Who hasn’t dreamed of stumbling upon a totally deserted, clean sandy beach? To make the dream more appealing, let’s add a bit of exotic jungle just above the sand, and, hidden in that jungle, a flat, shady, grassy spot to pitch a tent, with plenty of firewood lying all about.
And now let’s include a rough road connecting this hidden paradise to the nearest highway.
“Enough!” you protest. “Such beaches are only found in the movies!”
Cave explorers in Mexico, however, frequently end up in remote places where they often encounter the unexpected, which, on one occasion, actually included just such a dream beach.
This means, of course, that our story begins with a cave ...
Many years ago, I was chatting with a shopkeeper in downtown Guadalajara. And when I mentioned my interest in exploring cuevas, his eyes widened.
I’m from Nayarit,” he told me, “and I remember a big cave in El Cerro del Toro, between Ixtapa and the beach at Platanitos.”
Naturally, we had to go take a look, enticed by the prospect of exploring a cave and then relaxing at a beach. So, a few weeks later, we found ourselves in Nayarit. While driving through the town of Zacualpan, we happened to mention La Cueva Del Toro to a lugareño who immediately replied, “Oh, you mean La Cueva de La Tigra. Actually it’s right here on the edge of town, but let me warn you, you need ropes to get into it. There’s a 20-meter drop right at the entrance and then there are passages that go on forever. I swear you could walk all day and never reach the end of that cave!”