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Grutas de Cacahuamilpa – Mexicos Amazing Caves Off The Beaten Track

The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa are some amazing caves in Central Mexico that are relatively unknown to foreign tourists. 

We discovered them by just clicking around on Google Maps while visiting Taxco. With over 17,000 Google reviews we thought it must be worth visiting!

We were blown away when we visited. The sheer size of the caves is mindblowing. Pictures will never do it justice. You have to be there in person to appreciate how huge and beautiful these caves are. 

So let’s dive in and find out all about visiting these fascinating caves a few hours south of Mexico City. 

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Grutas de Cacahuamilpa History

The word Cacahuamilpa translates to “fertile peanut planting field”. It is a Nautl word, one of Mexico’s indigenous cultures. They named the area this because it is a good place to grow peanuts.

In pre-hispanic times many indigenous tribes did not enter the cave system. They believed that the rock formations in the caves were evil spirits. So it was believed to be bad luck to enter the cave.

The modern history of the cave started in 1834 when a rich man from a nearby town was hidden in the caves during a dispute with another local man. He returned to his hometown and told everyone about the amazing caves he was hidden in. 

After this point, people started to visit the caves. They opened for tourists in 1920 and the area was declared a National Park by the Mexican Government in 1936.

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How to get to Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

The cheapest way to get to Grutas de Cacahuamilpa is to take a bus. I recommend taking the direct bus from Mexico City to Taxco and staying the night.

Taxco is a super beautiful town that you have to visit. It is only a 30-minute drive from the caves so is conveniently located.

Taxco to Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

The most convenient way to get from Taxco to Grutas de Cacahuamilpa is to take a taxi. A taxi should cost about 250 Pesos or 13 USD each way. 

It is quite cheap considering how long the drive is. The caves are 52 kilometres from Taxco. If you are travelling in a group it becomes even cheaper.

If you are on a tight budget then the best way to get from Taxco to the caves is to take the Flecha Roja bus. A ticket costs 46 Pesos or about 2 USD and can be purchased at the bus station in Taxco. 

It departs at 7:20 am, 8:50 am and 10:20 am. I recommend catching the earliest or second earliest bus because if you take the 10:20 bus you may risk missing the last bus back to Taxco.

The bus will not drop you at the entrance to the caves but on the side of the highway. You will then need to walk a few hundred meters down the hill to the caves.

Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico

Tickets & Tours for Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

When you arrive at the caves you will have to purchase your ticket at the entrance and wait for your tour to start.

Entrance to the caves costs 100 Pesos or 5 USD per person. You can only enter the cave with a tour guide which is included in the ticket price.

The tours leave every hour on the hour so if possible try and arrive close to the hour. Otherwise, you will have a long wait for your tour to start.

The tours are only available in Spanish and the group size depends on how many people show up. If you would like to have a tour in English you have to organize one in advance.

An English tour guide costs 500 pesos or just under 30 USD. To organise an English tour send an email to [email protected].

If you are not on a tight budget and your Spanish is not good I recommend getting an English guide. The explanations in Spanish dragged on and we struggled to understand some parts.

Entrance to the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park

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Entering the Caves

The tour starts by following the tour guide from the entrance to the other side of the valley for 10 minutes where the caves are located.

Instead of walking, you can use the zip line to the other side of the valley. This costs additional and you can pay on the spot if you want to do it.

When you arrive at the entrance you can already appreciate the scale of the caves. The entrance is enormous and much bigger than any other caves I have ever visited.

Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico

Inside Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

After entering the tour guide will talk about the history of the caves and point out features. A lot of the descriptions are mainly stating what the formations look like.

So you are not missing out on too much if you are on the Spanish-speaking tour and cannot understand what they are saying!

At each section, the guide turns on lights and makes it visible to what lies ahead. It is always mindblowing how huge the caverns are and how deep it goes inside.

At the highest points, the cave is 70 meters high and up to 150 meters wide. It feels like an entire city could fit in the caves.

Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico

One fact that we did not realize before arriving at the caves is that the walk through the caves is 2 km (1.2 miles) each way!

So you will do 4 km (2.4 miles) of walking inside the caves which is crazy. Every time we thought we were getting near the end the guide would turn the lights on to another seemingly endless cavern.

What is even more fascinating is, that the section you walk, is only the part of the caves open to the public. Two rivers are part of the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa system: The San Jeronimo River goes 12 km (7.4 miles) underground while the Chontalcoatlan River goes 8 km (5 miles) underground.

It is not just the size of the caves that are impressive but the patterns created by all the stalagtites and stalagmites are very beautiful.

Seating within the cave for concerts and events

Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico

At one point of the tour, you will arrive at a concert area deep within the caves. This area is used for special events and famous opera singers like Andrea Bocelli have performed here as the cave has very good acoustics. 

I am not an opera fan but attending a concert deep underground in an enormous cave would be an amazing experience.

About halfway through the tour, there are toilets deep within the caves. After seeing a concert venue and toilets we were not sure what else to expect in the caves! 

Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico

Once you get to the end of the tour you will be able to walk back to the entrance at your own pace. This was our favourite part because you can appreciate the caves on your own without any noise.

The caves are so enormous that everyone on the tour spreads out and you can often be in a football field-sized cavern all by yourself.

On the way back the lights will be off in most sections as well. Once your eyes adjust to the darkness it also adds an extra magical feeling to all the shadows and shapes created by the caves.

Tours from Mexico City to Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

If you do not feel like organizing your own transport you can book a tour on GetYourGuide. An English-speaking guide will show you around the caves and Taxco for 160 USD per person.

The tour includes pick up and drop off from Mexico City. It is a good option if you are short on time and want to see as much as possible.

It is also a private tour as long as you have 4 people in your group. So you will not be stuck in a huge tour bus.

Chontalcoatlan Tour

If you feel like more of an adventure you can visit the Contalcoatlan River section of the caves. This section goes deep underground and you will need to repel down ropes and do some canyoning.

We didn’t get the chance to do a tour of this part of the caves but it looks awesome. Multiple tour companies can take you but only one company offers an overnight trip.

During this tour, you will make your way deep into the caves and sleep the night on a sandy beach. 

The beach is near a huge opening in the roof of the cave. So you will be awoken by sunlight streaming through the hole. It looks like an amazing experience.

The tour costs 215 USD per person and runs from 1st January until April 30th. The website and tour are in Spanish so you will need to speak at least a decent level of Spanish.

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Photo courtesy of Extremers

Where to Stay while Visiting the Caves

While visiting the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa I highly recommend staying in Taxco. Taxco is a beautiful colonial town located on the side of a rocky hill close to the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa.

Taxco was once a rich silver mining town and is still known as the capital of silver in Mexico. The wealthy silver mine owners built many beautiful churches and buildings in Taxco.

During the weekends Taxco is overrun with local tourists from Mexico City. But it is not well known to foreign tourists so you will not see many gringos around town.

For a more quiet experience, I recommend visiting during the week. The streets of Taxco are very narrow so when it is busy you are sandwiched between traffic and the buildings.

We loved visiting Taxco and it is one of our favourite colonial towns in Mexico. One thing that makes Taxco unique is that most of the taxis in town are white old VWs rumbling down the streets.

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Enjoy visiting the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa!

I hope you enjoy your trip to Taxco and the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. They are an underrated natural attraction and one of our favourites in the whole of Mexico. 

Author Bio

Allan and Katharina are an active travel couple from New Zealand and Austria. They share their adventures and budget travel tips on their blog Happy Healthy Nomads. Check out their Instagram and Pinterest for more travel inspiration.

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Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico


Visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa Mexico




Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

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