The bowels of the Yucatan Peninsula almost keep the best treasures of these Mayan lands. Visit one of the many caves It is essential for travelers. Santa Rita's are a great opportunity on your way.

Yucatan Peninsula
is well known in the world of speleogy and speleobuceo, a fantastic place for professionals and cavities enthusiasts. The terrain of karstic rock that forms the Peninsula is arranged as a large cheese full of cavities to explore.

This underground world treasures the most intact antiquity, a universe parallel to the earth, where you penetrate a new knowledge that ends up trapping you.


Grutas de Santa Rita, the underworld

The caves of Santa Rita They are run by the local community, a cooperative with several trained guides that will lead you to the Mayan underworld and tell you what the grottos keep. Listening to the stories through the Mayans gives an interesting point to the visit, a pleasant way to share. The relationship of the maya with the caves and the cenotes is ancestral, the xibalbá (maya quiché), is one of the three great cosmic levels of the Mayan world: the celestial, the earthly and the subterranean. Through the caves and cenotes you can access the xibalbá, the Mayan underworld.

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 1

La community of Santa Rita It was founded in 1947 by Don Justo Pastor Xiu Chan. A cenote of the area serves to supply the 10 families of the place. There are several caves in the area, two being the Crystalline Mother y Aktún K'ab, those enabled for tourism.

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 2
Entrance to Crystalline Mother
The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 3
Entrance to Aktún K'ab

Tour caves of Santa Rita

From the parking area and services there is a path of 2 kilometers through the jungle, which you can do by bike or on foot, until the Grotto Crystalline Mother. Here a journey between petrified forests of stalagmites, stalactites of unthinkable shapes, columns and altars awaits us .... and some animal bone to remind you that grottos are dwellings of several animals, including humans. The formation process of stalactites and stalagmites is very slow, taking around 100 or 150 years to form 2.5 centimeters of rock. Look at the map of the Planet's history around you, awe-inspiring place.

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 4
The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 5
Animal bones
The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 6

The bowels of the Crystalline Mother they preserve the traces of the human being in the form of painted hands, the majority in negative, another exciting sample of our historical past.

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 7
Never take pictures with flash, damage the paint. The photo is illuminated with a lamp

The next grotto, a few meters from the road, is Aktun K'ab or Kaab ( Cave of the hands in Spanish), another fascinating journey to the depths of our history. The name of the cave reminds us of the large number of hands that are located in the interior, more than 300 have been counted, a moving footprint that attracted the first professional explorers.

Near the bodies of water is where more painted hands are

In case the world of stones molded by the water and painted hands was not enough, you will have the opportunity to refresh yourself in the crystal clear waters that the cave conserves to more than 10 meters of depth. Pure magic this underworld, pure nature. The cenote what is there is a gift.


This fantastic experience of the hand of the members of the community of Santa Rita It is pleasing in every way. Thanks to the guides Atilano Xiu Kanxoc and Feliciano Tun Xiu, for an enriching experience for their underworld. And I mention with all affection Pedro, the friend of the Chooj Ja 'cenote, neighbor of the zone, who accompanied me a day of visit. This area is full of beautiful cavities, you can perfectly combine the two visits.

Crystalline Mother It's easier to go, Aktún Ka'b it is for travelers with a more adventurous spirit, who will surely enjoy the experience. The grottos are not illuminated: the guide takes focus and they give you a helmet with light for the interior. Places like this bring you closer to this land, I even dare say that to yourself.

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 8

Grutas de Santa Rita, nature

LOCATION:grottos of Santa Rita are located between Chemax X-can (to 28 km.), on the federal highway 180, the free from Cancun to Merida. Arriving at the community of La Estrella, follow a sign that indicates Buenavista. A dirt road of 7km takes you to the parking lot, signposted with wooden signs. Until you see the cave signs, you did not arrive.

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 9

SCHEDULE AND SERVICES: Open from 8 to 17 daily hours. There are toilet services and changing rooms. They are not very visited, so if you do not find anyone when you arrive, go to the nearby houses to ask.
CONTACT of grottos Santa Rita: Atilano (045) 985 1017259 [Email protected]
TRAVEL PRICE: 300 mxn the journey of more than two hours through the two caves.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? It is difficult to access by public transport unless you want to walk the 7 Km. From the 180 federal highway to the community.
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothing, hat, insect repellent, closed and comfortable shoes to protect you from insect bites, some water always goes well swimsuit and a towel or pareo to dry after the bath.
THE LAW OF THE GOOD CENOTERO: To avoid contaminating the delicate water of the cenotes, do not use body creams, or protectors, or repellents before entering them. Do not hang from the roots of the trees or touch the stalactites or do any other idiocy that damages the place.
ACCOMMODATION: There is an area for camping and a simple hut serves as accommodation for the adventurers that require it. There are common services.
Studio of the Grotto Madre Cristalina de Fatima Tec Pool, Ajau Speleological Group.

Good way,

The grottos of Santa Rita, the painted hands of the underworld 10
the shortest way participate in affiliate program this means that we get a small commission if you buy through these links accessing discounts; in no case does it suppose an additional cost for you and in this way you help us to maintain the blog.

If you prefer, you tell us your idea of ​​the trip and together we organize it.

Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. I help promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of this blog, recently 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.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

English EN
error: Content is protected !!