The Cave of Swallows
Sotano De Las Golondrinas
There are two million birds who live in this pit cave. They fly up together at the beginning and end of each day to leave and return home. It is the largest known cave shaft in the world. Being a parrot-lover I was thrilled to see them in the wild.
When to Go
You can either catch the birds leaving the cave in the morning at 5:30 AM or coming back at night at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.
What to See
There are white collared swifts (not swallows) that fly down in circles or dive bomb into the cave. The sound of the birds whooshing past as they dive is amazing. It reminds me of the sound in Beauty and the Beast when the Beast starts to transform.
The green parakeets flew as flocks directly overhead. You could see groups of up to 20 of them entering the cave together, squawking loudly.
What to Do
You can pay a voluntary donation to have one of the attendants tie a rope around you so you can look over the edge.
There are also souvenirs you can buy on the way up and down the stairs.
What to Wear
To get to the cave, there is a kilometer of going down large stone steps. Wear clothing and shoes that are good for walking. The best observation area is on pointy rocks that are not comfortable for sitting. A sweater or another piece of clothing to sit on would help.
Entrance was $5 each.
I had high hopes from some reviews I read online and was a little let down. With two million birds I was expecting the sky to be blacked out and a tornado of feathers swirling down into the pit. Instead, I saw groups of 20.
The experience itself was great and if my expectations hadn’t gotten in the way, it would have been a highlight of the trip. Evan described it well when he compared it to viewing his first meteor shower.
For more information on a trip to Xilitla, including how to get there and what else you need to see and eat, click on the post below for links to all of the articles.