The Cave of the Tayos
At an altitude of approximately 800 meters, in the foothills of the Cordillera del Cóndor (Ecuador) is the official entrance of the impressive Cueva de los Tayos. The access consists of a vertical tunnel of 2 meters in diameter and 63 of depth to which it is very dangerous to descend. From there, a maze of miles filled with caves excavated by someone or something that must be traversed in complete darkness. Many are the explorers who have lost their lives trying to find the treasures of this entrance to the underworld.
Today we want to share the experience of Lucas Bustamante in the Cave of the Tayos. Departing in the morning from Quito to the province of Morona Santiago, in the irregular mountainous area called Cordillera del Cóndor. It owes its name to be the habitat of nocturnal birds called tayos, which inhabit numerous caves in the Andean jungles.
On the way to the caves we were integrated with all the experts that were going to be part of this expedition, among one of them Manuel Palacios (Expert with more than 11 visits) the photographer Lucas Bustamante, production personnel Nomad and the Minister of Tourism Dr. Fernando Alvarado we arrived at the main entrance to the cave a vertical tunnel of more than 70 meters of depth called the Chimenea after a whole day of travel traveling kilometers between ascents and descents of kilometers of hills.
We begin to descend from the point where the platform of the second main part of the cave in the vertical entrance begins, the descent can only be done using a climbing rope and harness.
After advancing 20 meters to the east, we find a second descent of 6 meters in height, to definitely enter the various tunnels with larger size where we prepare the tents and equipment to stay in the area for 3 days, in a large room or Gallery that has a length of 2.9 km with approximately 50 meters wide, and maintains an average height between 15 to 35 meters.
It is amazing to see stone formations, right angles and finishes with symmetrical shapes, which at first sight gives the impression that it had been created by man.
The formation of the cave is largely due to the action of filtered water in the mantle of limestone, which has caused impressive formations of stalactites and stalagmites. This underground labyrinth was studied about 5 km by Morris and other expeditions with much secrecy and we were gradually checking if any of the rumors or stories are real or not.
When you approach the inhabitants of the Shuar community and consult them about the experiences they have had inside the caves and they do not stop counting the thousands of stories.
The maximum darkness is one of the strongest challenges to be in this cave and with the days that are passing the physical development is like a reactivation not only of your physical but mental.