Last updateFri, 25 Jul 2014 3pm

Exploring the Chocolate Cave: Wolf spiders, water sprites, subterranean beauty

One day I met a man who casually mentioned a “bottomless pit” somewhere around a small town called La Estrella, 35 kilometers south of Tuxpan.

Naturally my caver friends and I couldn’t resist bottoming yet another bottomless pit, so off we went to La Estrella, where we found an aerial tramway transporting iron ore in giant buckets. “El Pozo sin Fondo?” exclaimed a local man. “Just follow the tramway to a place called Fortín ... and be careful you don´t fall in that pit; it has no bottom, you know.”

This turned out to be a pitiful example of a bottomless pit because – up close to the edge – we could easily see the bottom a mere 28 meters below. We rappelled down and found the cave didn’t lead anywhere, but did have beautiful flowstone on the walls, which led us to ask Don Rafael, the owner of a nearby puesto de refrescos, if there were any other caves in the area. “¿Cuevas?” he said, “pos sí, there’s a big one down by the river.”

A few weeks later we were back. “Don Rafael, remember that cave-near-a-river you told us about? Think we could find it if you give us some directions?”


“Er, any chance you could show us where it is?”

“Sure, anytime.”

“Oh ... well, er, how about today?”

“Busy today.”

“Tomorrow, then?”

“Busy tomorrow, también”

Since Don Rafael himself had told us that one could easily spend all day wandering inside that cave, none of us was ready to give up so easily. After another hour of chit-chat with a lunch break in between we finally talked him into “taking us partway ...”

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