Loltun Caverns, whose name comes from the Maya "Lol": Flower and "Tun":
Stone, are one of the biggest known from the huge cave system that covers a
great territory in southern Yucatan. Loltun cavern is located 73 miles from
Merida, 4.3 miles southwest from Oxkutzcab and 15 miles northeast of Labná ruins
on Highway 31. They have been arranged for a safe tour that measures
approximately 0.62 miles long in its interior by means of illuminated paths.
There are both Maya and fossil displays. There are numerous "Haltunes" or
depressions carved in the rock for gathering natural dripping water. This water
is considered the holiest of waters by the Maya.
Maya finds include pottery,
shells, stone tools, bas-reliefs, petroglyphs and mural paintings. A Formative
Period (600 BC to 150 AD) Olmec style bas-relief carving "The Loltún Warrior" is
at the entrance. From the Classic period (150 AD to 900 AD) murals of hands,
faces, animals, geometric motifs and inscriptions. Access is by guided tours
only. There are also 19th. century barricades constructed by Mayas who sheltered
in this and other southern Yucatan caves during the "War of Castes". Visitors
can admire the many natural limestone formations with suggestive names such as
"Cathedral", "Grand Canyon Gallery", "Ear of Corn", "Stalactite rooms", "Musical
Columns", etc. The "Musical Columns" are formed by the constant flow of mineral
enriched water down a stalactite and dripping onto a stalagmite adding thin
layers of limestone to both. Over time the gap is filled creating a column.
These columns will produce sounds with different tones when they are knocked.
English tours are 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM daily. The facilities include an
adequate and secure parking lot, beautiful gardens, restaurants and
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