Plans change, and for those of you that know me well, know how flexible I am. Of course when looking into going to San Cristobal I had researched lot’s of things, so I had a mixed bag swimming in my head when we left the first set of caves. El Arcotete is literally a couple of miles from Del Mamut and we made a quick decision to head there next. It ends up being one of the coolest places I have ever been.
After some confusion and a short transfer from the vans we were dropped off in the middle of nowhere and told to head down the road and follow the signs. Typical Jacque day! Anyways the cost was 15 pesos or $1usd. If there is a better route or different van service from Grutas del Mamut, I don’t know. We ended up walking to our destination (about 2k) the route was easy to find. I know most people would think it unsafe to wandering around back roads in Mexico, but I almost feel safer here then home. Upon paying the man at the gate 10 pesos or $.50usd, we entered the main park.
Without a park map or a kiosk my comrades and I kinda looked around wondering where to begin. I started to head down and got excited about the caves sign but I knew we were walking towards water and it was hot. All of a sudden we stepped into this amazing magical place! So as you can see by the pictures the name includes part of the derivative Arch (Middle English: from Old French arche, based on Latin arcus ‘bow’) which is the arch above the water. But wait there’s more! Looking up at these sheer massive cliffs there are peakaboo decks coming out from the caves above! We were actually under a cave! I was happier than a kid in a candy store!
So after that amazing view it was a small hike to the caves entrance and 15 pesos $1usd for entry and up we go! The path was uneven rock with a sheer drop and an old handrail. I was not ok with this. In places you had to duck and there really wasn’t enough room for two-way traffic. However I made it to the top trembling and soothing myself in english. I was quite a hilarious mess! The caves here were warm and the caverns small but there was so much to explore!
I ended up not being able to coax myself onto any of the decks. I also could not bring myself to check out the grutas de araña, the cave of the spider. I’ve not liked any of the spiders I’ve seen traveling. I especially hate the size of spiders here and the crunch or gush of them. So no for me! There was another off shoot but I really was worried about getting back down. I stood by the exit for about ten minutes talking myself into going down. People offered to help me, it was traumatic, but I finally took the plunge. I dropped onto my but and slid a few feet, then managed to avert my eyes from the cliff. Trembling and sweating I groped my way down trying not to stop. Of course at the bottom and on solid ground I laughed at myself. Why does that even happen sometimes? All in all it was totally worth it and I would not shy away from my fears. Unlike the tours in Central America there was no young guide boy to coax me through this!
After that I was exhausted! There are other things to do in El Arcotete, like zip-lining, climbing, horseback-riding, and a swinging bridge. That was enough adventure for this girl! We ended up grabbing a cab back to San Cristobal for 100 pesos $5usd. Split 3 ways wasn’t to bad. The adventures in San Cristobal are not over, but this trip is! Heading somewhere fab this weekend stayed tuned!
Captioned from the Oxford dictionary.