Las Grutas de Rancho Nuevo.

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I’d been planning a trip to the caves of the “new ranch” for almost three months, so it was about time that I actually went! These caves are not particularly hard to get to and they are also very close to Comitan. In fact they’re just on this side of San Cristobal, Chiapas. So it seems fitting (as too what is probably my last blog in this region,) that I should finally find myself here.

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Getting there was quite simple, as in either direction it’s a very popular stop. From Comitan I took the comvi toward San Cristobal for about 70 pesos or $ 4 usd. On the way back I had to transfer comvis from Teopisca. Upon arriving you pay an entry fee of 10 pesos, and that gets you entrance to the park. It’s nice to have a such a large open forested area just outside the city, and many people were having picnics and barbecues this day. Press in a bit further and you’ll find the main attractions; the caves, food-court, playground, artisians, and horseback tours. There are also cabanas for over night rental and you can pitch a tent.

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I had came to explore the caves of which there are two, one cavernous system literally on top of the other. The most popular is the bottom cave and it’s even wheelchair compatible. Cost here was 20 pesos or about a dollar until you reach the end of the nicely lit, sidewalk style path. Now’s where the fun begins…. For an extra 35 pesos or 2 dollars you can put on a hard-hat, grab a flashlight and follow your guide further into the tunnel. This was actually quite fun, mostly because it was popular and two way flash-lit traffic illuminates the cavern fairly well.

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The other cave is more cathedral like and costs another 20 pesos. It is also heavily guarded, to prevent vandalism and theft. Both caves had the option of hiring a local guide but as I know very few rocks and minerals in spanish, I opted out. What I can say is the upper cave had a distinct odor ,and the main attractions were these almost translucent rock slivers stretching from the top to almost the bottom of the cave. The two caves were, in contrast strikingly different. So I would definitely suggest visiting them both, despite the price gouge.

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After a stroll through the artisians market I headed to the food-court where they were serving up some monster quesadillas. I had thought about taking a horse ride but the whole thing was a bit touristy. While the horses were bridled they were also haltered and your guide held the rope, so not really the ride I was looking for. Luckily this day had started early and I left just as a storm started roll in.

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With a little less than a week before I touch down in the States, I don’t know how much more exploring I’ll have time for. The next adventure starts July 2nd and things are going to get wild! While I’m sad to leave my Spanish behind, I’ve promised myself to keep working on it, but hey! They’ve got an app for that!

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