We didn’t do it only for the rappelling, but we also did it for this…
First we had to get into the cave by rappelling 72 meters down, which equals 26 floors
The Abismo Anhumas is about 2-4 million years old and is 120 meters long and 90 meters wide. At the bottom of the cave we reached the lake, which has a depth of 15-80 meters. The water level in the water rises and falls 4-5 meters accordingly to the rain season. To account for the difference in water level, there is a floating platform on the lake.
After we reached the platform we went on a boat tour around the cave. A private tour since we were the only tourist visiting today. Only 20 people are allowed to visit the cave per day, and only 4 can scuba dive. If you don’t scuba dive snorkeling is included in the tour.
In December the water levels are at their highest, when we visited in mid June is was 2 meters lower, and will be at its lowest point in late September. The cave as the largest cone collection at the same location in the world. From the caves ceiling stalactites are hanging, and from the bottom of the lake stalagmites have been forming under still water for ages.
When the water level is at its highest none of the stalagmites will be visible, because they will all be submerge by water. So visiting between June and September would give you the best experience.
The surface of the lake is covered in minerals. These minerals will deposit on the stalagmites in layers and thereby add to the size of the stalagmite. The biggest stalagmites are 18 meters tall.
It was time to get suited up for the dive. The water is only 16 Celsius . Due to poor offering of food, there is only a small diversity of animals. The small fish you see in the right picture are doctor fish, and they really liked to clean our hands.
During the dive we followed a line, that took us on a 40 minute roundtrip between the stalagmites
A few animals had fallen into the cave, and now the bones where laying on the bottom of the lake. Among them a giant anteater (left picture)
The cave was not discovered before 1984, and in 1999 it was made accessible to tourist. It was a very different dive and absolutely an amazing dive.
After the dive we had to climb up the 72 meters to get out of the cave. The heavier you are the harder it is. We climbed up together and Esbens arms got really tired on the way. Look how happy he looks, after making it all the way. We really liked everything about the tour! It took us 16 minutes to get up. The record for a tourist is 7 minutes and the fastest guide can do it in only 3 minutes and 14 seconds!
It takes a lot of rope to get all way. The guides were amazing, and did really good job. The guides only spoke a few words of English, they explained everything twice and we felt safe all the way. Also the equipment for scuba diving was in good shape. If you wan to scuba dive in Abismo Anhumas we organized it like this: (1) found a agency in town where an employee spoke English and could help us book the tour, (2) the agency book the tour and the training session at the Abismo Anhumas traning session, (3) we payed 380 Reales/100 USD per person for the scuba diving at the agency, (4) rappel training at the Abismo Anhumas training Center, where you also pay for the rappelling into the cave 910 Reales/240 USD per person, (5) try on the wetsuit and boots at the only diving store in town, all the other equipment is at the cave, (6) you are now ready for the tour, we drove to the Abismo Anhumas ourselves.
As we drove back to the campground in Bonito, we once more saw a giant anteater
Ready for our mysterious adventure tomorrow…? Check out the next post.