In the Yucatan Peninsula there are many holes to discover, but the caves of Kantemó They have a unique attraction: there are snakes hanging in their cavities waiting to catch the thousands of bats that come out at sunset. Ready for something spectacular?

Sometimes there are phenomena so unique and special that you are able to travel thousands of kilometers to live that experience. I remember that the first time I saw snakes hunting bats was in a BBC documentary, and if I'm not mistaken it was filmed in Indonesia. I was stuck with those images, so imagine when I found out we had mousetrap snakes pendants in Quintana Roo that had developed this unique behavior.

mousetrap snakes
Photo courtesy of © Dickson Glacier

THE CAVE OF KANTEMÓ HANGING SNAKES

It is going to be a traveling friend who begins to explain the wonderful things that await you in the caves of Kantemó, with the impressive hanging snakes. When I read his words right away I knew he would open this article.

«The truth is that when I traveled to Yucatan, two were my main objectives: Calakmul and Kantemó. Kantemó far exceeded my expectations, as soon as you enter the cave there is a panel with hundreds of perfectly formed fossils, then a small cenote where totally white blind fish and eels live, and when you start entering through its narrow tunnels they appear hanging from the roof with its mouth open, boas of different sizes waiting to hunt any of the thousands of bats that flutter towards the exit. AWESOME. It is a unique place in the world. These boas are born and grow inside the cave in complete darkness and I think that here and only here the boas have learned this incredible bat hunting technique.

Traveler friend, thank you very much for your photos, and for your stolen words. I found them more than perfect.

I personally subscribe to each word he says, for me it was just as exciting and vibrant the experience. When I found out about the existence of caves of Kantemó I lived in Cancun, and I didn't have time to go visit them. Sometimes we create friendship between travelers who share emotions in a few hours, and it is as stable over time as other types of friends. Even if you don't cross that person's path again.

caves of kantemo hanging snakes
Mousetrap snake eating the bat. Photo courtesy of © Dickson Glacier
Live the grotto adventure of Kantemo, the hanging snakes 1
Fossils Photo courtesy of © Dickson Glacier
Live the grotto adventure of Kantemo, the hanging snakes 2
Photo courtesy of © Dickson Glacier

MOUSE SNAKES THE INHABITANTS OF THE CAVE

One of the most well-known inhabitants of the caverns are the bats. In the caves of Kantemó Up to 7 species of these coexist, strategically distributed throughout the cave. Bats are the staple of food for other species that live here, including rare endemic aquatic fauna such as the blind eel and the blind shrimp. For the visitor, the great attraction of the caves are the well-known Hanging snakes

These mousetrap snakes stained (elaphe flavirufa) are common in Quintana Roo. What is extraordinary is their ability to adapt to feed in these caves: it is exceptional to see how bats hunt, hanging on the rocks of the grotto, waiting for the right moment to attack their prey.

Snakes are not poisonous

About 100 bats per second leave the cave at sunset for two long hours. Kantemó where we are so close to an unusual phenomenon.

VISIT GRUTAS KANTEMÓ

Although during the visit to the caves of Kantemó the emotion of the snakes mousetraps, it is a place to enjoy its natural treasures. Going down to the depths reveals a fascinating world where we see the oldest traces of our existence in the form of stalactites or marine fossils, exciting tracks of the Planet.

Until the entrance of caves of the hanging snakes of Kantemó There is a 1,5 kilometer trail from the parking lot and service area. The guides give you a helmet with a built-in lamp for the interior of the grotto. Get ready to get dirty to find the snakes, it is quite a Kantemo adventure.

kantemo grottos

KANTEMÓ COMMUNITY TOURISM

The small town of Kantemó It is part of one of the community ecotourism developments that exist throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. From the 2003 this project welcomes curious travelers with a desire for different experiences. The hanging snakes of the caves of Kantemó They are a unique attraction.

Beej Ka´ax Ha Eco-tourism Center

Beej Ka'ax Ha is the name of the cooperative that manages the place. In the town they offer accommodation in 4 Mayan-style cabins.

In this area a local tourism strengthened by its natural charms and the Route of the Churches begins to emerge. This route is located between Peto and Felipe Carrillo Puerto, an area with a strong Mayan tradition. 

CONTACT GRUTAS DE KANTEMÓ: you can contact with Beej Ka'ax Ha In a direct way

Other Mayan communities in the Yucatan Peninsula where to stay

Kantemo Grottoes

Going off the usual route to see this wonder is sure to be very appetizing for many. The hanging serpents of Kantemo are something unique

Live the grotto adventure of Kantemo, the hanging snakes 3

Kantemo grotto hanging serpents

LOCATION:the Kantemo caves are located on Highway 184, which connects Felipe Carrillo Puerto with Peto and Mérida. After passing José María Morelos, you will find Dziuché and 2 km you will reach Kantemó.
SCHEDULES AND SERVICES:visiting time is at sunset to see the hanging snakes. There are other activities such as visiting the Chichankanab lagoon that you can do with the Kantemo guides.
PRICE ENTRY: 630 pesos per person. Includes bike rental and equipment to enter the cave: helmet, lamp, face mask and gloves.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Public transport arrives from Felipe Carrillo Puerto or Peto. You will have to make combi combinations, but it does come.
WHAT TO BRING? Comfortable clothes that can get dirty and closed shoes that hold your foot well.
ACCOMMODATION IN KANTEMÓ You can stay in one of the 4 simple two-person Mayan-style cabins with a private bathroom. There is also a camping area. They offer you food services. Cost of 700 pesos per cabin.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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