Grutas de García

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Grutas de García
Grutas de García.jpg
Location García Municipality, Nuevo León, Mexico
Coordinates 25°50′57.6″N 100°31′26″W / 25.849333°N 100.52389°W / 25.849333; -100.52389Coordinates: 25°50′57.6″N 100°31′26″W / 25.849333°N 100.52389°W / 25.849333; -100.52389
Depth 105 metres (345 feet)
Length 3.5 kilometers (2.2 mi)
Discovery 1843
Geology Limestone
Entrances 1
Access Aerial Tramway
Translation Garcia Caves (Spanish)

Grutas de García (Garcia Caves) are located 9 kilometers outside the small town of García, Nuevo León in northern Mexico about 30 km from Monterrey. The caves are inside the famous mountain, El Fraile within the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park. Cerro del Fraile reaches 1,080 meters above sea level and towers 750 meters over the main access road. The entrance to the caves is located on the side of Cerro del Fraile. To easiest way to reach the entrance to the caves is by taking a five minute ride on the aerial tramway, but there is a steep path that can be taken to reach the caves.[1]

History[edit]

The caves are thought to have formed between 50 and 60 million years ago. During the prehistoric era, the caves were submerged in sea water that is the reason marine fossils like sea shells and snail shells can be seen on the cave walls.[1] Grutas de García remained hidden for thousands of years until 1843. Priest Juan Antonio Sobrevilla discovered the caves during a casual excursion through the mountains.[2]

Structure[edit]

The caves inside look like a rocky desert landscape with a longitude of 300 meters and 105 meters deep. From the entrance two different paths emerge descending 105 meters: one is about 2.5 kilometers and has 16 different chambers; the other is 1 kilometer long with 11 chambers. Like most caves these maintain a temperature around 18°C (65°F).[2]

Inside the caves impressive rock formations are observed that fill the space in the large chambers. There a many interesting stalagmites and stalactites. One of the most spectacular chambers is known as “El salón de la luz” (The Light Chamber) named because of the natural clarity of the rock on the ceiling allowing light from outside to filter through. “La octava maravilla” (The Eighth Wonder) is a formation in the cave where a stalagmite connected with a stalactite to form a column. “El salón del aire” (The Air Chamber) exhibits a balcony that is 40 meters high.

“El mirador de la mano”, is a stalagmite that formed a shape that resembles a human hand. There are numerous other formations that are fascinating like: “El Nacimiento” (The Nativity), “La Fuente Congelada” (The Frozen Fountain), "La Torre China” (The Chinese Tower), “El teatro” (The Theatre), and “El Árbol de Navidad” (The Christmas Tree).

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