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Ultimate Guide to The Cave of the Crystals (Mexico) (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Ultimate Guide to The Cave of the Crystals (Mexico) (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

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Tucked away in Chihuahua, Mexico is a natural wonder that has had been hidden for centuries. The Cave of the Crystals, or Gruta de las Cristales, as it’s known in Spanish, was discovered by accident when a pair of brothers were drilling. This cave is filled with quartz formations, some of which are so big, you can climb on them.

Ultimate Guide to The Cave of the Crystals (Mexico) (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

The Cave of the Crystals has been rated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America by two different organizations and it was even dubbed “the new Niagara Falls” in a National Geographic article. But how did this natural wonder form?

Ultimate Guide to The Cave of the Crystals (Mexico) (Tours, Pricing, History)


Researchers from around the world brave the conditions to traverse and study the cave and its amazing contents. They estimate that the cave has been around for about 800,000 years. The crystals are believed to be 100 million years old and might have grown up from a sea of hot magma underneath the Earth’s surface.

It is challenging to study in depth

It is difficult for research when each visit requires protective gear and a safe time limit of about 45 minutes. the Cave of the Crystals?

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History of The Cave of the Crystals

Cave of Crystals was first discovered back in 2000 by Juan and Pedro Sanchez, two brothers working and drilling a land that was a mainstream mine at the time. The cave is connected to the Naica Mine, a mine that sits at over 950 feet in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Since its discovery by the mining company Industrias Peñoles, the subterranean chamber has drawn researchers from around the world, enticing them with both rare beauty and scientific mystery.

Those who have taken a closer look at the cave will understand the formation it took has created a chamber in the limestone rocks. This chamber consists of large selenite crystals, which are considered some of the largest of their kind in the world.

Selenite is commonly found in the deep caves of Mexico, Morocco, and Madagascar and the raw crystal formations can be as long as 35 feet. Selenite is a popular crystal when it comes to cleansing and clearing the home or office space. It dispels negative energy and enhances clarity, focus and creates calm in any space.

Located in Chihuahua, Mexico, the cave features some of the most intriguing crystals and is the ultimate reason behind the derived name. However, this cave is unlike many as it contains magma which makes the crystals generally hot and unbearable at times. The cave existed far beneath ground level and was only discovered because the brothers were mining.

The Cave of Crystals is by far one of the greatest discovered as it relates to mineral formations.

Download our FREE Cave of the Crystals Cave Guide (Unofficial)

The Cave of the Crystals Fun Facts

There are many jaw-dropping facts about the Caves of Crystals that will leave you having the steady urge to visit right away. Here are a few fun facts to boost your interest a little more…

  • Below the cave is a pool of magma which gives off constant heat on the crystals that makes them unbearably hot at times.
  • The name of the cave suggests there might be a single cave, but, in fact, three caves are making up the area, with one standing larger than the other two.  
  • The cave exists around the Naica Mine, and even though it had been mined for years, the Cave of Crystals wasn’t discovered until  2000.
  • When the cave was discovered, there was fear of other people coming into the region to disturb the crystals, so just mere days after, the brothers created a large iron door to protect the entrance.
  • Lots of the selenite in the cave are pretty tall to the point of towering over humans.
  • Cave of Crystals is home to some of the largest naturally-formed crystals globally and is made from selenite, a gypsum-based rock.
  • The temperatures in the cave average roughly 136 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes the cave a little difficult to traverse for the most part.
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The Cave of the Crystals Wildlife

As Cave of Crystals is a HOT cave it doesn’t necessarily feature the same wildlife setting as many other caves. Seeing the cave is generally hot, not much wildlife can thrive in this environment. However, research has shown that randomly, some bears appear in the region in the colder weather, probably to get some warmth from the underlying magma pool.

Some think that animals seem to have a “sixth sense” on nature and know that the minerals found in the cave may not be safe for animals and could be toxic for their health.

Some researchers have come across animals’ remains and bones as they traverse the inner cores of the cave. There might be some animals who enter for a short period but probably prefer not to stick around.

The Cave of the Crystals Geological Formations

Cave of Crystals is one of the most intriguing geographically-formed aspects of nature ever discovered. The selenite crystals have grown into large sizes, most of which are well over six meters long and going up to eleven meters long. In addition, most of them are well over one meter thick.

The Cave of the Crystals Geological Formations
Scientists have to wear protective gear to venture in to study the Cave of Crystals

The crystals in Cave of Crystals were mainly formed after the manga beneath the surface melted the minerals. The minerals dissolved and form the crystals, which generally form in all directions as they cool down.

The crystals are combined of calcium and sulfate, and as the years go by, both stalagmites and stalactites are formed – in crystal format, that is.

The Cave of the Crystals Tours

Cave of Crystals are unique in every sense, and unlike other caves, which can be easily toured and enjoyed, the crystals and conditions make visiting it a bit difficult.

Just to enter the cave, one has to wear a cooling suit, seeing that a magma pool below sends up excessive heat. With this, Cave of Crystals has set strict guidelines for all tourists, and mining has now being seized in the area.

After the mining activities were stopped, water started to re-enter the cavern and eventually flooded it. This flooding has given way for the crystals to expand and grow larger than they are known to be.

No, tourists are not permitted in the Cave of Crystals. The hot and humid conditions make this cave a dangerous place to visit. Even scientists have to get a special permit and wear special gear to enter the cave.

The Giant Crystal Cave is an inhospitable place. The lowest air temperature is 113 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) and humidity levels are usually close to 100 percent. A visitor who stays for too long or doesn’t have the proper gear risks having fluids condense inside their lungs, which can be fatal. That means a tour cannot go longer than 45 minutes because of the conditions of the cave.

The Cave of the Crystals Tours
Just look at how big some of those amazing selenite crystals have grown!

The Cave of the Crystals Prices and Discounts

Seeing there are so many restrictions on visiting the Cave of Crystals, the listing of fees and entry discounts are not readily available. You may have to contact the relevant authorities to make the necessary arrangements on whether you qualify for one of their guided tours. Bear in mind, mostly investigative, and research tours are offered.

Where to Stay Near The Cave of the Crystals

Cave of Crystals has many interesting features that will draw anyone to that region in Mexico and have them go crazy in wanting to visit. So, should you happen to be around, here are a few places you might want to hang around…

Sheraton Chihuahua Soberano

Staying here will be one of the greatest experiences you have in this part of town. It offers a nature-filled environment with a swimming pool, gym, and sun terrace. Located just a mere 15 minutes from the town center, you can be sure to get an experience like no other. The features and amenities are amazing, and the rooms are just as great to enjoy and create memories with your friends and family.

Wingate by Wyndham Chihuahua

The amenities are like none you have experienced anywhere else as they strive to create a “home away from home” experience. Aside from the free parking, you can benefit from other experiences such as an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, free wifi, air-conditioned rooms, and much more. The hotel is just five minutes away from a shopping mall, and the city’s historical center is only 8km away.

Download our FREE Cave of the Crystals Cave Guide (Unofficial)

The Cave of the Crystals Details

  • Length: 358 Feet
  • Time recommended: 45 Minutes
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Extreme
  • Kid-Friendly: No
  • Dog-Friendly: No
  • Accessibility: Parking Lot
  • Fee/Permit:  Varies
  • Hours: Varies

How to Get to The Cave of the Crystals

Getting to Cave of Crystals is a breeze – do a quick search, and you will be in Naico, Saucillo Municipality, Chihuahua, Mexico in no time.

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