Oxkutzcab Things to Do
Several tours of Loltun Caves are given daily, seven days a week. I believe they started as early as 9:00 am. The last tour is 4:00 pm. Tours are given in English and Spanish. The Spanish tours have larger groups - around 50 or so. The English tours groups are smaller, but you will be made to feel obligated to cough up a "voluntary" tip of 450 pesos per family. Like most Yucatan guides we met, our guide here told us other guides will cheat us, but not him.
The price was on the steep side, but I look at it this way: We would have paid more for a cave tour in the US, and we had a much smaller group by paying for the English speaking guide. He had some good information, too. What the heck, it was worth it.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Our tour guide pointed out to us a (flock?) (herd?) (gaggle?) bunch of bats hanging from the ceiling. This is probably the closest I've gotten to a bat. They would have flown away at a loud noise, but they didn't mind the flashing cameras. They were surprisingly cute - like little black kittens with wings.Related to:
0 Hotels in Oxkutzcab
Oxkutzcab Warnings and Dangers
Cave isn't worth it...
The tour of the Loltun Cave is overpriced. You pay for parking, a fee to the federal government, the state government, and then you have to pay for a guide to enter! If you happy with shelling out nearly $20 a person, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, skip this palce and save your money for a cenote. At least you can swim there.Related to:
- National/State Park
Getting to Loltun after visitng Uxmal wasn't too bad. We just followed the Ruta Puuc signs past Kabah, Sayil and Labna until we reached Loltun. On the other hand, we had a devil of a time trying to find our way back to Merida from Loltun. What should have been a 90 minute trip took us 3 hours.
First, we did a 30 minute loop leaving the caves and ended up back at Loltun. Then we did a 60 minute loop and went through Oxkutzcab twice. Oxkutzcab is not really a city you want to visit twice. It is large, spread out, confusing, and has terrible or nonexistent directional signs. The highways completely disintegrate when they reach the towns. We would follow signs to Merida, and then there would be none. Or a sign would be broken in half with the arrow gone. We'd then find ourselves at deadend. Sometimes the directional signs zig and zag and send you back in the direction from which you came. They made no sense. I think they were put up for the locals' amusement.
Best advice: Maps don't help, they aren't detailed enough. Bring a compass. When you approach a large city/town like Oxkutzcab, get behind a car and just hope that they are taking the throughway. Odds are, they are. Most of the local residents drive bicycles or skooters, not cars. Follow the car in front of you and hope for the best. If that doesn't work, use your compass and work your way to the other side of town. If you're heading to Merida, work your way over to the west side and look for a road that looks like a highway out of town.
I have to say, for while there, I thought we would be stranded travelers for the evening. Kind of like "Lost in Space" but in the Yucatan jungle. Especially after we made that Oxkutzcab loop and found ourselves at exactly the same intersection we were an hour earlier! Ok, now we just laugh about it, but we weren't really laughing then.Related to:
Loltun has a small amount of Mayan or pre-Mayan artifacts. One was this sculpture of a head. Another was a handprint. They said skeletons of mammoths had been found. Also a ancient skeleton of a child. The guide will crack a joke and say it you don't stick with him in the caves, someday the tour groups will be told about a skeleton of a tourist.
The requirement of a guide is needed. The caves are quite large and have not been fully explored. I would never have been able to find my way out if I went in there alone.Related to: