The abysmal Basement of the Swallows
Some have called it “the last frontier of our planet,” it is the Basement of the Swallows, one of the largest chasms that exist on Earth. This impressive chasm is located in the lush region of the Huasteca Potosina, within the territory of the state of San Luis Potosí.
Despite its huge dimensions, its discovery occurred until 1967, when a group of researchers from the University of Texas was studying the birds in the region.
Today, the Swallow Basement is still a point of scientific interest, but it has also become one of the biggest tourist attractions of Huasteca.
Here we present what makes this natural monument so spectacular considered one of the 13 natural wonders of Mexico.
The largest gap in the world
Standing in front of the mouth of this great abyss is something not suitable for cardiac. According to the measures registered by the cavers, the Basement of the Swallows has a free fall of 376 meters, to which another horizontal cavity is added in its lower part, giving a total of 512 meters deep, enough to accommodate in its interior to the famous Empire State Building.
The cavern is bell-shaped, that is, while the diameter of its mouth is 60 meters, its lower part is extended to 300 meters.
The Basement of the Swallows is not only spectacular for its depth, but it is also for the impressive population of birds that nest on its walls, which consists mostly of swifts, birds that gave rise to the name of the basement due to its large similar to swallows. In the part near the mouth of the cave, you can also see colonies of Aratinga parrots, known as Mexican parrots.
The best times of the day to visit the basement is during the early hours of dawn, between 6 and 7 in the morning, because it is when you can see in full magnitude the departure of thousands of birds that emerge from the depths of the cavern, and at sunset, between 5 and 6 in the afternoon, when the birds return by taking a swoop into the cavern at a speed that exceeds 200 km per hour.
In the case of flocks of green parrots, they can be seen throughout the day flying occasionally in the upper parts of the basement.
Swallow Basement Tour
You can visit the basement on your own or by hiring a package with one of the ecotourism agencies that operate in the area of the Huasteca Potosina, which usually include within the same excursion, the visit to other points of interest such as water springs crystalline of Tambaque and the beautiful Mantetzulel Caves.
If you prefer a more extreme tour, you can choose to include the visit to the Basement of the Huahuas, which is comparable in beauty with the Basement of the Swallows, although its depth is less, so you can make the rappelling down to its low part to admire it in all its splendor.
How to get
The basement of Las Golondrinas is located in the municipality of Aquismón. To get from the city of San Luis Potosí you must drive on the 70th road towards Ciudad Valles. After this point, you must continue on the 85th road that will take you to Aquismón, where you will find the signs that will take you to the basement in 40 minutes.
To find alternative routes from other cities in Mexico you can consult this route planner of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation.
Once you leave your vehicle in the parking lot of the reserve, you must continue on foot to the basement on a paved road that involves the ascent and descent of 512 steps.