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In search for snakes in a cave is an extreme wildlife tour but one of the most authentic encounters at the same time
This tour is the definition of Extreme
It is hard enough to see a wild animal hunt and feed but doing this with a special group of animals with a behaviour nowhere else observed... For true nature and adventure lovers this is the wildlife tour of a lifetime.
For those afraid of snakes, bats or closed and dark spaces... Well maybe not :)
We love snakes as much as you do
Barna is a real reptile lover, this is why he is the only one in the area who is guiding special nocturnal snake tours as well. He also loves anything crawling around at night in the jungle, so your chances to find stuff were never better.
Other than the snakes in the cave and the crocodiles in the lagoon you might find tarantulas, scorpions, other species of snakes, frogs and salamanders.
A late night special
- 02:00 pm Pick up at your hotel in Cancun, 03:00 pm Playa del Carmen, 04:15 pm Tulum.
- 06:15 pm We arrive to Kantemó. We take bicycles through the jungle until we reach the cave. We explore the bat filled cave and look for the snakes that ready to have diner!
- 08:00 pm We hop back on the bikes and cycle to the beautiful Kantemó Lagoon.
- Then take a canoe for 40 minutes to look for crocodiles with flashlights in the dark!
- 11:00 pm Van ride back to your hotel. Arrive around 01:00 am.
Amazing nocturnal tour in a unique place
Kantemo is a tiny village found in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula and luckily not many people heard of it yet. Kantemo is surrounded by a protected dense forest and in this forest you can find the famous bat cave. Five species of bats are living in the cave around a million or so in total, but this is still not the attraction. This is just the food! There are hundreds if not thousands of Tropical Rat Snakes (Elaphe flavirufa) living inside the cave uniquely adapted to the eternal darkness feeding exclusively on the bats. Meanwhile these snakes everywhere else on the peninsula are living in the forest and preying on different rodents and other small animals, the snakes of Kantemo invented a very effective and extremely comfortable hunting technique.
They are simply waiting until the sun goes down and the bats are starting to fly out for feeding. Over one hundred bats are leaving the cave every second, so the smaller passages are very crowded at this time. The snakes are simply stretching their body to hang down from the ceiling and waiting for the unlucky individual. They usually manage to get a prey quick. As soon as they grabbed the bat with their mouth, they roll themselves around the fragile body and quickly end the struggle. Then the new struggle starts, a usually much longer struggle: swallowing the bat which is much bigger than the snakes open mouth.
Okay, so this is what’s happening in the cave, but what can you – the adventure seeker - expect to see of it, and how?
From town we will bike to the cave - that’s right, biking in the jungle. The real adventure starts after you arrived to the entry of the cave. It is getting darker, and the bats just start to wake up when you enter. The first part of the cave is huge, at least twenty meters high. This is where you are waiting until it is properly dark outside and the bats start their daily spree. Soon bats are everywhere, you can feel and hear them around. This is what you were waiting for, you turn on the headlights and you enter the cave’s deeper rooms through very tight corridors where you end up sometimes crawling on hands and knees. Bats are bumping into you, there is not enough space for all of you in the tighter parts. But you just keep going deeper, it is hot, it is uncomfortable but also as exciting as any nature encounter can get…
Your guide suddenly turns back and whispers: Turn off the lights, there is a snake! You change to the red light, so you will not disturb the action you came to witness. If you are lucky you see the whole action from start to finish, or maybe you just see them waiting and next thing you know they are already trying to swallow the poor bat. But for sure you will see snakes, and not any snakes: snakes in the cave eating bats meanwhile hanging from the ceiling. Can it get better than this?
Yes it can. With some luck you can also find Variable Coral Snakes (Micrurus diastema) in the cave (they are not feeding on the bats, they are just hiding there) and the place is also famous about its special fresh water fauna which uniquely adapted to the dark and harsh environment.
Leaving the cave you will hop back on the bike and with the help of your headlights you will head down to a lake where our small boats already waiting for us. The tour around the lake concentrates on finding crocodiles. Depending on your luck and the moon you might be able to get extremely close to one of the many crocodiles living in the lake.
The last challange after the crocs is to get back on the bike and head back to our van. The drive back to your hotel probably you will be already sleeping... :)
Bring this we take care of the rest
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Long sleeve cotton shirt
- Insect repellent is a MUST
- Water-proof jacket
- Biodegradable (nature Friendly) Sunblock