project review

Caving - Guatemala Style

Review submitted by Rupert Davies
Review date 25 Jul 2018

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I’ve been caving before, but I’ve never climbed up a waterfall inside a cave, or lit my way with only a candle! Going caving in Guatemala was one of the best experiences of my life. The journey took us a long time, because the national park is way out in the hills, but the scenery is stunning and definitely worth the wait. When we organized to go on a caving tour we weren’t really sure what to expect, but the experience was incredible!  A guide gave us candles and lashed our flip flops to our feet, he then asked us if we could swim, and led us in to the darkness.

After a few meters the darkness kicked in and he lit our candles and told us that it was going to get deep soon. We started swimming with our lit candles, pulling ourselves along using the stalactites and stalagmites that drooped in to the water. After an hour or so we reached a waterfall and pulled ourselves up using a rope. On the other side was a huge cavern with some incredible rock formations. Our guide told us to blow out our candles and we sat in the darkness for about 5 minutes, which was almost an out of body experience.

After caving we went tubing along the river back to our hotel and enjoyed a good lunch whilst reliving the experience. In the afternoon we decided to explore the national park which was truly stunning. There is a river system which gets pushed beneath the rock, but a little continues to flow overland and forms a series of waterfalls with clear blue pools which are amazing to swim in. The river cuts a deep gorge between two green cliffs. Guatemala’s landscape is truly incredible. It isn’t what I imagined; everything seems a lot bigger and spread out. The people too are very warm and friendly. I think that in the country especially, tourism is a relatively new occurrence, and every new place seems newly discovered. I do feel like I have definitely experienced Guatemala, and it has been a highlight of the trip for me and I will definitely return to this incredible country.

 

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