Sistema Tortuga (“Turtle” in Spanish) is located on the same property as Vaca Ha. And, like Vaca Ha, it is an offset sinkhole with no flow.
To get to Tortuga, simply take the road leading into the Vaca Ha property to its end. Depending on the time of year, you may see large groups of brightly-colored butterflies along the way. There is parking at the end of the road, as well as tables to assist you in suiting up.
The basin at Tortuga is simply a round hole in the ground, measuring roughly 20 feet across. Visibility is usually nonexistent. For this reason, the guideline begins at the surface, tied to a log at the water’s edge. Important: Do not descend without maintaining physical contact with this guideline at all times.
The guideline will take you down the slope of the breakdown pile and through a restriction. Visibility will improve dramatically on the other side. One thing you will notice are the large floor-to-ceiling columns that decorate this first room.
Once you and your buddies are all through the restriction, you can begin exploring in a couple different directions. If you take the main line approximately 1,200 feet into the system, there will be a T to the right which dead ends 250 feet further in.
Another possibility is to take the first"T" to the left, a few hundred feed from the entrance. This leads down to a saltwater zone at around 85 feet. If you are following a guide, he or she can take you around a small circuit here, or further in on one of the many offshoot tunnels. Just remember: At this depth, you are going to accrue deco quickly, and you will have to decompress out in the tannic water.
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