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Hiking is perhaps the same as “walking in the bush”, but the word is a more modern term and has become part of the vocabulary related to adventure tourism. One can hike for the simple pleasure of doing so, walking in the wild, choosing an easy climb to the top of a hill to enjoy the panoramic views or the sunset. On the other hand, when hiking has a specific purpose, for example to reach a special destination, it doesn’t matter how hard it is, because the hikers know there will be a worthwhile reward at the end of the trail. Such is the case of a hike to the caves of Mantetzulel, an ancient ceremonial center which has belonged to the Teenek (Huastecos) from time immemorial.

The community of Mantetzulel is located just a few kilometers away from Aquismon, the main town of the municipality. On arrival, you must register with the local authorities and hire a local guide, who will personally take you to the caves and not only give you detailed explanations, but also tell you stories, legends and local beliefs related to the place, if you ask him. The hike is a hard one, mainly because of the hot, humid environment, but at the same time extremely rewarding, thanks to the mountainous, tropical landscape, so typical of the Huasteca region, where you may come across a solitary banana plant, or a huge coffee plantation or a lone tree full of oranges or tangerines. Pick one for yourself and enjoy the sweet freshness of the juice that will give you energy to go on with the hike.

Your efforts will get their just reward when you reach the caves. You go in and immediately notice the different temperature inside.

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