km return.

The cavern was formed by an old subterranean channel of the San Jerónimo River, a subsoil current that currently circulates about 100 meters below the cavern.

What is the meaning of “Cacahuamilpa”?

The term “cacahuamilpa” comes from the Nahua words “cacahuatl”, which means “cocoa” and “milli”, which means “sown”, so its most accepted meaning is “cocoa sown”.

Where to stay near the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The best hotels near the caves are in the Magical Town of Guerrero, Taxco de Alarcón.

Santa Elena Hotel Boutique , located at Lucia Alcocer de Figueroa N°1, Huajojutla, has a beautiful colonial style, in harmony with the architecture of Taxco. It has a spa room and free Wi-Fi .

Hotel Montetaxco is the most exclusive accommodation in Taxco, with fantastic beautifully decorated rooms, two restaurants and a cafe-bar, spa , swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts and cable car.

Villas de la Montaña is located in the Fraccionamiento Lomas de Taxco, on top of the Taxco mountain. Its clients can access the premises of the Hotel Montetaxco according to a special agreement.

Other lodgings close to the Cacahuamilpa Caves are De Cantera y Plata Hotel Boutique, Hotel Real de San Diego, Hotel de La Borda, Posada de La Misión, Posada de San Javier, Hotel Emilia and La Casa del Laurel.

Where to eat near the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

On the outskirts of the caves there are several food stalls where you can enjoy various dishes and typical snacks of Mexican cuisine. There is an area with grills, in case you prefer to prepare something yourself.

Like the hotels, the best restaurants near the caves are also in Taxco. El Taxqueño restaurant is located in the Hotel Montetaxco and serves the best Mexican food in an incomparable atmosphere.

The Punto 925 restaurant is located in the De Cantera y Plata boutique hotel, it is a cozy gastronomic space in the line of contemporary Mexican and international cuisine. They have the best wines in Mexico and their cocktails are top notch.

To eat good and cheap in Taxco you should go to Cocina Económica IME, on Avenida de los Platero, No. 119. You can read its menu on a blackboard and everyone leaves satisfied with its seasoning and generous portions.

The food is homemade, the tortillas are freshly made and from its upper floor there are magnificent views of the Magical Town.

Toni’s Restaurante, Tía Calla Pozolería, Tia Male Economic Kitchen and El Toque Romero are also good places to eat well and at reasonable prices in Taxco.

Read our definitive guide to the magical town of Taxco, Guerrero

What days are they open and how much does it cost to enter the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

You can enter the caves every day of the week from 10 am to 5 pm The entrance costs 90 MXN for a journey of approximately 4 km (two out and two back) that lasts about two hours.

Seniors pay 20 MXN. The tours are guided and are made by groups of 20 visitors. If the lump sum is paid for the entire group, one of the people enters for free.

What handicrafts to buy in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The main crafts made in the municipality of Pilcaya and in the town of Cacahuamilpa are printed jute rugs and bouquets of dried flowers.

A greater variety of artisan products is obtained in Taxco, especially the silver work of its goldsmiths and silversmiths.

Taxco was an important silver producing center in Mexico and from that operation the experience in metal working was left. Taxco’s silversmiths are world-renowned and in the Magical Town they make a large number of jewelry, ornaments and silver objects.

On Saturdays, the Tianguis de la Plata is held in Taxco, a street market in which artisans display their silver products in the open air. During the last week of November, the National Silver Fair is held.

Taxco artisans also work with clay, natural fibers, leather and wood, molding and making beautiful souvenirs .

What environmental activities are there in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

Speleology or cave research is one of the main activities in the caves.

In the national park there is a Botanical Garden dedicated to the flora of that region of Guerrero, which can be visited every day of the year for a small fee.

The flora of the park is low jungle or tropical forest and among the most representative species are copals, cuajiotes, pochotes, hunters, brazilwoods and amates. There are also bromeliads, nopales and magueyes.

The fauna has been counted in 195 species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, and some of the animals that live in the national park are rattlesnakes, cacomiztles, badgers, raccoons, iguanas, buzzards, ocelots, lynxes and pumas.

The wildlife of the fauna species has been affected by human activity.

Can you camp in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The park has a camping area that can be used 365 days a year. The price is 50 MXN per person per day.

 

What adventure sports can be practiced in the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

Apart from rafting down the Amacuzac River during the high water season, in the national park you can rappel, climb, pendulum, zip-line, traverse underground rivers and mountain biking.

The tour operator Terra 3, based at Júpiter Nº 7, Bello Horizonte, Cuernavaca, organizes extreme sports tours through the caves and other places of interest.

Terra 3 packages include canyoning, caving, rafting , hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, and other entertainment.

When were the Cacahuamilpa Caves Discovered?

The caves were discovered in 1827 and the first expeditions were carried out in the period 1834-1850.

During the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the caves aroused a certain scientific, journalistic and tourist interest.

After the Mexican Revolution, interest in the site grew and in 1936 it was converted into a national park. During the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, scientific work intensified, making it possible to establish the geological characteristics and origin of the caves.

How were the Cacahuamilpa Caves Formed?

The rocks of the cavern are limestone of marine origin with an estimated age of eighty-five million years and it is believed that the cavity was opened by an underground current of the San Jerónimo River that circulated at that level a long time ago.

The stalactitic and stalagmitic concretions and other rock formations of the caves reached their singular forms through the millenary deposition of the mineral salts contained in the waters.

Who Discovered the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

The historical account tells that in 1827, Manuel Sainz de la Peña and Juan Puyadi, two residents of the Morelos town of Tetacala, had a fight in which the second was injured.

A chase began against Sainz de la Peña and he disappeared hiding in the caves, which indicates that the entrance to the place was already known, at least by some locals.

After some time, the fugitive came out of hiding and recounted his experience to the young priest Mucio Valdovinos, describing the wonderful natural forms he had seen in the caves.

Father Valdovinos would become a writer and one of the founders of the Mexican Academy of Language, so the story of Manuel Sainz de la Peña could not have fallen on better ears.

Sainz de la Peña revealed the entrance to the caves and explorations inside began in 1834.

Have the Cacahuamilpa Caves been Inhabited?

The caves were occupied during pre-Hispanic times by groups of indigenous people who used them for their religious rites to worship their gods.

The caves were used by the Olmecs and later by their descendants, the Chontals, a Mayan ethnic group that had already begun its decline when the Spanish arrived.

What other attractions are near the Cacahuamilpa Caves?

Many people who travel to see the Cacahuamilpa Caves first make a stop at the Magical Town of Taxco de Alarcón, tourist destinations separated by only 25 km.

Taxco has beautiful buildings and civil and religious monuments, among which are the Monumental Christ, the Church of Santa Prisca and San Sebastián, the former Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, the House of Tears and the Borda Square.

It also has museums on various themes, such as the Spratling Archaeological Museum , the Viceregal Art Museum, and the Antonio Pineda Silverware Museum.

To the proximity of the Caves of Cacahuamilpa, Taxco, adds other charming natural places, such as the Cacalotenango Waterfall, the Blue Pools of Atzala and the Cerro del Huixteco.

The beautiful Cascada de Cacalotenango has a drop of 80 m and nearby there are zip lines and the possibility of horseback riding and hiking.

Las Pozas Azules is a natural spa located in the community of Atzala, just 15 km from the Magical Town, with crystal clear waters of a beautiful turquoise tone, excellent for refreshing the body after touring the Cacahuamilpa Caves and other natural places in the region. .

Cerro del Huixteco, with its summit at 1800 m above sea level, is the highest point in Taxco and has an extraordinary circuit for mountain biking, which is praised by specialists in the discipline.

Silver work provides Taxco with its most important handicraft work front.

 

We hope we have inspired you to visit these wonderful caves very soon and do not forget to tell us about your experiences in the national park in the comments section.

Share this article with your friends, so they can also go to the Cacahuamilpa Caves with all the necessary information to enjoy a fantastic trip.

 

 

See also:

  • Click to read our ultimate guide to Tequesquitengo, Morelos
  • Get to know the 15 best hot springs in Mexico
  • Read here to know more about the 10 best types of tourism in Mexico
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