See What It's Like to Kayak Inside a Cave

Taking on whitewater is scary enough, but what about doing it in a cave? Rafa Ortiz takes you there.
© Rafa Ortiz
By Josh Sampiero

Deep in the heart of Mexico you can find many mysteries, but few are as unique as the cave system in Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park. A long-time favorite for cavers, the system also includes two underground rivers — the perfect spot for adventure paddler Rafa Ortiz to undertake his adventure. Joined by friends Jared Meehan and Andrew Pollock, they headed into the darkness; see how it went in the video above.

One of the biggest challenges is all the preparation work leading up to the expedition. "It's been tricky so far," says Ortiz, "simply from an organization standpoint." But this isn't heading into the unknown for him, as he's ventured into this cave once before, in 2013. The topography of the land meant there weren't a ton of vertical drops over the nearly two-mile section, but there were some Class III and even small sections of Class IV rapids. Not the kind of thing you want to be unprepared for, especially in the dark.

Equipped with high-powered headlamps, the team ducked, dived and paddled until they saw light at the end of the tunnel — literally.

Want to see the longer version? Check it out on Vimeo!

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