What to Bring Along:

  • Comfortable clothing for hiking
  • Proper foot wear
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Cameras
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Che Chem Ha is a dry cave which sits on a steep hill and contains substantial evidence of ancient Mayan ritual activity dating from the Middle Preclassic period (900-300BC), to the late Classic Period (700-850AD). The cave was first discovered by Williams Plytez in 1989 while he was on a hunting expedition. The main cave is about 200 meters long and divides 100 meters from the entrance.

One passage leads to a dead end but the other passage leads us to the large cathedral-like chamber known as the Stela Chamber. Artifacts were also found in six elevated side passages that branch off from the main tunnel. Four of these passages are narrow and have low ceilings so they were designated as “crawls”.

Crawl 3 is unique; it exhibits both morphological modification and has a fire hearth. Che Chem Ha cave is an all-day tour which starts as early as 7:00 AM and returns to town around 4:00 PM. We depart from San Ignacio and make our way through the villages of San Jose Succotz, Benque Viejo Town and on to the Arenal Road. The cave is nearly eight miles southeast of Benque Viejo on the property of the Morales Family Farm