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Sistema Tortuga

Read my story of diving Tortuga in 2008 here.

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Located on the same road as Vaca Ha, the entrance to Tortuga can be found after driving the jungle road seemingly forever until it stops at the pool of water somewhat larger than Vaca Ha. The cave starts smallish but then opens up, similar to Vaca Ha, with beautiful formations everywhere. There is a T soon after entrance with the left branch doing sharply deeper, through the halocline and into amazing saltwater passage known as Gateway. The right branch is shallower and apparently continues for 1200 ft in the freshwater zone.

Salt Water passage.

The walls were bleached white and had a typical “swiss cheese” appearance. Unlike some other caves, the passages were a bit tighter and had a definite river shape to them. Some passages were wide and low, some were narrow and tall, but all had the signs of how water had shaped them. While I could understand how the passages were formed, the flowstons in the middle of some passages continued to puzzle me.

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Fresh Water Passage

Wide open decorated spaces. The upper layer of water was tannic, creating surreal effects for the photography and reducing visibility.

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There was another  T on the main line whit the right branch on the T on the freshwater line leading to the very dark and gloomy passage, shaped much like the salt water one. Passage continued as far as we could see, but we turned back after a while.

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We got back to the T and followed the other branch, encountering some brown colored decorations along the way. That cave was full of surprises.

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