The Caves of Cacahuamilpa in Guerrero, Mexico, near the silver mining town of Taxco,are one of the largest cave systems in the world. It is a "live" cave system, meaning that groundwater still filters down into it and that the formations there are still growing. Inside the cavern system are ninety large "salons" separated by large natural rock walls and connected to one another via a central gallery. However, only about twenty of these are fully explored and open to the public.
I first heard of the caves while reading an account of a journey by horseback in 1841, by Fanny Calderon de la Barca, in her book Life in Mexico. Fanny was a Scottish woman married to the Spanish minister to Mexico, and lived there for two years. During this time, she traveled and wrote letters that would eventually comprise her 1843 travel book. The description of her first glimpse of the caves after a day-and-a-half horseback ride on narrow paths through steep mountains in 1841, was both thrilling and inspiring to me.
I made several trips to the caves over the years and never tired of seeing them in all their majesty. During one of those visits many years ago, visitors were greeted with Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain. Although a bit corny, it set a momentous tone to the visit when first entering the mouth of the caves. What theatricality!