One of the largest dry-cave systems on the Yucatán Peninsula, Loltún ('stone flower' in Maya) provided a treasure trove of data for archaeologists studying the Maya. Carbon dating of artifacts found here reveals that the caves were used by humans 2200 years ago. Chest-high murals of hands, faces, animals and geometric motifs were apparent as recently as 25 years ago, but so many people have touched them that scarcely a trace remains, though some handprints have been restored.
A few pots are displayed in a niche, and an impressive bas-relief, El Guerrero, guards the entrance. Other than that, you’ll mostly see illuminated limestone formations.
To explore the labyrinth, you must take a scheduled guided tour, usually in Spanish but sometimes in English if the group warrants it. The services of the guides are included in the admission price, though they expect a tip afterward (M$50 per person is fair). Tours last about one hour and 20 minutes, with lots of lengthy stops. Some guides’ presentations are long on legends (and jokes about disappearing mothers-in-law) and short on geological and historical information.