Cave of Swallows in Mexico: a portal to the center of the Earth

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Cave of swallows

The Cave of Swallows in San Luis Potosi is the natural equivalent of a cathedral or a mosque: a place whose beauty will make you stand in awe. Take the chance to witness one of the most magical natural wonders of Mexico on your next trip to the region.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Cave of Swallows, what to expect and how to get there. Travel on!


A portal to the center of the Earth

The sheer dimensions of this place are enough to inspire wonder: at 994 feet wide and over 1,200 feet deep, it is the largest known cave shaft in the world. Like a portal to the center of the Earth! Descending into its depths is a privilege reserved for expert speleologists, but there is much more that you can do at this place.

Every day –except when it’s raining or there is cold weather–, the birds and flying mammals that sleep inside the vertical cave rush out of it with the very first rays of sunlight, flying in concentric circles. Oddly enough, there aren’t any swallows at this site. It is flocks of swifts, parrots and even bats that inhabit it. The winged creatures fly in groups, making circles until they reach the highest point and then leave to hunt for food. They all come back right before the sun disappears in the horizon. This natural show will take your breath away!

Cave of swallows

Photo: mas-mexico


The cave was formed through the power of erosion over millions of years, as water carved its way across the limestone. However, as unbelievable as it may seem, it was mostly unknown to the average Mexican before 1966, when it was first spotted by scientists from the University of Texas. The site is listed as one of Mexico’s 13 natural wonders and it was declared a Natural Protected Area in 2001.


While you’re around…

If you visit the Sótano de las Golondrinas, as it is known is Spanish, you can spot another great natural wonder that is very close: the majestic Tamul Waterfalls.

Just 15 miles from the cave, these stunning waterfalls pour over the Tampaon River, which you must navigate through on wooden canoes to get to them. The river’s flow is fairly gentle, at least up until you approach the waterfalls, where things turn a little bit intense, but not too much, relax!

As you contemplate the 345 feet tall waterfalls, the sound and mist produced by them will engulf you in a rather humid and refreshing experience.

cave of swallows


How to get to the Cave of Swallows

The nearest cities to the caves are Ciudad Valles and San Luis Potosi, the state capital. From both of them, you can catch a bus to Aquismon, a small town that is very close to the site. Once you’re in Aquismon, you won’t have a hard time finding a tour operator that will safely take you to the cave and back.

If you are traveling around this beautiful region, you might want to spend the night at City Express Suites in San Luis, we have an ideal location in the city and suite-style rooms to accomodate couples and families for days at a time. Check us out and book a room now!


Cave of Swallows in Mexico: a portal to the center of the Earth